Mitchell Multicultural Community Association Incorporated, MMCAI, aims to support people of all cultures in Mitchell Shire. Pictured is the committee; deputy chair Vasalia Govendor, secretary, Dushyanthy Govendor, treasurer Meghraj Dahiya, and chair Nikki Simos.

By Steph McNicol

MITCHELL Multicultural Community Association Incorporated, MMCAI, launched in the Mitchell Shire last week as a one-stop shop for culturally-diverse residents.

Chair of the committee Nikki Simos, former chair of Wallan Future Hub, said she envisioned a group that would support culturally diverse people in any way they might need it.

“In 2018 after we had the multicultural festival … there was a request for a meeting to establish a group that would support cultures in the shire,” Ms Simos said.

“We established the association, we have a committee of management, and the council has supported us with an information night [last week] to promote the group and advise members of the community what we’re all about.”

Ms Simos said MMCAI hoped to support people of all cultural backgrounds by starting sub-committees of all types to support various aspects of what people might need.

“We’re encouraging new members of all cultural backgrounds and diversity to be inclusive and get involved,” she said.

“We’re looking at organising sub-committees for fundraising, sport, entertainment, governance, and anything else we might need.

“We want to organise language, resource and literacy programs, and we’ll have translated documents available for people that need them. We plan to support people with visas at some point, if they need support filling out forms.

“We also need the ongoing support of fundraising; we can put it back into women’s leadership, youth leadership and disability support.”

She said of the first things MMCAI woud do was plan an official launch, involving everyone who wanted to take part to organise food, entertainment, children’s activities, and creating programs for the community.

Ms Simos said she moved to Wallan 17 years ago and found herself struggling to connect with people.

“If I’m honest…I couldn’t find a network I could fit in with, but I was fortunate because I lived and worked here, so I started to build my relationships and branch out,” she said.

“There are people with the same backgrounds feeling the same way, with nowhere to go, nowhere to share their food, drinks, art, and with the expansion we know Mitchell Shire will have, there is a need for people to know they can go to MMCAI – a place where they can get support.

“Whether you are part of a younger generation or a senior generation, we have got people in the community that can support you through it. People are people, and they can give and receive love.”

Ms Simos said MMCAI was hosting a competition for youth in the shire aged 14 to 28 to design a logo for the branding of the group, due to close March 8.

The competition challenges youth to design a logo to capture the mission of MMCAI while using the group’s chosen colour of cyan.

Submissions for the competition, and all other enquiries, can be sent to MMCAI at mitchell.mca.inc@gmail.com or by the group’s Facebook page, Mitchell Multicultural Community Association Incorporated.