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Australia’s ‘premier multicultural conference’ returns to Melbourne after 18 years

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The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Council of Australia (FECCA) and the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) announced on Friday that FECCA’s biennial conference, Australia’s premier multicultural conference, will be brought to Melbourne in November 2021.

Announced by Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs Josh Bull MP at ECCV’s Annual General Meeting, the Victorian Government’s support will see the conference return to Melbourne for the first time in 18 years.

“With Victoria being one of the most successful multicultural societies in the world, it’s only fitting that Australia’s premier multicultural conference will be here in Melbourne. This is a significant investment that celebrates the diversity of our state and on behalf of the Victorian Government, I look forward to the outcomes of this conference,” said Mr Bull.

FECCA Chairperson Mary Patetsos said the funding will allow community members and young people to come together from across the country to share their knowledge and lived experiences, particularly in the aftermath of COVID-19. 

“We are thrilled that we will be able to hold this national conference in Melbourne at a time when the challenges facing migrant and refugee communities remain significant. We thank the Victorian Government for its support,” Ms Patetsos said. 

“Issues such as immigration and the economy, rising racism, public health messaging to diverse communities, migrant workforce protections, and a humane and efficient migration system will be on the agenda.”

Mary Petsos. Photo: SBS News

Minister for Multicultural Affairs Ros Spence said bringing the conference to Melbourne was a win-win for the state.

“The Victorian Government has always championed multiculturalism, acknowledging that with diversity comes strength,” Minister Spence said. 

“I am proud that this year’s State Budget offers unprecedented levels of support to our diverse communities, recognising their unique contribution and ensuring we can work together to rebuild and re-open on the path to COVID Normal.” 

ECCV Chairperson Eddie Micallef said he was looking forward to welcoming delegates to his hometown. 

Eddie Micallef. Photo: ECCV

“We are very proud to be hosting the next FECCA conference in Melbourne. It will give us an opportunity to not only showcase the diversity of our city, but the strength of multiculturalism across Victoria. ECCV has been an integral part of the multicultural legacy in Victoria, and being able to deliver such an important event with FECCA will do so much to lift all our communities after the year we’ve had,” Mr Micallef said. 

“COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted migrant and refugee Victorians and through the FECCA Conference we look forward to learning about how to manage future challenges better.”

Pandemic contingency plans will be put in place and the conference will be delivered in line with public health advice at the time. 

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