North Burnett Regional Council is pleased to deliver the Community Social Cohesion Project.

Council has worked closely with the Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship to enter into an agreement to implement the Community Social Cohesion Project for an 18-month period until mid 2012.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship, through the Diversity and Social Cohesion Program, has funded this project in conjunction with North Burnett Regional Council.  For more information about the Diversity and Social Cohesion Program, visit www.harmony.gov.au.

The Community Social Cohesion Project will be managed by a Community Social Cohesion Officer who is based in Mundubbera and will carry out a range of activities in the North Burnett including multi-cultural events, festivals, recreation area and facilities and strategies for social cohesion.

A key outcome of this project is to improve understanding and awareness of the Australian Government’s Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme (PSWPS).  If you would like to find out more about the Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme, visit this website.

The Community Social Cohesion Project also aims to improve respect, fairness and a sense of belonging for all people in our community, as well as promote the benefits that people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds can bring to communities such as the North Burnett.

Some of the benefits already seen include Pacific Seasonal Workers being included on local football teams and performing song and dance entertainment at local venues.

In 2011, there has been a significant increase in the uptake of the PSWPS, from about 30 men from Tonga last year, to about 120 men and women from Tonga and Kiribati in Mundubbera and Gayndah this year.

Council has taken a proactive approach to implement the Community Social Cohesion Project as it identified that you can not put a group of people in a community without any implications for the community or the seasonal worker. Having workers feel welcome in their new communities and finding ways for local communities to become more socially cohesive are important elements in the success of the PSWPS.

This project has already delivered the 2011 “Community Citrus Harvest Kick Off event”, where the Mundubbera Lions Club cooked an Aussie barbeque, well-known locals Jim and Jocelyn Robertson cooked their famous dampers and the Mundubbera Tongan community cooked a magnificent spread of Tongan food – plus Tongan song and dance, entertainment and games for the whole family.

Some of the other events this project will deliver include:

  • A multi-cultural hub at Archer Park Sport and Recreation Centre, Mundubbera, with pool table, table tennis, darts, TV & DVD, sporting equipment – available free to all members of the community  – what a great way to meet new people and understand different cultures!
  • Working with Mundubbera Rotary Club to build a communal hungi-pit and barbeque area for a Riverwalk in Rotary Park
  • Celebration of the diversity of the North Burnett community through food, music, dance and fun activities.

Dates of these events will be advertised on our events calendar.

The Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme project is proudly supported by the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship through the Diversity and Social Cohesion Program. For more information, visit www.harmony.gov.au.

If you would like more information, to be involved or provide feedback, please contact North Burnett Regional Council’s Community Social Cohesion Officer on 1300 696 272.

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