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Merri-bek Connectors

About the Merri-bek Connectors

The Merri-bek Connector program is run by Merri-bek City Council. The program helps us as a Council to speak with and hear from community members who speak languages other than English.

In 2016, over 10,000 Merri-bek residents who spoke a language other than English at home reported difficulty speaking English. That’s why the Connectors are so important.

Connectors help us to communicate with our community and help us understand our community’s needs.

How does the program work?

Merri-bek Connectors sit between Merri-bek City Council and the community. The Merri-bek Connectors program is voluntary.

Merri-bek Connectors: 

  • Ask the community what information they need
  • Share information from the Council with their community
  • Tell us how we can improve messages and translations from the Council

Messages are on topics such as:

  • Council services and programs
  • Important Council updates about living in Merri-bek
  • COVID-19 vaccination program and COVIDSafe behaviour

What do the Merri-bek Connectors do?

The Merri-bek Connectors help us as a Council to communicate with our community in ways that our community needs.

A Connector might spend 2 to 3 hours each week:

  • Sharing weekly messages with their communities
  • Giving us advice on the best way to communicate with their community
  • Reaching out to the disconnected people in their community
  • Answering questions from their community
  • Attending training (such as mental health first aid, how to build confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines, etc.)
  • Attending monthly Merri-bek Connector meetings

At the moment, a part of the Merri-bek Connectors program is focused on sharing coronavirus information with the community. This includes promoting vaccinations.

Connectors Messages (September 2022 - August 2023)

06/02/2023

Dear Merri-bek Connectors, I hope you are all well. We are excited to invite you to our Bring Your Bill Day Event. This is a very important event for our community to understand how to save on their power cost, learn about solar energy and get to know Council and Government subsidies. We filmed wonderful videos in different languages to promote this event to our multicultural community with the help of our Connectors.

Please find the event details:

Date: Wednesday 15 February 2023

Time: 3 – 7 pm

Venue: Glenroy Community Hub, 50 Wheatsheaf Road, Glenroy

Cost: FREE

A light halal lunch will be provided.

For registration click here.

24/01/2023

Dear Connectors, The Victorian Child Safe Standards changed on 1 July 2022, and we are updating our policies and procedures to meet the new requirements. We want to ensure children and young people are kept safe whenever they have contact with us, and that they know how to speak up and have their say. There are many different ways we have contact with children and young people:

  • We run supported playgroups,
  • We have Council run childcare
  • We have youth and library programs
  • Children and young people can attend events or festivals that we run

Therefore we want to hear from children, young people, and families about what they think is important in relation to child safety and wellbeing. Please contribute to this short survey and share the survey link with your community so that our multicultural communities also have their say! Thank you.

23/01/2023

Dear Connectors, I would like to share an event that might be interesting for you and your communities. There will be a community conversation about how to communicate with impact in the workplace and then it will be followed by a Job Circle with practical hands-on mentoring on how to be work-ready and overcome key challenges in the workplace. This event is ideal for people looking for jobs in local government as well as emerging leaders, community organisations, and employers with job vacancies.

Event Details:

Date: Thursday, 16 February 2023
Time: 6 to 8:30 pm
Venue: Glenroy Community Hub, 50 Wheatsheaf Road, Glenroy

Halal dinner will be served.

Registration is essential and can be done at this link.

Please also feel free to share it with your communities.

19/01/2023

Dear Connectors, Merri-bek Youth team is running many fun and free workshops during the summer school holiday period. There are many different workshops to choose and you can find more information here. Please circulate the flyer within your community if you think it is relevant. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you!

