Multicultural News

Save the date! Our AGM is Thursday 22nd September

The Multicultural Council of Tasmania will hold it's Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday 22nd September. The meeting is a great opportunity for you to meet with the Council and member groups and hear about issues important to the community. The meeting will take place at Hobart Town Hall from 6pm, with drinks and nibbles provided. Non-members are welcome to join!
AGM guest speaker: Aleem Ali, Welcoming Cities

This year our AGM guest speaker is Aleem Ali, National Manager of the Welcoming Cities Project which is working to ensure our cities are welcoming and inclusive places for new arrivals.  Aleem (pictured) is a social entrepreneur who has spent the past 20 years seeding and mentoring the development of programs and businesses. He loves to work with people on great ideas that have a positive impact on communities. 

Intercultural Sports League works to promote multiculturalism


Raj Chopra moved to Hobart in 2013 and immediately fell in love with the city and its people. His passion is to work towards integrating communities and bringing people closer by getting them out of their comfort zone. With this idea in mind, Raj approached various councils, businesses and sporting authorities with the idea of a sports platform designed to unify and promote multiculturalism. From this emerged the Intercultural Sports League, a group that encourages people cross cultural participation through sport.​ ​ 

A cricket competition will commence in October with six teams taking part. Raj believes in creating opportunities for  the community to unite, "we want to use social sporting competitions to bring together people from different communities, people who have moved to Tasmania from different states and new arrivals from different countries".

The Intercultural Sports League is open to people of almost any age with much to be learned from elders in the community, as noted by Raj “the target age group ranges from 12- 50 years-old for active participation and 50 and above for elder-ship and guidance for youths. We have connected with like minded organisations such as the Australian Human Right Commission and Multicultural council of Tasmania to create more awareness and promote the benefits of a multicultural society". 

“The League has organised a cricket tournament which is supported by Cricket Tasmania and sponsored by the Royal Gurkhas Institute of Technology, Annapurna Indian restaurant and individuals.  We have six teams in the tournament and the participants come from many different backgrounds and different countries including Australia, India, Pakistan, Nepal and Taiwan".

Raj is encouraging people to participate by supporting teams and becoming involved with the Intercultural Sports League. A quiz night will be held on Wednesday 28th September at the Derwent Sailing Squadron Club in Sandy Bay to raise funds for the League and a lunch on Sunday 2nd October at Annapurna in Salamanca to launch the League.  "We want people to be a part of the Intercultural Sports League and help us to bridge gaps and bring communities together". Thank you to the community leaders from India, Pakistan and Australia for supporting the cause and entering their teams in the upcoming tournament.” 

For more information on the League please visit

FECCA supports informed discussions on Islam


The Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia (FECCA) has shown support to the Multicultural Council of Tasmania for a media release published in response to comments made my Senator Jacqui Lambie regarding Islam. The Multicultural Council of Tasmania always aims to provide factual input into public discourse on multicultural issues and advocate on behalf of minorities living in Australia.  

FECCA statement


Civil society’s informed contribution to social cohesion debate must be encouraged and valued, not condemned

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) is disappointed over Senator Lambie’s call to condemn the Multicultural Council of Tasmania (MCoT), our Tasmanian peak member, for contributing factual input to the public discourse on Islam.
The disproportionate response and the unwarranted attack from Senator Lambie overlooks the significant and informative messages voiced by the representative civil society organisation.  FECCA endorses the right of MCoT as a civil society organisation, to express their views without unwarranted attack, in particular, responding to allegations that religiously diverse Australians seek to establish a parallel legal system.
FECCA and its members strongly support our legal system that is based on democratic principles and the rule of law. For decades, MCoT has been contributing great value to fostering the foundations of Tasmania’s diverse and harmonious society.
The Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia (FECCA) has shown support to the Multicultural Council of Tasmania for a media release published in response to comments made my Senator Jacqui Lambie regarding Islam. The Multicultural Council of Tasmania aims to provide factual input into public discourse on Islam and advocate on behalf of minorities living in Australia. 

