The Backstory: Diversitat and MACS merger
Cultura emerged as the new organisation from the merger of Diversitat and Multicultural Aged Care Services (MACS) in 2022.
The History of Diversitat
Established in 1976, Diversitat has a core set of services and business operations that support the multicultural communities in the region, with an emphasis on building social justice.
First known as the Geelong Migrant Resource Centre and later the Geelong Ethnic Communities Council, the change in name to Diversitat occurred in 2005. This reflected the broader diversity of services offered across a wider geographical area.
Diversitat offered services in settlement, community development, youth services, aged support, training and education, as well as arts and events.
Diversitat also managed The Pulse Community Radio and the Belmont Oppe Shoppe (the latter closed in early 2022).
The history of the Multicultural Aged Care Services (MACS)
Multicultural Aged Care Services (MACS Complete Care) was established in 1994, with the support of Geelong Ethnic Communities Council (GECC). The dream of providing respectful care services to the ageing culturally and linguistically diverse community took its first step with the opening of the Geelong Multicultural Hostel.
The hostel operated successfully for 10 years before Mary Costa House – a high care facility – was constructed on the same site.
With the goal of creating a model of care termed ‘Invisible Walls’ that accommodates the aging transition with minimal stress and disruption to residents, MACS opened Bella Chara in 2009, adding a 60-bed supported residential facility to its services.
In 2015, a 30 bed facility (Annie O’Malley House) and a Piazza Streetscape was added to the Commonwealth funded facility. MACS Complete Care also added independent living units, palliative care, dementia specific care, respite care, privately funded home services and home care.