17/01/2023

Dear All, I hope you had a great weekend! I would like to share an exciting opportunity for you to participate in a climate justice campaign with an organization called Democracy in Colour. Democracy in Colour is a national racial and economic justice organisation led entirely by people of colour. One of their key areas of work is Climate Justice. They are launching a climate justice campaign in partnership with the Yarra City Council and Merri-bek City Council so that we can take action on climate change together. They offer free training for you and the training will be catered for your needs and interest. For example, you might want to build a community garden but you don’t know how to then they will design a training that suits your needs. They may also help you to find grants to bring your ideas to life. This is just an example to give an idea. It might be a different need/interest that you might have in mind. Please also share this with your friends/families/communities if you think it is relevant to them. You don’t need any special skills, just passion for justice, equity, and our environment to join this campaign! Please register yourself to join the Melbourne Climate Justice group. They will be in touch about the next steps and how you can be a part of the climate justice campaign! You can find the registration link here. Let’s come together to find solutions to climate change, protect our communities and create a more just and equal world in the process. Any questions/comments/feedback please reach out to me! Thank you!

11/01/2023

Dear Connectors, I hope you are all settling back into your routine after a great break. I want to send you the first message that we shared on Facebook regarding the 4-bins waste service change. You might find it easy to share the post itself with those who don't necessarily have a language barrier. You can find the Facebook post link here. Please also find the following in-language resources about the 4-bins waste service change for you to share with your communities. English, Arabic, Italian, Turkish, Greek, and Urdu. Please let me know if you have any questions/comments/feedback from the community about this message. Have a beautiful day!

04/01/2023

Dear Connectors, Happy New Year to you all! I hope you’ve been well and had a great break. Coburg Library and Glenroy Community Hub are running weekly free art workshops for people with disability. Please find the attached flyer for more information and share it with your community. Let me know if you have any questions 😊 Have a lovely day!

23/12/2022

Dear Connectors, I want to take this opportunity and thank you for your contribution to the Merri-bek Connectors Program over the last couple of months. We are so grateful that we’ve got your support in reaching our multicultural communities in Merri-bek and we will keep working together to achieve more in 2023. We hope you have a lovely break and spend a wonderful time with your loved ones. And we wish a Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it. Please watch Mayor Angelica Panopoulos’ end-of-year message here  See you next year 😊

16/12/2022

Dear Connectors, Finally, the weather seems really nice this weekend so I hope you’ve got some exciting plans but if you don’t have any other plans then we would like to invite you to a wonderful community celebration. You might already know this, but Carols by the Lake live-on-stage program is returning to Coburg Lake Reserve after 2 long years this Saturday. Bring your picnic rug and pack your dinner and enjoy the festive celebration. If you have any special needs or would like more information about accessibility at Carol’s by the Lake, please contact Council at 9240 1111.
Featuring live on stage 6.30 pm – 9.00 pm:
• Hosted by: Sarah Ward (AKA Yana Alana) and Lisette Wilkinson (Brunswick Secondary College)
• Merri-bek Community Band (formerly Moreland City Band) led by Musical Director, Jordan Murray
• Brunswick Secondary College Choir
• Brunswick Secondary College Chamber Choir
• Brunswick Secondary College Singers
• Michelle Nicolle
• Oliver Clark
• Angela Lumicisi
• Gianni Marinucci
Have a great weekend all!

13/12/2022

Dear Connectors, We know that you always have some great ideas for Council to implement 😊 Now, we would like to hear your project idea that Council could include as part of the 2023/24 Budget. I’m sending the attached video for you to watch and know more about this opportunity. Please also find Merri-bek Council Plan attached. You might want to read Council Plan before you submit your idea. The Council Plan has 30 pages but you can read strategies between pages 15 and 24. Please submit your idea by completing this online form herePlease also share this with your community. We would like to hear from them too. If you have any questions please get in contact with me 😊 Have a beautiful day!

9/12/2022

Dear Connectors, I hope you are all having a beautiful Friday! The much-loved Coburg Night Market is back and will be running for 3 days starting tonight. There will be live music, food vans, and maker’s stalls. When: 9 December from 5 pm to 10 pm, 10 December from 12 pm to 10 pm, 11 December from 12 pm to 8 pm. Where: Coburg Courtyard (Corner of Waterfield Street and Victoria Street) You can also find venue accessibility information below;

✓ Wheelchair Access
✓ Wheelchair Access with Assist
✓ Hearing Loop / Assisted Listening Device
✓ Seated & Standing Available

Coburg Night Market is for all ages and is a family-friendly market. Please feel free to share this with your community if it’s relevant. Have a great weekend everyone!

