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SACLG pledges to make a difference

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South Asian Communities Link Group explores ways to connect diaspora populations in Melbourne
An interactive discussion forum on the theme ‘Let’s make a difference together’ was organised by the South Asian Communities Link Group Australasia (SACLG) at the Hilton in Melbourne recently. The Group focuses on a range of multicultural issues that impact on its member communities which include India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Burma, Afghanistan and Maldives.
SACLG.Indian Link
The forum was well attended by representatives from community organisations, government officials, SACLG Executives and Youth Ambassadors. Maria Vamvakinou, Member for Calwell, accepted the role of Chief Patron of the SACLG. Other Dignitaries in attendance included Alex Bhatal, candidate for Batman; Vijaya Vaidyanath, CEO Yarra Council; Joe Caputo OAM, FECCA Chair; Nepali Consul for Victoria Chandra Yonzon; and former politician Liz Beattie.
The main focus of the interactive forum was to ascertain how the SACLG team and its volunteers can work together with the government and other community organisations and contribute to creating a more inclusive and cohesive multicultural community.
The forum aimed to identify structural gaps that exist and how SACLG can assist in bridging the interests of the member communities and contributing in the development of legislative and policy frameworks. The forum also looked at how to improve delivery of services to Australia’s culturally, linguistically and religiously diverse society.
There were four key recommendations from the forum. Multifaith and multicultural grassroots organisations must collaborate to develop strategies for bringing communities together. This could include organising a multicultural festival focused on the South Asian member communities where people can experience and appreciate each other’s cultures.
SACLG.Indian Link
As the forum recgonised, youth are the future of the nation and need to be proactively engaged. The Youth Ambassadors proposed a Youth Conclave for bringing together young people from the member communities to engage in a meaningful dialogue about identity and inclusion.
There was strong discussion around the need to increase participation from representatives of the South Asian member communities at a political level to ensure more just and equal representation.
The SACLG Forum also recommended regular joint, culturally appropriate senior citizen to proactively engage senior members and bring them into the community’s mainstream activities.
The SACLG team have pledged to continue this type of engagement and is currently working on a strategic plan based on the key outcomes from the forum.
The SACLG Executive team comprises of patron Deepak Vinayak, President Dr Raju Adhikari, Angpal Singh, Parsu Sharma Luital, Satinder Chawla, Dr Sonia Singh, Farrukh Hussain and is supported by Youth Ambassadors including Tanvi Mor, Taniya, Puneet Gulati and Preeti Daga.

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