Evelyn Zaragoza

Evelyn Zaragoza

Monday, 15 July 2019 14:57

CELEBRATING AND INVESTING IN SENIORS

Seniors across the Mulgoa electorate will benefit from a cash boost to the 2020 NSW Seniors Festival, encouraging them to get active, socialise, learn new skills and connect with services.

 

Member for Mulgoa Tanya Davies announced a total of $200,000 is available for local organisations helping them to deliver events that celebrate seniors.

 

“The NSW Seniors Festival is growing from strength to strength and celebrates the vital contributions seniors make to the community.” Tanya Davies said.

 

“Festival events are designed to get our seniors involved in art courses, active sports, playing music, tapping into technology, and travel.”

 

“We are always looking to support events that offer unique and engaging activities. We love bringing younger and older generations together with these innovative projects that promote healthy ageing.”

 

Minister for Seniors John Sidoti said the NSW Seniors Festival is the largest of its type in the Southern Hemisphere and has been running for more than 61 years.

 

“The grants program ensures seniors from areas right across the state have the opportunity to participate in the festival,” Mr Sidoti said.

 

“Providing funding to a range of organisations means we can reach a broad range of individuals, including those from regional and remote areas, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and Aboriginal communities.”

 

The 2020 NSW Seniors Festival wall take place from Wednesday, 12 February – Sunday, 23 February 2020.

 

Applications are now open and close on Friday, 9 August 2019. For more information or to apply visit: www.seniorsfestival.nsw.gov.au/events/nsw-seniors-festival-grants

 

To celebrate NIDA’s 60th anniversary, NIDA Open has committed $25,000 worth of complimentary tuition for young people who are experiencing barriers to participation in the arts, including financial or other disadvantages.

The NIDA Open Equity Scholarships are available throughout the 2019 Spring holiday program period and are open to all secondary school-aged students nationally, regardless of previous experience or professional ambition.

Applications can be made by individuals or by an organisation on behalf of a young person identified as a suitable scholarship applicant.

NIDA Open incorporates the rigorous, practice-led NIDA training methods into its courses, within a committed and supportive environment to allow young people to achieve their full creative potential. The scholarships can be accessed for every course offered across the country from Darwin to Adelaide, from Sydney to Melbourne. Nearly 50 young creatives will have to chance to grow and expand their talent through the NIDA Equity Scholarship program.

‘These scholarships improve access to acting and creative development education for all young Australians,’ said Tricia Ryan, Head of NIDA Open. ‘Our scholarship winners don’t all have previous performing arts experience but what they do have is a strong desire to bring inspirational, practical performing arts training into their life.’

Lily Matthews (pictured above), a young Quandamooka teenager originally from Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island) was fortunate to win a scholarship to support her place in Darwin in 2018.

‘NIDA has inspired me to take up drama as a subject at school in year 11 and 12 because I feel more confident in script development. I would also like to join a theatre group and participate in more acting classes and audition for shows, movies and musicals in the future.’

Applications for the NIDA Open Equity Scholarships are open until 26 July. The winners will be announced on 23 August, with courses starting on 23 September.

For more information and how to nominate yourself or a studenthttps://www.open.nida.edu.au/scholarships

Thursday, 20 June 2019 14:54

AND THE WINNER IS...

 

The 2019 Sydney Film Prize goes too...Bong Joon-ho's Parasite!

Fresh from winning the biggest prize at Cannes, the renowned Korean director was awarded Sydney Film Festival's prestigious top prize (and $60,000 cash), competing with a selection of 12 Official Competition films.

“This Festival is really amazing, especially the audience…really special and extraordinary," Director Bong said, accepting the award at the State Theatre. "This is the most meaningful prize for me – in this beautiful city and beautiful theatre, and one of the most beautiful audiences in the world.”

Indigenous director Erica Glynn was awarded the Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary's $10,000 cash prize for She Who Must Be ObeyedLoved, a celebration of the life of her mother, the trailblazing Indigenous filmmaker Alfreda Glynn.

Charles Williams took out both the $7000 cash prize for the Dendy Live Action Short Award, and the $7000 Rouben Mamoulian Award for Best Director, in the Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films, for All These Creatures, which also won the Short Film Palme d’Or at Cannes. The $5000 Yoram Gross Animation Award went to Lee Whitmore’sSohrab and Rustum.

