Cultura Connect: October 2023

A word from our CEO

Dear friends,

It seems that worldwide disruption and devastation is simply relentless at the moment. Invasions and bombings by Hammas, earthquakes in Afghanistan, illegal refugees stuck on the border of Pakistan and the humanitarian crisis in Armenia.

On a global scale, I would say things are beyond catastrophic at the moment. Day after day these people are being subjected to violence and unequivocable sadness and grief and in turn, this causes anger, resentment, fear, and emotional unrest.

Australia’s multiculturalism resembles a vibrant quilt made from the patterns of cultures, traditions, and stories. At Cultura, we work hard to preserve the beauty of this diversity and foster unity within our culturally diverse communities.

Our commitment to embracing multiculturalism goes beyond words. Through our everyday work and actions, we are privileged to witness the beauty of cultural exchange and the strength that comes from collaborative efforts.

In recent months, we have focused our efforts on making our programs even more accessible and beneficial for our communities through the implementation of the feedback insights collected from our service participants and families. As we are starting to plan for the 2024 Pako Festa and other upcoming events and initiatives, we are working to build an environment where every voice is heard and every culture is celebrated.

In the past year, we have laid strong foundations for Cultura and as we continue our journey, we are excited about the future. I would like to invite our valued partners, service participants, supportive families, committed employees, and invaluable volunteers to join us for the Annual Public Meeting. The meeting will be held on the 16th of November at Cultura Chapel – 100 Weddell Rd, North Geelong at 6pm, and will present an opportunity for us to reflect on our journey and celebrate our achievements. Please RSVP by the 9th of November to [email protected].

We hope that in everything we do at Cultura, our community can feel the spirit of inclusion and true social cohesion. Let’s celebrate the diversity of our community – it is what makes Australia truly extraordinary.

Kind regards,

Joy Leggo OAM


Please join us in congratulating this incredible couple on becoming Australian citizens. Hadeel and Suroor were Cultura’s first CSP applicants and arrivals over five years ago, and they have been model CSP participants. Despite the limited number of people from their country of origin living in Geelong, they chose to call Geelong home instead of moving to the Northern Suburbs of Melbourne to be closer to their own cultural community. Both have made significant progress – Suroor is now a Project Manager in a building company, and Hadeel works in our Settlement team while also serving as Cultura’s extraordinary photographer.

We had the opportunity to talk to Hadeel about her experience, and she graciously shared her story. “Among the mixed feelings I had on that day, there were some quiet moments when I wanted to go back to where it all started. It wasn’t just five years ago when we arrived in Australia or seven years ago when we were waiting in a third country. Our journey began long before that when two people fell in love, but they couldn’t get married or be together in their country because their marriage was against the law. 13 years ago, we believed there must be a place in this world where we could be safe and together. Here we are, proudly calling one of the most beautiful countries ‘Our Home,'” says Hadeel. Hadeel and Suroor are an amazing couple and serve as a perfect example of the great contributions refugees make to their new homes.


Cultura’s Youth department is buzzing with excitement as we prepare to launch a range of innovative new programs aimed at empowering multicultural youth in the Geelong region. Co-designed to address the unique challenges faced by young individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds, these initiatives focus on fostering personal growth, community development, and generating opportunities for young people to thrive.

The Netball and Futsal Academy empowers participants to develop sporting skills, play in teams, and compete in local competitions through workshops with mentors, professional athletes, and guest speakers.

The Arts Music Leadership Program, also known as ‘The Root’, is a multidisciplinary initiative providing creative development opportunities in four key areas: Singing/Songwriting, Music Production, Visual Arts, and Dance, all guided by professional Artist Mentors.

The Wraparound Program is an intensive support service engaging young people involved in Youth Justice in ways that reflect their unique strengths, increasing their confidence and advocacy ability.

The newly appointed Senior Practitioner, Katt Beames, indicates that the youth team has a collection of inspirational new initiatives under development. We couldn’t be more excited and look forward to what lies ahead for multicultural youth in the Geelong community.


We are incredibly proud of our students who have been working hard and successfully progressing in their studies! Working alongside Northern Futures, our Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care students are a third of the way into their course and have recently began their work placement as part of the course requirements.

We were able to assist our students in finding the right workplace that meets our student needs and allows them to have real workplace experiences and practical training to set our students up for future employment.

During the past few weeks we have worked on the unit ‘Provide First Aid in and Care Education Setting’ where students were able to gain an understanding in applying emergency first aid procedures to children and babies. We are currently focusing on developing our skills in providing nurturing and safe environments for children to ensure they have the best possible chance to thrive and grow.



It has been a busy few months within our volunteer sector as we have restructured our Cultura Volunteer program.

Our Volunteers Learning and Development platform through Go1 has been launched. This is a very exciting initiative that will allow our volunteers to stay up-to-date with mandatory and optional training courses.

We are currently working on registering all volunteers on Better Impact, which will enable volunteers and supervisors to record hours contributed to the organisation.

We are pleased to have welcomed many new volunteers, including those in Stella’s Café, Boutique, Well-being program, Gardening, Arts & Crafts, Administration support, Job Club, Classroom assistants, and many other incredible individuals who are helping new arrivals settle into their new homes or teaching them how to drive.

We still have many volunteer positions to fill. If you can dedicate a few hours of your time each week to help our clients, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Amanda Natai, at [email protected].

People & Culture

Exciting News!

Cultura is thrilled to introduce our comprehensive training packages developed to nurture diversity, inclusivity, and intercultural management competence within your organisation.

In today’s globalised and culturally diverse society, having this knowledge is essential, as it empowers employees to attain cultural competence, resulting in more effective interactions with colleagues and clients.

