Dr amanda wise & dr jan ali commonwealth of Australia 2008

Initiative Title: Women's Swimming Program

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Initiative Title: Women's Swimming Program

Organised by: Auburn Council

Contact Details: Noelene Rudolph, 1Susan Street, Auburn
PO Box 118, Auburn NSW 1835
Ph: 9735 1288
Email: noelene.rudolph@auburn.nsw.gov.au

Funded by: CDSE Auburn

Time period of the initiative: 6 months including planning and implementation of 10 week program.

Number of participants involved: 72

Target Group: Low income women living in Auburn LGA were the target, however the program attracted nearly all Muslim women, particularly Iraqi, Afghan and Lebanese women. Some Asian women also attended. This included young women as well as older women. Some mothers and daughters attended.

Project Description: A heavily subsidised learn to swim program for low income women living or working in Auburn LGA. Included 10 weeks of learn to swim lessons with referrals to health promoting programs afterwards. The women-only program was held at Ruth Everuss Acquatic Centre, Church Street, Lidcombe weekly on Wednesdays. Also organised as part of the program was a Bus Trip to Cronulla Beach to learn about surf safety, a women’s health talk and lunch at Auburn Community Health Centre, Bus Trip to Villawod for swimming lessons and a free four hour hands on course in Auburn library on saving the lives of infants and adults through resuscitation.

Successes and challenges: Partnership between Auburn Migrant Resource Centre, Auburn Community Health, STARTTS, Dept of Sport and Recreation and Auburn Council worked well. It was challenging getting the pool managers to agree to having a women- only space in the beginning, as there had been controversy in the past when media man Alan Jones raised issues with a previous women-only swim program. That program was closed down and none operated since at the same pool. However as relationships were built and the project was framed in terms of business viability, the pool managers agreed to host the project. There was an extremely high turnout, in fact we had to turn some people away as places were full.

Note: Auburn Council has supported Muslim programs run by the Auburn Migrant Resource Centre, by providing free facility use. Auburn Council was also involved in the Peace Forum that Affinity and the Centre for Peace and Justice organised on September 5, 2006 and the 'Inside Out' Muslim Women’s project initiated by Auburn Community Development Network.

What evaluation (if any) was conducted: Surveys among participants were conducted with significant positive response.

Initiative Title: Whittlesea Interfaith Network

Organised by: City of Whittlesea in partnership with Whittlesea Multicultural Communities Council.

Contact Details: Rev Noel Whale, St Peter's Anglican Church Bundoora 12 Alma Road BUNDOORA VIC 3083
Email: jonahnoel@hotmail.com
Ph: 9467 4442

Funded by: Inkind support, City of Whittlesea, seeking funds

Time period of the initiative: 1 year

Number of participants involved: 15 – 20

Target Group: Faith Leaders from various religious communities.

Project Description: The Whittlesea Interfaith Network (WIN), has been meeting for one year. The network was brought together and initiated by the Whittlesea Multicultural Communities Council and the Multicultural Resource Officer of the City of Whittlesea. It is recognised that Faith leaders are connected to a vast section of the community and that the Faith leaders in collaboration with Council have a role to play in community development, social cohesion and the raising of awareness and understanding between and amongst faiths in general. This is a vehicle for engaging various religious groups and fostering inter-faith dialogue and improving understanding between the leaders in the different communities. Through such an initiative, it is envisaged that the groups can better understand their role within a multicultural society and work with each towards forming an inclusive and cohesive society.

Successes and challenges: The Whittlesea Interfaith Network is in its infancy. Membership is predominantly Christian, that reflects the statistics of the ABS, however we are seeking to diversify and expand the network to include Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, Buddhist and other faiths. We currently have membership from these faiths, but attendance and commitment fluctuates.

What evaluation (if any) was conducted: N.A.

Initiative Title: No specific project catering to Muslim community

Organised by: Liverpool City Council

Contact Details: Galavizh Ahmadinia, 1 Hoxton Park Road, Liverpool
Ph: 02 9821 9161
Email: G.Ahmadinia@liverpool.nsw.gov.au

Funded by: -N.A

Time Period of Initiative: N.A

Number of participants involved: N.A

Target Group: N.A

Project Description: The Liverpool Council will continue to provide in kind and financial assistant to plan and implement Harmony Day events in Liverpool. This event is coordinated annually with local organisations.

In partnership with Columban Mission Institute we will be looking at organising a Peace Forum focusing on Christian Muslim relations in Liverpool. The forum will be held during Liverpool's Harmony Day events. The forum will aim to encourage interfaith dialogues. At this stage, the details for the event are still being worked out, planning is expected to start in November.

Successes and Challenges: N.A

What evaluation (if any) was conducted: N.A.

Initiative Title: No specific project catering to Muslim community

Organised by: City of Casey

Contact Details: Philip Start
PO Box 1000, Narre Warren, VIC 3805
Ph: 03-90755200
Email: pstart@casey.vic.gov.au

Funded by: N.A

Time Period of Initiative: N.A

Number of participants involved: N.A

Target Group: N.A

Project Description: The council is currently meeting with the various community groups with members living within Casey. In particular the Somali/Somaliland as well as Afghan communities. This has been very fruitful and will lead to greater involvement by their community and hopefully new initiatives.

These meetings have shown a lack of awareness of what services council and local service providers already offer. One of the 'hurdles' we were keen to address was the lack of involvement in programs by Muslim women of all ages. We are currently establishing women-only swimming at a venue that can be 'blocked off' from people looking in.

The council’s approach has been to ask the various communities and obtain their feedback rather than imposing programs upon them. The response has been very positive and has already led to greater involvement in programs that were already running.

Forward plans include the following:

  • Sustainable living program ran by Casey Youth Ambassadors for multicultural youth, who in turn will then help lead the cause in their community

  • At least two camps in 2008

  • An ongoing CALD youth meeting/forum that will meet monthly and feed back directly to local governments and service providers. This will be regional.

  • Programs targeting Muslim young women

  • Various in-school and after-school programs.

Successes and Challenges: Smaller numbers in programs has been much more successful with retention. Credibility is a big issue which the council officers have worked hard to establish. This has resulted in a close working relationship with all community groups the council has met with so far. Another hurdle is the spread of members of the various communities across many local government borders. Not all councils offer the same services or are able to include those that live outside their boundaries.

What evaluation (if any) was conducted: N.A.

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