Senator Lambie’s response to MCoT’s statement fails to facilitate a respectful, knowledge-based and transparent exchange in our society, and silences civil society groups who seek to contribute to the public debate.
FECCA Acting Chairperson Eugenia Grammatikakis said, “At FECCA, we call for all discussions to be brought within the bounds of acceptable discourse. We remain concerned over the increasingly hostile and often misinformed attitudes towards Muslim Australians, and our members rightly seek to address these concerns through an informed, reasonable and constructive debate on multicultural issues.”
Media Comments: FECCA Office – (02) 6282 5755 or

International students face barriers to VET study in Tasmania
By Will Skadden, Research Officer

International students face significant barriers in meeting skilled migration visa requirements to live and work in Tasmania upon completion of their studies in Australia. Recently, the Multicultural Council of Tasmania learned international students in the TasTAFE Community Works Program were ineligible for skilled migration upon completion of the course because TasTAFE had relinquished course accreditation with the Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA). Prospective skilled migrants in the area of welfare work must demonstrate their eligibility to the ACWA in order to qualify for permanent visas to live and work in Tasmania - yet without course accreditation this was impossible.
The Council understands this particular situation may have been resolved, with TasTAFE agreeing to immediately pursue ACWA accreditation for its Community Service Works courses.  However, the Council is concerned international students enrolled in other vocational education and training (VET) courses, or at other institutions around the state, may face similar issues.  
The State Government’s 'Population Growth Strategy' rightly emphasizes the need for Tasmanian educational institutions to attract and retain international students.  Ensuring all courses are accredited with relevant professional associations is generally an inexpensive and an easy way to entice and maintain a reliable stream of overseas migration.  In comparison to other states Tasmania is lagging, with over 40 ACWA accredited courses in Victoria alone compared to zero for this sector in Tasmania (until TasTAFE accreditation is regained). As such,  we can expect many international students will continue to bypass Tasmania for mainland institutions.
In addition to this, international students are charged high course fees and the quality of the qualification they receive should reflect this.  With the Diploma in Community Development Works costing international students nearly five times that of a domestic student, it is certainly reasonable to expect international students to be – at the very least – afforded the prospect of a visa and a permanent career in Australia. 

Tasmania’s VET education sector has already been subject to tough budgetary cuts over the past few years, and could benefit from the added revenue international students bring.  Forgoing course accreditation may save institutions money in the short term, however - by deterring international students who wish to be eligible for skilled migration - VET institutions risk entering into a spiral of less revenue and more cuts, which will only damage the quality of the sector overall.
Persecution of Hazara people acknowledged in Parliament

The Launceston Town Hall was recently lit up in support of Hazara people killed during bombings in Afghanistan.

In a speech delivered in the Tasmanian Parliament in August Tasmanian Greens Leader, Cassy O'Connor, acknowledged the persecution of Hazara people and urged the Premier to make a representationn on behalf of the 1000 Hazara people living in Tasmania.
Speech by Cassy O'Connor made to the Tasmanian Parliament, Tuesday 23 August

[5.59 p.m.]
Ms O'CONNOR (Denison - Leader of the Greens) - Madam Speaker, I rise to make a personal appeal to the Premier on behalf of the Hazara people living in Tasmania. I have friends in the Hazara community for whom I am very concerned; I am sure there are other members of the House who share those concerns.
Members would be aware that the Hazara people are among the most persecuted of minorities. While they represent the third-largest ethnic group in Afghanistan, they have been subject to ethnic cleansing, systematic discrimination and attempted genocide in a campaign of persecution that dates back to the sixteenth century. Many thousands of Hazara people have been killed, expelled, and enslaved. By some estimates, more than half the Hazara of Afghanistan have been displaced. They fled into countries such as Iran and neighbouring Pakistan, where they remain a persecuted minority. They are persecuted by the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and now Daesh. On 23 July this year in Kabul, at a peaceful protest, 81  ethnic Hazara were killed. More than 230 were injured by twin suicide bombings. It was a peaceful protest. The Hazara community was asking the government in Kabul to ensure electricity reached their region.  
The Hazara who live in Tasmania number around 1000 citizens. Very few of them have been granted either permanent residency or citizenship. We had this farcical and tragic situation. Despite the known fact it is not safe for any Hazara who have fled Afghanistan to be returned to Afghanistan, there are still people such as my friend Haji Alizara, and my friend Ali Almteri who live in a state of deep insecurity. They do not know if the Australian Government will decide to send them back to a country where they have lost family members and friends, and a place they fled in terror across land, across sea, by boat to Australia - for a safer life. Many Tasmanians who have embraced the Hazara people living among us. I urge the Premier to make a representation to the Prime Minister, to the Minister for Immigration, particularly on behalf of the Hazara people. They remain persecuted and in danger if they are ever returned.
There was a very moving candlelight ceremony at the old Moonah Arts Centre on 27 July this year. The Hazara community of southern Tasmania came together to commemorate and honour the victims of the Kabul massacre of 23 July. Many people were there who were not of ethnic Hazara origin, and community leaders. It reinforced to the people there that the Hazara who live in Tasmania deserve the right to stay here, to be safe in our community, not to live in fear of being sent back to a place they have fled, because it is so dangerous to them. I hope the Premier can make that representation. There are many people living here on bridging visas, safe haven visas, but the events of 23 July in Kabul can surely only reinforce to the Australian Government and the Minister for Immigration, who seems to have a very hard heart, that Hazara who have come to Australia - the vast majority by boat - are genuine refugees for whom there is no safety, no comfort or future in Afghanistan.

