I wish to pay tribute to the enormously valued volunteers and staff of the Sydney Multicultural Community Services in my electorate.
Established in 1981, Sydney Multicultural Community Services, formerly known as the Botany Migrant Resource Centre, is a not-for-profit organisation that provides assistance and care services to people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
For community development strategies Sydney Multicultural Community Services seeks to empower individuals and communities to actively participate in Australian society.
The centre, which is located at Daceyville, is committed to the direct relief of suffering among people who because of barriers such as poverty, isolation and disability are not able to participate fully in our society.
The centre is committed to enhancing the quality of life of people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, including the aged; newly arrived migrants and refugees; and those in crisis, suffering from language barriers, frailty, sickness, dislocation, disadvantage, destitution, misfortune and helplessness.
The centre's main objectives are to encourage and facilitate development and empowerment among ethnic communities; to promote and facilitate participation and cooperation; to develop and enhance, amongst funding bodies and local service providers, a greater understanding of the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse communities and ethnic groups; and to provide direct aid and support to culturally and linguistically diverse members of the community, including the aged and newly arrived refugees and migrants.
Late last year I had the wonderful pleasure of opening the expanded facilities of Sydney Multicultural Community Services. It was wonderful to meet some of the clients and the fantastic volunteers and staff who do a wonderful job there. I pay tribute in particular to the CEO, Rosa Loria, and to the board, led ably by Mary Pinzone.
Some of the programs that are run by SMCS include multicultural community aged-care packages, CALD centre day activities, CALD community visitor schemes, settlement grants programs, humanitarian settlement services, energy accounts payment assistance, an emergency relief program, a material assistance program and support groups.
Unfortunately, Sydney Multicultural Community Services has not received any information from the government regarding their next round of funding. Normally, they would receive information in November regarding their ongoing funding. The funding will expire at the end of this financial year, in June.
They have not been notified. They deserve to be notified by this government about whether or not they will be able to continue to provide these vital services in our community.