From the ECCNSW Chair

by Esther Lozano - Thursday, 1 March 2018

I would like to welcome all the Member Associations, Associate Members, and Members of the Board, Members Forum, and friends of the Ethnic Communities Council of NSW to 2018.  It is wonderful to start the year with exciting plans.
I would like to welcome back all the ECC office staff – we envisage this year to be an exciting and fruitful time for ECCNSW. As a state-wide peak body we will continue to maintain our significant profile within the multicultural space through the various activities that promote community development, community education, advocacy for equity and access.
Strategic Plan
As our Strategic Plan comes to completion at the end of 2018 we will work towards our next phase of establishing our goals and setting processes to ensure our members and key stakeholders provide input into our new directions. This new Plan will further consolidate our core business as a peak body representing culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
My role as Chair has been very busy from the onset and I look forward to embracing the challenges and wonderful opportunities this role brings.
Korean Delegation
I am pleased to report that our year began with a visit from an esteemed Korean delegation comprised of professors and educators from social welfare, higher education and community sectors. The purpose of their visit to ECCNSW was to discuss the status and policy directions of multicultural Australia, and how these influence and impact on community welfare services. They were most appreciative of our time and were very impressed with the 40 years legacy of the ECC and its contribution towards achieving a successful multiculturalism.
However, our work is not complete, and we have much work ahead of us. There are many agendas that we will strive to be at the forefront of throughout this year. These include in the areas of ageing, housing & homelessness, disability, mental health, women and girls, youth, migrant and refugee settlement, racism to name a few.  
I was very fortunate to have attended a meeting recently with the Hon Tanya Davies MP Minister for Women; Minister for Ageing; Minister for Mental Health; to discuss the ECC’s work within the Minister’s portfolio. The Minister graciously accepted our support in addressing the needs of our CALD communities. 
I also had the privilege of meeting with the Minister for Multiculturalism, the Hon Ray Williams who expressed his appreciation of the work of the ECC, and congratulated the new Chair and Board.
Cultural events
Over these past two months I have had the pleasure of attending a few cultural events and it was wonderful to be a part of these celebrations. 
More recently I was invited to attend the Western Sydney Australia Day Community Reception with the Hon. Gladys Berejiklian, the Premier of New South Wales. I was heartened to be a part of the celebrations at Blacktown City where the NSW Premier, the Minister for Multiculturalism and the Mayor of Blacktown participated in a traditional Aboriginal dance.
Cultural events and celebrations are a true testament of a cohesive and inclusive multicultural society and we are very fortunate to be part of these occasions. 
If any of our member associations have an upcoming cultural event or celebration, please inform the ECC office and we will gladly promote it in our newsletter and on our social media and website. 
Premier’s Harmony Dinner
The Minister for Multiculturalism, the Hon Ray Williams in the presence of the NSW Premier, the Hon Gladys Berejiklian will be hosting the Premier’s Harmony Dinner for 2018. This gala event will be held on Wed 21st March at Rosehill Racecourse and it is one of the biggest celebrations of cultural diversity in NSW.
I look forward to seeing many of our members of associates at this event! Once again, the ECC offered its members the benefit of attending the Harmony Dinner at a reduced cost if the booking was made through the ECCNSW and I’m pleased to say that we reached our quota! 
If you missed out on this offer I do apologise but I still would encourage you to book directly on line (for the full price) to be a part of this spectacular event! 
Thank you for being part of our strong and vibrant organisation.
Marta Terracciano J.P.