We need as a community to stand by these people because they have so much to give. Haji wants to be a lawyer. He is studying English language. He is studying extra hard. He goes to extra classes at the university. He wants so much to be a lawyer and to give back. Ali wants to be a doctor. He, too, is attending lectures at the university. It is not part of a formal degree for him yet, or for Haji, but they have so much to give. They deserve an opportunity to feel secure, to be embraced in this very compassionate state, and to be able to give back - as they so desperately want to do.

Premier, I appeal to you, please make a representation on behalf of the estimated 1000 Hazara who are currently living in Tasmania.

New Family Skilled Migration Opportunity


The Tasmanian Government has announced a new opportunity that aims to attract and retain skilled migrants who have immediate family in Tasmania. This opportunity relates to General Skilled Migration Subclass 190, Permanent Resident Visa and Subclass 489 and provisional visas. The family member needs to be an Australian Permanent Resident or an Australian Citizen who has lived in Tasmania for 12 or more months, and it includes a parent, child, aunt or uncle, or grandparent.  

If an applicant has immediate family in Tasmania, they do not need to include a job offer with their application.They do however need their relative to agree to support them when they arrive in Tasmania and to assist them in the process of gaining employment.

Applicants also need to fulfill the Department of Immigration and Border Protections requirements for skills migration as listed below, but the family link exempts them from having to provide a job offer with their application.
  • Score at least 60 points for the DIBP points test (including 5 points allocated for 190 State nomination.
  • Have a valid and positive skills assessment for the nominated occupation.
  • Have at least competent English and provide evidence of this with a recognised English language test or hold a passport of the UK, Ireland, the USA, Canada or New Zealand.
To find out more information visit

New funding opportunities available!

A number of grants are available for activities and community events organised by not-for-profits and community organisations.  
Minor Grants Program – Round 1 – Closes 26 September 2016
The Minor Grants Program provides grants of between $500 and $10 000 to clubs, associations, local government and other not-for-profit providers of sport and active recreation.
Eligible projects must benefit sport and/or recreation clubs. Applicants must contribute at least half of the project funding.
Sisters of Charity Foundation Grants Program – closes 30 September 2016
The Sisters of Charity Foundation Limited is a public non-profit company. Its purpose is to promote the mission of the Sisters of Charity, by supporting initiatives of benefit to the community.
Grants are now available to provide support for and financial assistance to community initiatives that will benefit poor and marginalised people.
For further information see the Sisters of Charity Foundation website.
Jetstar Flying Start Grants Program – closes 30 September 2016
Jetstar's Flying Start Program invites community groups and organisations across Australia to apply for a grant to fund a project that will enrich the lives of people in their local community.
Entry is open to not-for-profit community groups and organisations of any size, who are seeking funding to help enhance the lives of people in their local community; and can be classified into one of the following categories.
  • Charity
  • Educational and Health Organisations
  • Arts Group or Organisation
  • Sporting Group or Organisation
The community group or organisation should have a specific project in mind for how the grant will be used to benefit their local community.
For further details see the Jetstar Flying Starts website.

