CEO Gail Ker OAM, Director of Social Services Mary Asic-Kobe and Research & Evaluation Manager Isobel Nye recently attended the annual International Metropolis Conference, hosted by The Metropolis Project, the largest international network of researchers, policy makers, and community groups engaged in identifying, understanding, and responding to developments in migration and diversity. Held in The Hague during September 18-22, Isobel co-presented a workshop on the research project Syrian Conflict Refugees with research partner Jock Collins from the University of NSW. Gail particularly valued the accompanying Building Multicultural Cities Study Tour, led by The Hague’s Deputy Mayor and Alderman Rabin Baldewsingh, saying that the diversity of the areas they visited reminded her of Logan City.

“The two areas I visited were the key neighbourhoods that offered settlement to the newly arrived and predominantly comprised of migrants. There was a library that was open and welcoming to people to participate in language classes, engage in community activities and link to services; a primary school hub similar to that of our Hubs in Schools projects; an Arts, Performance and Cultural Centre very similar to BEMAC and a shopping precinct that represented a diversity of businesses all run by migrant business owners. I clearly saw the local leadership exhibited by people from local Government and outstanding community champions like Rabin. Perhaps the message is that in times where global levels of leadership are changing, these local leaders are stepping up and demonstrating commitment to diversity and championing the social and economic benefits derived from migration,” she said. Gail is excited for the 2018 Metropolis Conference of which Access is one of the working sub-committee partners. The conference will be held in Sydney, co-hosted by SSI and AMF and is expected to attract a national and international audience of over 1000 attendees.