Our training program is dedicated to addressing critical issues such as cultural bias, ignorance, diversity compliance, lack of cultural acceptance, racism, and the perpetuation of cultural assumptions. Cultura’s Cultural Awareness training is tailored to eliminating workplace disharmony and fostering a deep sense of cultural understanding.

For all enquiries about Cultural Awareness Training, please contact us at [email protected].

Current Job Opportunities with Cultura

We have some exciting vacancies available at Cultura:

  • Accounts Payable Officer
  • Program Facilitator, Youth Services
  • Housekeeping/Laundry Assistant
  • Personal Carer
  • Activity Worker
  • Trainer and Assessor
  • Wellbeing Worker

For more information, please visit our ‘Careers’ page

Community Aged & Disability

Spring has sprung at the Healthy Living Centre! We are celebrating Positive Ageing this spring in October and November with six sessions of Zumba Gold to warm you up from the inside out. Join us to energize your body and mind.

Zumba offers a multitude of benefits for older adults. It provides a fun and low-impact workout that improves cardiovascular fitness, balance, and flexibility, all while grooving to lively music. This enjoyable form of exercise enhances social engagement, offering a chance to make new friends. Zumba is suitable for various fitness levels, making it accessible to everyone.

Zumbalicious Wednesdays will occur on October 4, 11, 18, 25, and November 1 and 8 from 1:30-2:30 pm at the Healthy Living Centre, 25-41 Arung Ave, Norlane. Bookings are essential, please call 5222 7275 or email [email protected] to secure your spot.

Join us in celebrating Positive Ageing while reaping the numerous benefits of Zumba for your overall health and happiness. We look forward to sharing these enjoyable and health-boosting moments with you!

Adult Community & Further Education

In a joyful culmination of Term 3, our students from ACFE (Adult Community Further Education) program set off on an excursion to Queen’s Park in Highton, Geelong. This outing had a focus on learning, mental health, and wellbeing, offering a memorable day out.
Among the activities that our students enjoyed was a visit to a playground, where they had an incredible time climbing and swinging carefree. What a delightful way to take a mental health break!

We then embarked on a tranquil walk along the Barwon River, providing our students with a chance to reconnect with nature and reflect on the learnings they have acquired during Term 3.
Shared experiences are one of the best ways for students to build understanding and unity, enhancing both their mental wellbeing and their educational journey. At Cultura ACFE program, we pay great attention to the development of our students, not only academically but also emotionally, which we believe to be crucial for success in a multicultural society.

Pulse - Community Radio

A recent article on the Amrap (the Australian Music Radio Airplay Project) on the APRA/AMCOS website interviewed Stu Mackenzie from ‘King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’ reminiscing about the early support the band received from 94.7 the Pulse.

‘It was probably 94.7 The Pulse in Geelong. I went to high school in ‘G-Town’ and cut my teeth playing in bands there. The Pulse was really supportive of us, considering we were bratty, annoying kids making sometimes good, sometimes terrible music. We went in pretty regularly for interviews and stuff. Community radio rules!’, says Stu Mackenzie.

As Stu mentioned, 94.7 The Pulse in Geelong has connected local acts with their audiences for over 25 years.

‘There is a good chance a musical group will find its audience through community radio’, reckons John Lamp – a long time 94.7 The Pulse’s broadcaster. ‘There is a greater opportunity for new and emerging artists to develop relationships with specific programs and presenters in ways that would not be possible with mainstream stations. There is a greater probability that there will be someone at a community radio station who likes their music because of that diversity.’

Residential Aged Care

Spring has burst upon us with its radiant sunshine, accompanied by the arrival of a brand-new fountain and the soon-to-be-completed new section of our garden.

Our adventures have been as lively as the season itself, with bus trips to the Narana Aboriginal Cultural Center and lunches at ‘Sand and Stone’ cafe in Grovedale, where we enjoyed some delicious scones. Our regular sightseeing trips have continued, and on sunny days, we have restarted our daily walking groups, exploring the garden’s beauty.

We celebrated Ukrainian National Day with homemade potato cakes, accompanied by traditional music and dancing. Our Chapel was transformed into an art gallery last month, showcasing a broad array of art pieces created by residents, staff, and volunteers.

In September, we hosted the incredible Stiletto Sisters as part of the Music Always program. Their Gypsy folk music, rooted in the performers’ Hungarian heritage, had us up and dancing, clapping, and tapping our feet.

One of the most recent highlights was our annual footy tipping competition. Congratulations to Henrica from Bella Chara for taking first place. We are looking forward to the upcoming trophy presentation and end-of-season happy hour. Cheers to a vibrant and eventful spring season!

Upcoming Events


Save the date for Geelong’s most loved community event! If you would like to get involved, please email us on [email protected].

To keep up to date on all things Pako Festa follow us on our social media channels: Instagram  &  Facebook


Cultura APM 2023

We are delighted to invite you to participate in Cultura Annual Public Meeting on November 16th at 6:00 pm, Cultura Residential, the Chapel – 100 Weddell Rd, North Geelong.

To attend, please RSVP to [email protected] by the 9th of November.


Upcoming Events Held by Our Affiliated Communities:





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We are Cultura.

Cultura emerged as the vibrant new organisation from the merger of Diversitat and Multicultural Aged Care Services (MACS) in 2022. 

ABN: 71 355 229 834

Multicultural Community Services Geelong Inc. trading as Cultura

Cultura acknowledges Aboriginal traditional owners of country throughout Victoria and pays respect to their cultures and elders past, present and emerging.

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