City of Clarence – Community Support Grants – Closes 15 September 2016
A bi-annual grant of up to $1,500 for groups and not-for-profit organisations.  Further information is available at or

City of Clarence – Partnership Grants – Closes 1 October 2016
Grants of up to $15,000 for groups and not-for-profit organisations which may be disbursed over three years. Further information is available at or

Multicultural Council of Tasmania memberships due!


Thank you to all of our members for your continued support in promoting diversity in Tasmania! The deadline for renewal forms is fast approaching and forms have been sent to all of our member groups and individual members.

Please submit your updated details to Lucie at To download the form or renew online click here

Community Noticeboard

  • Applications are open for the Tasmanian Leaders Program! The program offers opportunities to challenge and broaden perspectives through development activities, retreats and group community projects. For more information visit 
  • Interested in learning a a new sport? Gaelic football is a fast-moving, low injury sport played outdoors. It is something like a cross between AFL and soccer but actually predates both. Gaelic football in Hobart is set to be rejuvenated this year with a new Social Mixed competition. People interested in learning about the game can attend a demonstration day that will feature tryout sessions and exhibition matches. Full details will be available on the Tasmanian Gaelic website at
  • MYAN Australia applications for FUSE 2016 are now open! FUSE is a three day youth summit focused on building leadership, advocacy and community organising skills in young people of refugee and migrant backgrounds. Young people can apply to become a FUSE 2016 delegate for their state or territory. Up to 40 delegates will be selected from across Australian based on selection criteria. Applications are now open until the 9th September. To apply visit:
  • The Hobart Human Library is looking for more Human Books! Do you have a story to share, one of overcoming discrimination or wrongly held beliefs? This is an opportunity to gain experience in speaking to groups, share your story and receive proper training and recognition for your work. For more information contact A Fairer World on 6223 1025 or email
  • Babel is a unique art piece performed in 33 languages. The piece was recently performed at Hobart's Festival of Voices and will also be performed at Ten Days on the Island. Babel is currently looking for more performers for this stunning and unique performance piece. For more information please contact Glen Murray at
  • The Tasmanian Human Rights Week Committee is now taking nominations for nine Human Rights Awards. This is an opportunity to recognise the hard work of individuals, organisations and schools who have undertaken activities to ensure the promotion, protection and fulfillment of human rights. Nominations close 30th September, for more information visit A Fairer World website at:


 Haritalika Teej festival
Join the Australian Bhutanese women of Norther Tasmania to celebrate the women's festival, Haritalika Teej. All genders are welcome to the celebration, which will include cultural performances and Nepalese food.
Day 1: 4th September from 1.30 pm
: 'Human Movement' gym hall at University of Tasmania, Newnham, Launceston
Day 2: 6th September from 1.00 pm
MRC Hall, Haig St, Mowbray
Please RSVP by 3rd September to Rup Koirala 0403 617 734
Gaelic football tryouts and exhibition match
Learn about Gaelic football and potentially sign up for a new Social Mixed competition.
8th October in Hobart
15th October on the Eastern Shore

More details will become available via
For more information contact
Rosie Batty Roadshow
Hobart Breakfast

Join Soroptimist International Australia's bid fora national and united approach to raise funds for Women's Legal Service Tasmania.
19th October 2016, 6.30 - 7.00 am
Wrest Point, 410 Sandy Bay Rd
To book:
Soul Food
This months program is 'Breaths of the Spirit of Peace'.

Sunday 4th September, 3pm

Bahai Centre of Learning, Hobart
Free event
Fore more information:
 Adult Learners Week at Mathers House
Join for activities including healthy eating advice, entertainment, T'ai Chi and much more!

Tuesday, 6th September
10 am - 3.30 pm
Mathers House, Hobart
For more information visit:

We welcome contribution to this monthly newsletter! The deadline for our next edition is the 23rd September 2016.

Contact details:
The Multicultural Council of Tasmania
40 Melville street, Hobart TAS 7000
Post: GPO Box 798 Hobart TAS 7001

Phone: (03) 6285 9907
Office Hours: Tuesday - Friday, 9 - 2 pm

To donate to MCoT please visit our website at