Harmonising our cultural richness in Mosman16 March 2018
Help is at hand for migrants, refugees and international students in Mosman, who may face the often daunting task of settling in a new country and learning to speak and write in a new language.
Along with welcoming local residents and inclusive services, Council is celebrating Mosman’s cultural diversity this month, in recognition of Harmony Day on 21 March which is also the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The central message for Harmony Day is ‘Everyone Belongs’.
Mayor of Mosman Carolyn Corrigan highlighted the gradual changes in Mosman’s population, with 2016 Census data showing more overseas-born residents coming from countries of non-English speaking backgrounds, rising from 14% in 2011 to 15.8% in 2016 of total population.
“Mosman is lucky to have a very cohesive and connected community, which welcomes new residents from all over the world, Cr Corrigan said. “We can all play our part in helping people settle and feel they belong and we are richer as a community for the contribution they bring to life in Mosman and their inclusion.”
Cr Corrigan cited the popular English Conversation Group at Mosman’s Seniors Centre, which provides a friendly and informal environment for people who wish to improve their English conversation skills. Facilitated by Rosemary Taylor, a highly valued Council volunteer and trained ESL teacher, the group meets every Wednesday from 1pm to 2.30pm during school terms. Rosemary said: ‘‘As a teacher, it is so rewarding to see members develop their confidence in speaking English and in integrating into life here – the members help each other and develop strong friendships”.
For community members and visitors with limited English, Mosman Council has a register of staff who speak a variety of community languages for public enquiries and can use the Telephone Interpreter Service for more complex enquiries. Council’s website has Migrant Services reference guides in major community languages with information on local support services.
Council works with Sydney Multicultural Community Services which provides settlement services for newly arrived migrants, refugees and international students in the Lower North Shore and can be contacted on 9955 3952 or firstname.lastname@example.org
In celebrating Harmony Day, Mosman Youth Services are holding an after-school cultural picnic on Wednesday 21 March and the Community Restaurant at the Seniors Centre is hosting a Harmony Day Lunch on Tuesday 20 March.