Cultural connections thrive during isolation

Four people standing in front of a cafe. Three of them are wearing face masks.

While the many multicultural festivals and community groups we support are on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions, Melburnians have found creative ways to stay connected.

In North Melbourne, women from a Spanish-speaking art and craft group have been working from home, sharing photos of their beading, crochet and painting using their mobile phones.

They’ve even knitted 30 beanies for people experiencing homelessness, to be donated to the Vinnies Soup Vans.

After delaying its girls’ basketball camp, the Inner Melbourne African Australian Partnership has engaged young people to act as online peer mentors, and run exercise, education and social-support sessions online.

The Carlton Neighbourhood Learning Centre has been delivering fresh food and bread packages to families on the Carlton housing estate who are doing it tough.

The centre has also partnered with the local Tanaka cafe to deliver delicious, donated halal meals for older residents, many of whom live alone.

The Welcome Dinner Project has hosted virtual dinners for international students and locals experiencing social isolation, and the Carlton Kitchen Library is now making home deliveries.

Meanwhile, we worked with Victoria University to host an online panel discussion about how challenges like COVID-19 and bushfires can bring into focus the importance of inclusivity in the face of adversity.

Councillor Beverley Pinder, Chair of the People City portfolio, said Council is committed to creating a city where everyone can belong and participate.

‘The City of Melbourne is home to people from about 140 countries. The city has a generous and inclusive spirit that embraces change while respecting its heritage, and aspires to a peaceful future,’ Cr Pinder said.

‘Times of crisis remind us that we are stronger when we are together, and that even when we are apart we strive for connection.’

Visit What’s On Melbourne and subscribe to the newsletter for the latest news on upcoming multicultural events.

Coronavirus Community Response Grants

Now more than ever we need to find ways to strengthen our social connections and support vulnerable people.

In response to COVID-19, we released grants of up to $5000 to help not-for-profit and community groups provide people with essential goods and services, and create alternative ways for community members to stay connected. To find out more, visit Community grants.

Social support home-delivered

We delivered activity packs to all of our social support program participants, tailored for different language groups, and shared our activities newsletter in Chinese on WeChat. This has helped older people stay physically and mentally active and have fun during COVID-19.

To find out more about our neighbourhood centres and social groups, visit Older people.

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