EVERYONE BELONGS AT GATEWAY COMMUNITY SERVICES

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By Lisa Field

Gateway Community Services is held a special 3-course luncheon with cultural entertainment and quest speakers at South Kingsville Community Centre, on Wednesday 16th March to celebrate Cultural Diversity Week 12-20th March. At the luncheon there was guest speakers and singers/performers that reflect the culturally rich and diverse traditions of its members. The purpose of the event was to build tolerance and harmony.

Gateway Community Services has a long tradition of providing community luncheons with entertainment, opportunities for corporate volunteers and for engaging diverse community partners to deliver community wellbeing programs. This particular celebration for Cultural Diversity Week continues to grow due to the interest is diverse cultures and in sharing all traditions. Amongst Gateway’s 400 members, 65% are from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and this figure is similar for the demographics of the 100 volunteers who support Gateway’s programs.

Gateway Community Services Manager William Kelly said, “Gateway’s commitment to diversity includes members of the GLTBI (gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual and intersex) community who can be marginalised by prejudice, and experience poorer health outcomes.” William explains that this celebration is not just a one-off festivity but also an opportunity to strengthen our existing harmony and build even more respect and stronger relationships.

Cultural celebrations are an important part of the programming for Gateway Community Services. The sharing of common histories, cultural traditions and significant events is a way to bring attention to where we have come from, where we are now, and importantly, that everyone belongs.

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Gateway Community Services is a non-for-profit organisation operating in the western suburbs of Melbourne. Gateway provide an extensive range of community programs and opportunities including social & lifestyle groups, volunteering opportunities, disability services, support for carers, a community register, emergency food relief, a learning centre and community transport.

Gateway is often looking for volunteers, as well as members, to join the growing selection of programs. To enquire about Gateway’s programs and services, call 9399 3511 or go to www.gatewaycommunityservices.org.au or check out what’s happening on www.facebook.com/gatewaysupport

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