More than 60 CFA people attended the evening from District 14,
Organised by Leading Firefighter Gavin Fitzgerald, the purpose of the evening was to share with members the work currently being done with CALD communities in Corio, and to identify communication challenges within our community. There is a need to break down barriers and misconceptions.
As a community-based organisation, it is important that CFA :
- know our community
- understands the needs of our community
- needs to break down barriers and misconceptions
“Corio and Norlane now lay claim to one of the largest regional settlements for people from a refugee background and, with availably of essential services and affordable housing, this is only going to increase as a direct result of federal policy,” Gavin Fitzgerald said.
“Of the 13750 refugees that
The evening had guest speakers Suzanne Cooper, team leader for Mental Health & Wellbeing and Fahim Shah an employment adviser for Diversitat,
Fahim Shah shared his heartfelt and remarkable journey from war torn
After three failed attempts at sea, one of which left him clinging to wreckage from the sunken vessel for more than two weeks, he was taken into custody by Immigration after his fourth attempt and held in mandatory detention for more than six years.
He now lives in Ocean Grove and helps newly-arrived migrants and people who are disadvantaged find employment.
“Fahim’s story had a profound effect on me and I’m sure it did for our members. You could tell by the looks on their faces and by the questions they asked. I believe anyone who had a pre-conceived idea on people seeking asylum would have walked away quite moved,"said Rachael Millar-Zivic, Corio’s 3rd Lieutenant.
“I thought I truly new about illegal immigrants but due to media rhetoric, I was so off the mark. This type of session should be told to all people in the community, from governments through to our classrooms.”
Corio Fire Brigade is continuing fire safety education sessions with people from a refugee background including capturing newly-settled communities in 2012.
The brigade has embarked on a sustained behavioural and cultural change in forming partnerships in the community as part of its business plan for the next ten years.