24/11/2022

Dear Connectors, I hope you have been well. We would like to invite you to play The Adaptation Game with other Merri-bek residents. What is The Adaptation Game?

It is a playful workshop for our residents to connect and help prepare our community to be more resilient to climate change. The game is based on real science about how climate change will affect Merri-bek.

How to play The Adaptation Game?

In The Adaption Game, you and your fellow players will play through scenarios of disasters caused by climate change. You will test your own preparedness and try out realistic options for how to be better prepared in the future.

Come for the game, stay for the connections, and learn how you can make a meaningful contribution to your community’s resilience. Halal lunch will be provided.

When: Saturday, December 3rd, 2022
Time: 10 am – 2 pm
Where: Glenroy Community Hub, 50 Wheatsheaf Rd, Glenroy VIC 3046
Please register yourself here. Please share this workshop with anyone who might be interested in climate change. Please let me know if you have any questions.

8/11/2022

Dear Connectors, It’s another beautiful day and I hope you’re enjoying it 😊 Could you please watch and share the video about the 4 steps of asthma first aid with your community? Your feedback on accessing the information through video content is much appreciated and I’ll try to send you video content at times. If you would like to access the Facebook post you can find it here. Thank you!

7/11/2022

Dear Connectors, I hope you all had a lovely weekend and enjoying the sunny weather 😊 The Glenroy and Fawkner libraries are hosting a family program called Word Play.

• It is designed for preschool (ages 2-5) parents who are looking for some literacy support for their kids.

• The program improves children's spoken English while giving parents advice on how to make the most of their interactions with them through play and reading.

• It also benefits adults' English literacy.

Word Play is running now and will continue until December 15th. It will begin again in the first week of February 2023.
Unfortunately, Glenroy Library hasn’t had any attendees and it may not continue in 2023. We need your help to promote this program in your community so that Glenroy Library receives enough attendees to keep running this program. Sessions take place at Glenroy Library on Thursdays and at Fawkner Library on Wednesdays between 10:30 am and 11:15 am. (During school term) I'm sending you a poster with more information about the Word Play Program. To learn more about how this initiative operates, kindly watch and distribute this video in your message. Thank you so much for all your support!

3/11/2022

Dear Connectors, We are pleased to share an exciting opportunity for you to get involved in one of the Council’s projects. Council has begun a process to move towards a 4-bin waste service. As part of this change, a new 4-bin waste service will be available in Merri-bek from July 2023.Residents will need to sort their waste into 4 bins:
• food and garden organics
• mixed recycling
• glass recycling
• general rubbish

Given the broad community impact of the 4-bin service, we are looking for Community Connectors who can support Council with community engagement for multicultural communities and act as advocates for the 4-bin waste service project within their communities.

As a Connector, you will be required to:

• Attending 1.5 hours in-person workshop to explore opportunities that meet objectives
• Proofreading translated content and collateral – is it correct, user-friendly, and easy to understand?
• Time spent actively engaging communities – for example attending events, pop-ups, Q&A’s
• Responding to community queries about the waste service change
• Commit 3 to 4 hours each month

As a Connector, you will:

• Receive a $650 gift card to recognise your continued time and effort throughout the project.
• Be connected with like-minded, community-oriented people from all over Merri-bek.
• Make a difference in your community by helping them to reduce waste and prepare for the 4-bin.

The project group will be commencing in late November 2022 and continue for 8 months. If you are interested in taking part in this project, please submit your Expression of Interest here. Applications close on Sunday 13 November 2022. Please reach out if you have any questions. Thank you!

28/10/2022

Dear Connectors and Local Partners, I hope you are having a beautiful Friday! I'm reaching out to share a transport project that will impact Fawkner and would like you to provide your feedback if you live/visit/travel to Fawkner. Fawkner is a suburb with very high car dependency. This means that the main form of transport in the area is by cars, and other methods of getting around are difficult. We want to ensure that all Fawkner residents have the option to use sustainable transport options, as well as using a car, and make it easier for those who don’t or can’t drive a car to get around. That's why we're planning to improve sustainable modes of transport in Fawkner. Please click on this link and tell us how could walking, riding bikes and public transport be easier and better in Fawkner? Your feedback will help us identify what projects are needed in our plan and prioritise them. Please feel free to share this with your communities who might be interested in providing feedback for this project. Have a lovely weekend!

