Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A voice from Diversitat

from w
Tonight we went to the breakup party at Diversitat at the Hub in North Geelong. For nearly thirty years we have been associated with the Geelong Migrant Resource Centre, now called Diversitat; and value the input into the Geelong community of this organisation which helps to make our city value diversity and multiculturalism and care for the stranger in our midst. Tonight we sat with friends who had once upon a time migrated from Spain or Philippines. I was delighted to meet up again with Petra who is now 89. We once had been in a writing group and I helped edit a book of migrant stories.

From the Geelong Advertiser, Michael  the CEO writes:

MicHael Martinez: Geelong's people deserve a pat on the back for 

·         DECEMBER 11, 2014 10:21AM

THERE are many things we learned about our city in the past 12 months. Here are 10 to start with.
1. WE are global. The opening in June of Carbon Nexus, Deakin’s $34 million carbon fibre research centre, has attracted interest around the world. It is the kind of research and development centre that will drive innovation and new technology for our region and beyond.
Great to see Jane den Hollander win the Committee for Geelong Leader of the Year award as Jane is an absolute inspiration and tireless advocate for our city.
2. WE are innovative. The construction of the new six-storey, state of the art Geelong Library and Heritage Centre will be a wonderful centrepiece for our new arts precinct.
This is the kind of design for which we want to be known. This excellent public amenity incorporates a flair for the new and edgy matched with a functional design for all to enjoy. I can’t wait to see it when it’s opened.
3. WE are vulnerable. We have seen this in light of the loss of Alcoa and Ford production and the thousands of related jobs.
Yet despite this devastating news we are still strong and united and optimistic about this city’s future.
4. WE are caring and compassionate. Our citizens have shown this on many occasions this year, including the outpouring of grief after the tragic death of young asylum seeker Leo Seemanpillai and the generous amount that was raised to support his family in a refugee camp in southern India. Likewise the great support given to Rory Wilson after his cycling accident.

5. WE are creative. The inaugural Mountain to Mouth and Geelong After Dark showcased many of Geelong’s artists and went on to win the Best Community Event at the prestigious Australian Event Awards and also VicHealth’s Building Health through the Arts Award.
6. WE love Christmas. This is clearly evident with the thousands who have flocked to our brilliant new floating Christmas tree.
Lighting up Geelong for Christmas is a great idea and even better when we know that this project was built here by a great Geelong company like Hanlon Industries, a typical Geelong quiet achiever that often goes unrecognised but makes a really positive contribution to our city. Full marks to our mayor Darryn Lyons for this idea.
7. WE are proud. We don’t like being called zombies or Sleepy Hollow, as evident in the outpouring of anger over the short clip by Geelong Tourism.
Justifications aside, Geelong people are rightfully proud of our city and region. The resulting debate after the video was testament to the reality that we are concerned about our reputation and future.
8. WE count! We saw during the recent election that Geelong was a priority for both the major parties, with Labor launching its campaign here.
The pledges from all sides were welcomed and we need to see more as we know things are not getting any easier on the economic front.
With our two new state ministers and member for Geelong we expect big results for Geelong.
9. WE are welcoming. The inaugural Welcome to Australia walk, which we held in Geelong on October 25, was well attended for a first event and it will surely grow over time.
This is on top of the generous support and acceptance that newly arrived people receive every day from the majority in our community.
10. WE are resilient. Although we don’t have the resources and opportunities Melbourne has, Geelong is a better place to live.
More and more people from outside our region are finding this out as they move to our fair city and surrounding districts. Our community is working hard to transform this city through difficult circumstances and together we will succeed.
Michael Martinez is the chief executive officer of Diversitat.


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