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Chairpersons
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jo fuller

year of growth.

After a couple of quite challenging years, I am very pleased to advise that MECA has had a year of growth and has continued to demonstrate just how innovative we are, working in partnership to develop exciting projects to address the needs of our communities.

Some of the exciting initiatives include the Yura Bada & Culture Graze Project – looking at food security, sustainability and healthy eating for our community. We have also partnered in the Ubuntu project to support African Australian community in employment sector. MECA hosted an Ubuntu Networking event in July 2022 in partnership with Icon Corporate Event to connect with like-minded African Australian professionals & business owners so they could empower each other and their community. MECA also partnered GYMEA Community Aid & Information Service to deliver our very popular Driving Program to help young people achieve their driver’s licences.

MECA is also working closely with Pacific Communities to establish a Pacific Communities centre of excellence and also in the meantime provides support for those who are New Zealand citizens to apply for Australian Citizenship.

In 2022 MECA successfully secured ongoing funding as part of the NSW Settlement Partnership for its core work with new arrivals and refugees for a further two years. We were grateful to Department of Communities and Justice for our ongoing funding for our CALD Youth Project. And to Multicultural NSW for extending the funding made available to MECA through its Emergency Relief and Support Grants for 6 months to 30 June 2023 of $34,587.70 which enabled MECA to continue to provide support to those affected by economic hardships.

MECA has also been able to extend and expand the work that we do with young people, which is one of MECA’s strengths. We were very proud to secure a grant of $200,000 through Multicultural NSW for COMPACT in a partnership with Blacktown Council, Settlement Services International and Street Uni, empowering young people to stand up and stand united against extremist hate, fear, violence and divisions as champions for community harmony.

MECA was also successful in securing a grant of $20,000 from the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s HOPE Program, where we are working with young people using sporting activities as a means of drug and alcohol prevention.

We are also grateful to have received a 2022/2023 Stronger Together Grant of $20,000 for our Pillars of Resilience Project from Multicultural NSW and an additional grant of $8,500 from Multicultural NSW through the 22/23 Stronger Together Festivals & Events Round 2 and $8,500 for our Connected Communities – Neighbour Day 2023.

And we are also thankful for the Australia Post Grant for $2,000 which enabled us to provide yoga sessions for clients.

On 13 December 2022, I was very pleased to attend the MECA Citizenship Annual Celebration with so many of our clients who have attended MECA’s Citizenship classes and have successfully achieved their goal of Australian citizenship. Congratulations to all!

Acknowledgments.

I want to publicly thank our Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Gobena, for his ongoing passion and commitment to MECA. His ability to see opportunities and partnerships has enabled MECA to expand into exciting new areas.

I also need to acknowledge our wonderful staff, who are so committed to MECA and doing the absolute best for our clients and community. Thank you to Yousef, Raeanne, Fadi, Neha, Lynelle, Aaliyah, Elvis, Yousseff. And to all our wonderful students and volunteers. I particularly want to acknowledge our volunteer Joseph who does so much in our Justice of the Peace service.

Thank you also to our Management Committee – Garry, Farabi, Abbas, Ammar, Carly, Nene, and Bob. Your ongoing willingness to give your time and to support MECA is much appreciated.

As we look to the future, I want to thank all of clients and community members who put their trust in MECA. Without that, MECA would not be the thriving, exciting and growing organisation that it is today.