24/10/2022

Dear Connectors, I hope you all had a lovely weekend! This week is children's week, and we would like to invite you and your children to Merri-bek Civic Centre for a range of activities. Please see the details in the flyer and share it with your community. Please also see the Facebook link here if you want to share it on your Facebook account.

18/10/2022

Dear Connectors and Local Partners, I would like to let you know about the new park naming in Glenroy and would really appreciate your input. Council have created a new park at 132-134 Cardinal Road, Glenroy, as a part of the ‘A Park Close to Home’ project. The ‘A Park Close to Home’ project aims to make sure every household in Merri-bek has access to green open space to enjoy. After an extended community submission process, Council have created a shortlist of suggested names for the community to vote on. You can find the suggested name as follows;

• Stewart Murray Park: After an Indigenous rights activist, WW2 soldier & Glenroy resident.
• Bagung Djerring Park: Means 'gather together in Woi-Wurrung language.
• Walert Park: Meaning 'possum' in Woi-Wurrung language.
• Yubup Park: Meaning 'parrakeet' in Woi-Wurrung language.
• Citadel Park: Named after a place of worship/meeting for the Salvation Army
• Topluluk Park: Meaning 'community' in Turkish language.

Please encourage your community who lives in Merri-bek to vote on the new park name. All votes will be counted, and the name with the majority of votes will become the official name of the park (subject to Council approval). Voting closes at 5 pm Friday 28 October 2022. You will need to register a login for this site, Park Close to Home: Cardinal Road Glenroy | Conversations Merri-bekin order to make a submission. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you!

10/10/2022

Dear Connectors and Local Partners, I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! I would like to inform you that PRONIA, Australian Greek Welfare Organization, will incorporate a series of monthly workshops starting this week! It will be free of charge and available to the Greek community and residents from other cultural backgrounds as well.

The main purpose of these workshops is to assist newly arrived migrants and those that have been in Australia for longer to get to know their rights, options, and the system. There will be seminars with lawyers, accountants, educators, and dietitians that will share their knowledge based on what they think the key issues and concerns are with our diverse community. The first workshop series will revolve around employment–building skills and knowing the employment industry and it will be via Zoom.

Workshop 1: Explore Yourself
When: Thursday, 13 October, 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Workshop 2: Explore the Employment Sector
When: Thursday, 27 October, 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Presenter: Warren Brewer, Certified HR Professional and Employment Consultant

For registration, please scan the QR code on the flyer. This is a great initiative for you to share with your community and please see the workshop flyer for more information. Enjoy your week ahead and please reach out if you have any questions :)

03/10/2022

Dear Connectors and Local Partners, I hope you are all off to a great start to your week 😊 I’m reaching out to seek your help for one of the projects our Community Engagement team is working on. We are interested in understanding the varied attitudes and behaviours towards health and wellbeing across our diverse Merri-bek community. We would like to know how you use our Active Merri-bek facilities, which programs you participate in, and how we can improve your experience. That’s why we encourage all of you to complete the survey here https://bit.ly/3RjjGMQ. Please also share the survey link with your community. Your feedback will help us provide programs, classes, and activities that meet our community’s needs. Each person who completes a survey will go into a draw for a chance to win a $300 gift card. The survey will close on Sunday, the 16th of October 2022. We also need your help with something else. We know that most of you run/are part of community groups (Women’s group, Senior’s group, Digital literacy group, Parent group, etc.) and since the survey is not translated into other languages, our Community Engagement Partner who is responsible for this project wants to visit your group catch-ups, where she can let the community know about the project and will assist them in their participation to complete the survey with IPADS if they want. If you want to support us with this project, please send me the day and time that your groups meet and I’ll arrange for our Community Engagement Partner to visit you. Please don’t hesitate to reach me if you have any questions. Have a lovely evening all,

28 September 2022

Dear Connectors and Local Partners, Centre of Muslim Wellbeing will be delivering a Mental Health and Wellbeing Workshop as part of Council’s Social Recovery Plan. This session will be presented by psychologist Sundas Rehman and you can see the workshop invitation attached.

