Cultural activities at Manly and Mt Druitt

SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis has welcomed two additions to the NSW Settlement Partnership, saying they would enhance the consortium’s capacity to harness local connections and provide effective services for refugee and migrant communities and individuals in NSW.

The NSW Settlement Partnership (NSP), led by Settlement Services International (SSI), delivers settlement services in agreed areas of NSW under the Department of Social Services’ Settlement Services Programme.

With the addition of Mt Druitt Ethnic Communities Agency (MECA) and Manly Community Centre & Services (MCCS) on July 1, the NSP now comprises SSI and 22 partners embedded in local communities — communities that benefit from the NSP’s innovative approach, featuring collaboration, integration and state-wide standards in service excellence.

MECA, which delivers Settlement Services Program grant activities in Blacktown, has been a part of the Mount Druitt community and providing settlement services since the 1990s. It has a proud history of working with culturally and linguistically diverse communities to enhance and grow the inclusive, diverse and productive community of Mount Druitt.

MECA has been contributing to the work of the NSP since entering into a sub-contract arrangement with SSI last year. The arrangement took effect on July 1, 2016.

Amie Hope, Centre Manager at MECA, said: “MECA is excited to officially join the NSP in 2016 and work collaboratively with SSI and the fantastic organisations that make up the NSP. We very much look forward to the sharing of innovative ideas and working together with our communities to provide settlement services.”

MCCS has over 20 years continuous involvement providing settlement services for refugees, humanitarian entrants and eligible migrants on the Northern Beaches. In particular, it has worked with the Tibetan community, the largest group of humanitarian entrants in the Northern Beaches, since 1995.

Its participation in the NSP is very recent and follows advice to SSI from DSS that the organisation’s legacy agreement with DSS would be ending on June 30, 2016.

Jacquiline Smith, Operations Manager at Manly Community Centre & Services, said: “We are all very excited about our new partnership with SSI and other members of the NSP. MCCS is thrilled to be able to bring to the consortium our long experience with settlement services on the Northern Beaches and I am sure MCCS and our clients will benefit from expertise we can glean from our new partners.”

Ms Roumeliotis said: “We look forward to working together to assist humanitarian entrants and other eligible clients to become self-reliant and to participate equitably in Australian society.

“We believe that the fundamental values of our organisations are aligned, that our services are complementary and that we have the common goal of serving vulnerable people.”

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