Evelyn Zaragoza

Evelyn Zaragoza

Australia is set to capitalise on Asia’s highly skilled population to create an educated, productive work force to bolster our economy in the future, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen, said recently.


“Even with the Government’s unprecedented investment in tertiary education and up-skilling Australians, we need migrants who bring their specialist skills to Australia,’’ Chris Bowen said.


“The Australia in the Asian Century White Paper highlights the exciting opportunities for Australia’s growth as our neighbours further build trade and industrial strength.



People living in Western Sydney won’t have to travel into the CBD to experience the Sydney Festival or its popular Spiegeltent (entertainment tent) in the New Year.


An Art Nouveau Spiegeltent will be erected in Parramatta’s Prince Alfred Park next January as the centre of the Festival in Parramatta.


Minister for Tourism, Major Events and the Arts, George Souris, said the 2012 Sydney Festival events in Western Sydney proved so popular that organisers have again planned an expanded programme for the 2013 festival.


A new set of guidelines launched recently aim to help mental health and social service providers better understand the complex effects of trauma on adult survivors of childhood abuse. 


The guidelines, funded by the Federal Government and developed by Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (ASCA), were launched today in Canberra by Minister for Mental Health Mark Butler. 


Mr Butler said the guidelines would contribute to our understanding of the implications of childhood abuse on mental health. 


“Evidence presented in the guidelines indicates that complex trauma from child abuse underlies a high number of mental health problems.” 


Thursday the 18th of October is Anti-Slavery Day (UK). Sadly, the abolition of slavery is not a reality in many countries around the world, including our own. Slavery still exists today in many forms including human trafficking, forced labour and forced marriage. Although trafficking in persons is one of the fastest growing transnational organized crime industries, recent legislative developments and parliamentary inquiries seek to improve Australia’s response to combat modern-day slavery and trafficking.


The International Labour Organisation (ILO) (2012) estimates that 20.9 million people are trapped in conditions of forced modern-day slavery throughout the world, with our Asia-Pacific region tragically accounting for by far the largest amount of individuals in forced labour at 11.7 million, or 56% of the global total.


Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli has recently announced the Smart and Skilled reforms to the vocational education and training (VET) system in NSW.


“Smart and Skilled will give people the skills they need to get a job and advance their careers.  It will give NSW the skills it needs for jobs now and in the future,” Mr Piccoli said.


“This reform will make it easier for people to take up training, giving them more choice over training and the training organisation that best meets their needs.”

p3-Bill Shorten


Federal Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten and Member for Greenway Michelle Rowland met with Filipino community leaders in Sydney to discuss the successes and challenges of Filipino-Australians in getting good jobs.


“While many in the Filipino community may be doing well and have great jobs and running successful and innovative businesses, there are some who are not,” Minister Shorten said.


“Some jobseekers are unable to find work because of the barriers they face, such as lack of Australian work experience, difficulties with recognition of skills, qualifications and experience. Others are in jobs that do not reflect their skills or qualifications.”