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Strategy released as migrant population increases

CELEBRATION and promotion of cultural diversity in the region is at the heart of a new Gladstone Regional Council strategy, which will fittingly be launched at the opening of Multicultural Week tonight.

The council's 2014-2019 Cultural Diversity Strategy aims to help Gladstone's burgeoning migrant population integrate into society, said the council's multicultural community relations officer, Luis Arroyo.

Since 2001 the number of first generation migrants in Gladstone has increased four-fold because of Australian Government incentives for skilled migrants to move here, Mr Arroyo said.

First generation migrants now account for 20% of the Gladstone region's population.

Many of the first generation migrant population speak English as a second language, and benefit from help in developing English skills and learning about Australian culture.

Explanation of the health system, social system, legal system and how to interact with police were areas where explanation and assistance was valued by newcomers, Mr Arroyo said.

A key focus of the strategy will be fostering relationships across the business and service community to support the important work of local not-for-profit organisations.

"We're looking to see what resources we have in the community and what are the needs and gaps and how can we best work together to avoid duplication, knowing that funding from the state and federal government has become increasingly scarce," he said.

"We are trying to work hard, to establish alliances and partnerships to deliver those needs."

Multicultural Week starts on Friday, culminating in the Gladstone Region Multicultural Festival on Sunday, August 3.

MULTICULTURAL WEEK: WHAT'S ON

Friday

6pm: Opening ceremony at CQUniversity Gladstone campus, Leo Zussino Building

7pm: International movie night at CQUni

Tomorrow

8am: 2014 Qld Open Chess Tournament at CQUni

7pm: International movie night at CQUni

Sunday

9am: 2014 Qld Open Chess Tournament at CQUni

10am: Basketball competition between Filipino communities of Gladstone and Rockhampton at Kev Broome Stadium

Curtis Coast literary dinner at Scottie's

Topics:  diversity gladstone regional council multicultural



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