Dr amanda wise & dr jan ali commonwealth of Australia 2008

Holroyd City Council - NSW

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Holroyd City Council - NSW

Contact Person: Lucy Maguire
Department/Section: Ethnic Community Development Officer
Initiatives/Projects: None
Date of Visit: 06/06/2007
Tel: (02) 9840-9840
Fax: (02) 9840-9734
Address: 16 Memorial Avenue MERRYLANDS NSW 2160.

Outcome of the Visit: Currently the Council is not actively involved in any Muslim specific projects. The Council actively supports non-specific broad multicultural programs. Due to an absence of faith-based problems in the area, the Council does not see any need for Muslim specific or faith-based community project. It feels that the vast majority of its Muslim population is linked to the Gallipoli Mosque in Auburn and any issues which may emerge are addressed at the mosque community level there.

Holroyd City Council over the years has undertaken umbrella community development projects in which Muslim-Australians have been participants. These have been:

  1. Harmony Day project and

  2. Refugee Day project.

Liverpool City Council – NSW

Contact Person: Galavizh Ahmadinia
Department/Section: Community Development Worker
Initiatives/Projects: Peace Forum (Proposed)
Date of Visit: 05/06/2007
Tel: (02) 9821 7779
Fax: (02) 9821 9333
Address: 193 Macquarie Street LIVERPOOL NSW 2170.

Outcome of the Visit: Liverpool City Council has no direct involvement in projects or initiatives that seek to develop relations between Muslim and non-Muslim-Australians. However, it is planning, in partnership with various key stakeholders, to organise a Peace Forum focusing on Christian and Muslim relations in the Liverpool LGA. It anticipates that the proposed forum will take place during Liverpool's Harmony Day celebrations. This Forum will be to encourage interfaith dialogue in the local community.

Other than this, the way Council helps build relations between Muslim and non-Muslim communities in its LGA is through participating in and organising the following events:

  1. Harmony Day, and

  2. Refugee Day.

Parramatta City Council – NSW

Contact Person: Lisa Giacomelli
Department/Section: Service Manager - Community Capacity Building
Initiatives/Projects: None
Date of Visit: 04/07/2007
Tel: (02) 9806 5792
Fax: (02) 9806 5000
Address: 30 Darcy Street PARRAMATTA NSW 2124.

Outcome of the Visit: Parramatta City Council doesn’t have on-going community development projects or initiatives which concentrate exclusively on improving relations between Muslim and non-Muslim-Australians in its LGA. However, the Council is not totally disengaged from building communities based on faith. For instance, the Council held a one-off project called ‘Religious Understanding Project’ in August 2007 in which nine students from Northmead High School visited places of worship of various faiths including Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. The project generated a better understanding of other faiths on a more experiential level.

Apart from this, it is involved directly and indirectly in a number of projects such as:

  1. Parramatta City Council Multicultural Advisory Committee Inter-faith Project,

  2. New and Emerging African Communities Capacity Building Project,

  3. Support for Muslim Youth Association,

  4. Journeys Of The Spirit exhibition in partnership with Baulkham Hills, Holroyd, and Parramatta Migrant Resource Centres,

  5. Arabic and Persian Library Collection,

  6. Harmony Week Culture Display with Council of Australian Palestinians,

  7. Ramadan Display in the Central Library,

  8. Information Sessions in Arabic at the Central Library in partnership with Centrelink, and

  9. Provision of venue for African Community meeting to discuss response to DIAC cuts to African Refugee intake.

Rockdale City Council – NSW

Contact Person: Carrol Arrowsmith
Department/Section: Community Development Officer
Initiatives/Projects: None
Date of Visit: 12/06/2007
Tel: (02) 9562 1862
Fax: (02) 9562 1666
Address: 2 Bryant Street ROCKDALE NSW 2216.

Outcome of the Visit: The Rockdale City Council does not have any projects that seek to build relations between Muslim and non-Muslim-Australians in its LGA. Despite being in reasonably close proximity to the Sutherland Shire where the Cronulla riots took place, the absence of Muslim specific projects is attributed to Rockdale being a racially harmonious and peaceful area. Carrol Arrowsmith suggests that there is no apparent manifestation of racial or ethnic conflict or tension in the area and therefore the Council, unlike several other councils in Sydney, has not paid attention to Muslim and non-Muslim- Australian community relations.

However, this does not mean that Muslim-Australians, or for that matter, any other ethnic community has been neglected. In fact the Council participates in numerous events and projects in which Muslim-Australians are active participants. For instance, the Council has been involved in ‘inter-faith dialogue’ and ‘response to racism’ initiatives organised by the St George Migrant Resource Centre. Also, the Council plays an active role in Harmony Day and Refugee Day celebrations in which people from many ethnic and religious backgrounds take part.

Brimbank City Council – VIC

Contact Person: Wendy Rose
Department/Section: Community Wellbeing Manager
Initiatives/Projects: None
Date of Visit: 18/06/2007 (Cancelled)
Tel: (03) 9249 4365
Fax: (03) 9249 4351
Address: Alexandra Avenue SUNSHINE VIC 3020.

Outcome of the Visit: The LGA of Brimbank City Council is both complex and diverse with over 90,000 residents residing there who speak a range of languages. In light of this, Council's community development efforts involve programs and activities that cover resident groupings across the board. The Council takes an all-inclusive approach in relation to promoting mutual tolerance and understanding in the community and steers away from focusing on one particular community such as Muslim-Australians.

Brimbank City Council holds an annual Community Grants program through which it distributes funds for a variety of religious and faith festivals as well as a number of community strengthening projects proposed by local community groups. Also, it conducts the following annual programs and events:

  1. Brimbank Festival,

  2. Community Festivals and Harmony Day events, and

  3. Brimbank Community Arts programs include various arts and culture workshops and exhibitions that represent the diverse cultural traditions and backgrounds of the community.

The Council is planning future events and activities to celebrate the diversity of cultures and faith in its LGA. The recruitment of a Diversity Officer will instigate the development of a Multicultural/Multi-faith Plan.

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