Commission’s Regional Visit to Newcastle
8 June 2012
The Community Relations Commission (CRC) undertakes annual visits to regional areas in NSW. These visits provide opportunities for CRC Commissioners and Executive Staff to meet representatives of local communities and service providers to hear about grass roots issues and initiatives.
The CRC’s 2012 regional visit took place on 8 June in Newcastle. On the occasion, a broad range of guests were invited to meet the Commissioners at a morning tea at the office of the Ethnic Communities Council Newcastle and Hunter Region (ECCNHR) in Waratah.
Those invited included representatives from the CRC’s Hunter Regional Advisory Council, Newcastle and Maitland City Councils, local religious leaders, ethnic specific community organisations and State Government agencies.
Mr Andrea Rufo, President, ECCNHR, in welcoming the CRC to Newcastle spoke of the opportunity to develop a partnership with the CRC to address service-access issues in the region.
Mr Stepan Kerkyasharian, Chair CRC, also welcomed the chance to build a strong and productive relationship with the ECCNHR and emphasised the need for ongoing support for all communities in the Hunter region in their endeavours to achieve equal rights and access to services. Mr Kerkyasharian also outlined the many ways in which the CRC engages with, and supports communities in these efforts. He reinforced the Commission’s determination to deliver on the State Government’s commitment to multiculturalism in NSW, as demonstrated in the Multicultural Advantage Action Plan.
Mr Tim Owen, State Member for Newcastle and Clr Nuatali Nelmes of Newcastle Council also commended the efforts and commitment of those in attendance and recognised the extraordinary value of cultural diversity in the makeup of their constituencies. They identified the great variety of social and economic opportunities which this diversity affords their local areas.
Following the morning tea the Commission held its regular monthly meeting at the ECCNHR office.