When: Friday, 30 September from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm

Where: Fawkner Senior Citizens’ Centre, 79 Jukes Road Fawkner

Light refreshments will be provided. Please feel free to share the invitation with your community and let us know if you have any questions. Have a beautiful day!

26 September 2022

Dear Connectors, I hope you’re all well. I’m back from my annual leave and had a great time with my family in Turkey and ready to keep working 😊 I will work from Turkey for 2 weeks and will be back to work from the office from the 10th of October. I am reaching out to inform you that we are updating our publication database and we need your assistance in determining which publications the communities you represent read and listen to. Could you please send me a list of your community newspapers, online portals, television, radio, and social media pages that have been actively working and covering the community activities? I’d be also grateful if you could provide me with the contact information of these publications. Updating our culturally and linguistically diverse publication database will help our Communications team at Council know who to get in contact with when we want to reach certain communities. Please let me know if you have any questions. Your prompt response in this regard is highly appreciated. Thank you so much for your support!

19 September 2022

Dear Connectors, Below is an optional volunteer opportunity for anyone interested in the topic. Bring your experience and ideas to talk about safe and affordable housing. In this session, we will consider our Council’s commitment to increase the provision of safe and affordable housing. We will look at the different parts of Council's affordable housing work. You will be able to share feedback and ideas on Council’s Affordable Housing Action Plan. There will be a report with the feedback gathered on the day to Council.

When: Friday 7 October from 9.30 - 12pm
Where: Glenroy Community Hub, 50 Wheatsheaf Road, Glenroy.

This meeting will be in person in English. Translations and interpreters are available on request.

Who will be there:
• Housing providers
• People with lived experience of social housing
• People with lived experience of homelessness
• Developers
• Government agencies
• Charities
• Other interested community members

You will get information about the Affordable Housing Action Plan before the event. Light snacks are provided on the day.

If you are interested:
1) Register your attendance via this link - Safe and Affordable Homes: A forum to discuss local action Tickets, Fri 07/10/2022 at 9:30 am | Eventbrite
2) Reply to this email so I can let the organiser know you will be attending. Thanks heaps, Ezgi

9 September 2022

Hi everyone, a friendly reminder there is a pop-up COVID Vaccination clinic on Saturday 17 September, from 11:00am to 3:00pm at Glenroy Community Hub, Multi-purpose room in Glenroy. Come along and enjoy a free post-vaccination coffee or tea. There will be snacks and fresh fruit provided on the day. Book here - https://bit.ly/3QQL2uz

9 September 2022

Dear Connectors, I hope you are all having a lovely Friday 😊 Please feel free to distribute the following message to your communities. I will also send this message through WhatsApp chat. 2022 Merri-bek Awards nominations are closing on Friday, the 16th of September and we would like you and your communities to nominate an individual or organisation for this meaningful award. As I mentioned at our meeting last night, each year we call on the local community to help celebrate those who have enriched our community and inspired their peers through outstanding service and commitment. The annual Merri-bek Awards are open to any group or individual whose activity has improved the quality of life of others in Merri-bek. A nominee could be anyone who lives, works, studies, plays, or volunteers in Merri-bek. Nominations can be submitted for more than one category for the same group/individual. However, a separate nomination form must be submitted for each category you would like to nominate the group/individual for. Please visit this website Moreland Awards Nomination Form 2022 to make a nomination. If members of your community would prefer to fill out the form in their own language, that is more than welcome, and we will make arrangements for translation for their form.
Winners will be announced at our Merri-bek Awards Ceremony on Tuesday 18 October. Have a great weekend.

You can email communications@moreland.vic.gov.au if you have any questions about this program.