Better Together: Sharing our achievements and lessons

February, 25 2019
Fairfield Youth & Community Centre, 55 Vine Street, Fairfield
Statement by Shama Pande, Service Manager, Multicultural Communities of CORE Community Services

Two and half years ago Fairfield City embarked on a journey of collaboration, coordination and creating collective impact through Fairfield City Settlement Action plan with the main aim of contributing to the best possible settlement outcomes for all refugees and vulnerable migrants group in and around Fairfield Local government areas. The launch of the plan in June 2017 marked the beginning of strategic coordination and collaboration amongst service providers in Fairfield City to enhance service delivery, identify service gaps and establish Fairfield as a leading settlement City in NSW. Fairfield has always embodied the spirit of partnership and collaboration throughout its history, however what the plan successfully added is a collective vision and voice, structured and planned coordination and strength of numbers. Throughout the implementation phase over 20 government and non-government agencies delivering services to refugee and migrants communities pooled their expertise and resources to achieve best possible outcomes through better service coordination and collaboration. As a city and its stakeholders, we recognise this is where our strength lies and this places us in the best position to serve the community and offer the best opportunity for successful settlement and integration. And also successfully undertaking the mammoth task of creating a unique and unprecedented report that has captured and conveyed the essence of our community. Congratulations to all of you in creating a report that reflects and represents Fairfield city as a whole, a report which speaks directly to us about the refugee communities’ determination to move forward including their resilience.

The progress report encapsulates the description of the progress made so far in each action areas, achievements in cross agency collaboration and community engagement, lesson learned and most importantly, highlights gaps and recommendations going forward. The recommendations require our continued commitment to enable us to deepen the impacts made so far as well as to address identified gaps.

The Progress Report also demonstrates the need for the Plan to go beyond its current life span of June 2019. Not only we have an enormous task of implementing recommendations, but also developing a body of knowledge that could be replicated in other cities and communities. However, this requires proper funding assistance, In lack of which, wrapping the plan in June 2019 might not deliver the outcome that “the plan” had originally intended.

The next phase of our work is therefore critical. To that end, today’s event is not just to launch a terrific report. It is a call to action! We need strong commitment and resources to take the next crucial steps of the Plan- we require more support to address recommendations on the report and to consolidate achievement we have made so far.  As a service manager of CORE Multicultural Communities, I would like to emphasize that CORE Community Services will remain strongly committed to the Plan because, like you, we are committed to placing our communities at the centre of our actions and we are keen to maximise outcomes for our refugee and vulnerable migrant communities.

Thank our lead partner Fairfield City Council for their leadership and commitment to the plan. I would like to acknowledge Peter Shergold for his unwavering support to the plan and last but not least Multicultural NSW – Celia finch for providing support to the secretariat and particularly around escalating issues through the relevant NSW governance framework when required.

To read the plan, please click here