The Event Cinemas Australian Short Screenplay Award, a $5000 prize for the best short screenwriting, was awarded to Michael Hudson and Ties That Bind, for its narrative simplicity and complex perspective on family violence. Victoria Hunt’s film Take received a Special Mention for its weaving of found material and dance into a powerful story about the repatriation of stolen Indigenous art.

The $10,000 Sydney-UNESCO City of Film Award, bestowed by Create NSW to a trail-blazing NSW-based screen practitioner, went to Darren Dale and Rachel Perkins of Blackfella Films, with Deborah Mailman presenting the award to filmmaker Rachel Perkins.

Congratulations to all of the winners and all of the finalists! And our thanks to you, the audience, for making this the biggest Sydney Film Festival ever – we look forward to seeing you in 2020 for another huge Festival!

Australia’s national peak body for refugees and local communities come together through food and storytelling

In partnership with Settlement Services International (SSI), the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) is highlighting food during Refugee Week (June 16-22, 2019) and asking everyone to ‘Share a meal, share a story’.

Through its 2019 theme, ‘A World of Stories’, RCOA is encouraging the broader community to celebrate the immense courage, resilience and valuable contributions made by refugees to Australian society.

On Wednesday, June 26, SSI will present cultural activities and performances over a shared meal at its Community Kitchen in Auburn, a place where people from different backgrounds cook, eat, dance, learn and create together.

Through the concept of a shared meal, the Community Kitchen reduces social and cultural isolation of community members, including refugees, people seeking asylum and migrants living in the local Auburn area.

Refugee Week celebrations will include an array of activities and entertainment, including tours of the SSI Friendship Garden, a cultural fashion show, and dance and vocal performances.

“This is a place that lives and breathes the ‘Share a meal, share a story’ ethos,” said SSI General Manager, Public Affairs & Communications, Shannon Kliendienst.

RCOA CEO Paul Power said, “The ‘Share a meal, share a story’ theme for this year’s Refugee Week speaks to the incredible stories and the rich culinary heritage that people bring with them when they come to Australia. Food brings people together, and we’re encouraging people to do just that as they celebrate our refugee communities next week.”

Every fortnight the Community Kitchen serves a warm, culturally familiar meal in a relaxed setting that allows for intercultural and interfaith friendships to be formed. It is a welcoming place where people from different backgrounds meet and learn about each other over lunch and through participating in activities.

Nasrin Azizi came to Australia as a refugee from Afghanistan in 2002. She gained her degree in social work in 2014 and runs a wellbeing group for Afghani women, which aims to decrease social isolation.

“As refugees, we appreciate the freedom of Australia. Dancing was once forbidden in Afghanistan [under Taliban rule] so, by sharing their culture through things like dance and music, the Community Kitchen makes the women in my group feel empowered and builds their self-esteem. Plus they enjoy meeting and learning from other cultures – hearing stories and eating new food.

“The Community Kitchen is one of the best programs to make people feel included.”

Ms Kliendienst said, “We welcome everyone in the local community and beyond to come and be part of our Community Kitchen on June 26 to ‘share a meal, and a story’ with us.”

The event will be sponsored by Allianz, a long-standing corporate partner of SSI. Members of the Allianz executive team will also be volunteering their time on the day.

Allianz Australia Senior Manager, Social Impact, Charis Martin-Ross said that this event is one of many examples of how the ongoing partnership with Allianz and SSI has broadened employee perspectives on diversity and community engagement.

“Allianz is proud to partner with SSI and our partnership has given our employees a better understanding of refugee experiences as well as a chance to connect and give back to our diverse community,” Ms Martin-Ross said.

“We hope our experience showcases the benefits of hiring people with a refugee background. Through our refugee employment programs, I have seen first-hand the talent and potential that refugees bring to the workforce.”

