Reflections on 2019: Message from the Chairperson

Viv Nguyen reflects on 2019 and her first few months as Chairperson, and shares her excitement for the year ahead.

Monday, 30 December 2019 at 2:36 am
Victorian Multicultural Commissioners
Some of our Commissioners (left to right): Shankar Kasynathan, Mohammed Yassin, Sisay Dinku, Bwe Thay, Dr Judy Tang, Maria Dimopoulos

It’s been an action-packed period since my appointment in late August and as we head towards 2020, I thought it would be timely for a brief update.

As we look back on 2019, I must firstly express my heartfelt appreciation for the support and encouragement that both the Commission and I have received from communities and the sector.

I thank the previous Chairperson, Helen Kapalos, and former Commissioners for their work and achievements, particularly in delivering a successful 2019 Cultural Diversity Week, the VMC Film Festival, ABC Internships and many publications and submissions in response to a number of issues affecting the multicultural sector. 

I would also like to acknowledge and thank the current cohort of Commissioners who have come together with purpose, passion and a shared vision. I feel honoured to be working with such inspiring people and feel genuinely excited about the Commission’s future. Since being appointed, we have:

  • sought community and stakeholder feedback via consultations and roundtable discussions on what they believe to be the priority areas for the Commission;
  • concluded the recruitment and completed the first round of the Regional Advisory Council meetings across Victoria;
  • reconvened the Multifaith Advisory Group; and
  • met with many representatives of community and faith organisations, service providers and other stakeholders.

And most important of all, we have connected and reconnected with communities.

Over the past few months we have continued to respond to issues involving multicultural communities and we have progressed the 2020 Cultural Diversity Week agenda to ensure the program continues to reflect the richness of Victoria’s diversity.

Thank you to Victoria’s multicultural communities for welcoming us so warmly to your many functions, festivals and events.

We are privileged to see first-hand the incredible, and often unheralded, efforts of organisations who continue to support their members and all Victorians through a range of activities and services.  We are so very proud and appreciative of your endeavours.

As we look ahead, we will continue to be strong and effective champions and advocates for multicultural communities. We will continue to showcase and promote cultural diversity and its benefits. We will strengthen our social cohesion and tackle difficult issues by leading public discourse on multiculturalism across Victoria.

I look forward to sharing our strategic priorities in the new year, but for now, you can be assured that this Commission is accessible, transparent and passionate.  We will actively listen, work hard and advocate for all members of the multicultural sector, and do so with conviction.

Thank you for your relentless efforts in building your community, sharing your culture and working to ensure the social cohesion of our state remains strong and that we are resilient in the face of adversity.  None of these happen by chance. On behalf of the Commission, I thank you for your commitment. 

We look forward to working with you in 2020 and beyond.

Viv Nguyen

Victorian Multicultural Commission Chairperson Vivienne Nguyen