Organisations can get involved in volunteer opportunities to ‘share a meal, share a story’ with SSI’s newcomer community throughout the year. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Event details – Celebrating Refugee Week at SSI Community Kitchen
When: Wednesday, June 26, 2019, 11 am – 2 pm
Where: Auburn Centre for Community, 44A Macquarie Road, Auburn
Program:
11:00 am – Activities commence
11:30 am – Cultural fashion show
12:30 pm – Performances
1:00 pm – Lunch is served

 

About SSI:
Settlement Services International is a community organisation and social business that supports newcomers and other Australians to achieve their full potential. We work with all people who have experienced vulnerability, including refugees, people seeking asylum and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, to build capacity and enable them to overcome inequality.

 


Education will be a centerpiece of tomorrow’s Budget, with students and parents across NSW benefiting from a record investment in 190 new and upgraded schools, 4600 new teachers and psychologists and social workers in every high school.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian joined Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell at Kent Road Public School to announce an unprecedented $18.5 billion Education Budget in 2019-20 alone – an increase of $1.2 billion on the previous year.

The Budget includes an extra $600 million in recurrent spending and $600 million in capital spending in 2019-20.

Ms Berejiklian said the record investment is part of the NSW Government’s plan to have the best education system in Australia, if not the world.

“We are delivering on our promise to provide a quality education to students, no matter where they live or what their circumstances may be,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Mr Perrottet said the funding demonstrated the NSW Government’s commitment to delivering a world class education system for the students of NSW.

“We don’t run surpluses for the sake of it,” Mr Perrottet said. “We run surpluses so we can give young people every opportunity to be their best.

“This record school funding is only possible as a result of strong economic management.”

Ms Mitchell said this Budget recognises the complexity of our education system.

“Not only is this Budget focused on continuing to deliver our record school infrastructure program and hiring new teachers – it also recognises the importance of mental health to student outcomes, as well as the crucial role that quality teachers play in educating our children,” Ms Mitchell said.

In another historic first, the Government will be investing $1.3 billion to clear the maintenance backlog in all public schools left by the former Labor Government by July 2020.
“All students should have the opportunity to work in the best environments possible – and this means ensuring that the 16 years of neglect of our public schools by the former Labor government never happens again,” Ms Mitchell said.

Education Budget highlights:
· $6.7 billion over the next four years to deliver 190 new and upgraded schools
· $88.4 million to hire a full time psychologist and social worker in every government high school
· $120 million over four years to expand before and after school care to make it available to all parents with kids at government primary schools
· $500 million over four years to support non-government schools in building facilities to provide more student places in growing communities
· $20 million over four years for new and existing pre-schools to build renovate or extend their facilities.

 

Superannuation insurance is going to change on 1 July and Legal Aid Queensland is warning consumers who have multiple superannuation funds to consider which fund offers best value for money.

Legal Aid Queensland’s Senior Lawyer (Consumer Advocate) Paul Holmes said these changes follow a Productivity Commission Superannuation Inquiry, which made a number of recommendations to prevent insurance fees or premiums from greatly reducing people’s super.

“After the changes on 1 July, inactive super accounts with low balances will be closed and either rolled into other accounts, or potentially the government-operated fund,” Mr Holmes said.

“Therefore, the problem is the fund with the lowest balance might have the best insurance cover, which people risk losing if they don’t consider their options carefully as insurance policies under super funds can vary greatly.”

Mr Holmes said while super fund operators are endeavouring to contact their customers, remote and regional Queenslanders including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders may not receive their mail with enough time to be able to properly consider their options.

“We’re encouraging people to get on the front foot and check what super they have through ATO’s online services,” he said.

“We also encourage people to seek financial advice to consider whether they should keep any insurance they might have in their existing superannuation account.”

Mr Holmes said the changes may also affect people who have default insurance included in their superannuation which provides them with income protection insurance and for Total and Permanent Disability (TPD).

“If people have this kind of insurance under their superannuation and the account has been inactive for 16 months, the policy will be cancelled, regardless of the account balance,” he said.

“If consumers decide they want the insurance they will have to ensure they contribute to the account within the required time, or contact their super fund and opt in to the default insurance.”

Mr Holmes said the changes on 1 July may bring some positives for consumers, such as the removal of exit fees if people want to change their super fund, and a cap of 3 percent fees charged on any account with less than $6000 in it, but consumers must keep up-to-date with the changes affecting their super account.

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