IN AUSTRALIA: Red Cross, MSP Community Development team facilitated the May MSP Conference discussing the theme: How do Communities and Organisations work cohesively with each other?

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On 31 May, MSP Community Development team facilitated the May MSP Conference discussing the theme:
How do Communities and Organisations work cohesively with each other? Challenges, strengths and other ways of
working.

Highlights of the conference:

Red Cross Community Development, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement Officer (ACT/SE NSW)
Jonathan Cornforth did the Acknowledgement of Country as well as of Reconciliation Week. The conference theme was also conceived to include the wish to strengthen and expand collaborations between our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander colleagues and communities, and Red Cross MSP staff and the communities we work with. Thanks to the conference, a group of MSP staff had the privilege to meet and initiate exciting dialogues with Jonathan and Lynnice Church1 to further such collaborations and engage in strong future partnerships, so watch this space!

All our guests and the Conference:

Atem Atem – STARTTS Family in Cultural Transition program officer
Anthony Bee- Conteh – Psychosocial Training and Education Response to Communities Inc. Organization. Hedayat Osyan – Worker at Community Migrants Resource Centre (CMRC), Y Foundations, and Sunshine  Jonathan Cornforth – Red Cross Community Development, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Engagement Officer (ACT/SE NSW) Sami Mongol – Board member at Human Care Welfare Turkan Aksoy – Community Development Officer, Canterbury-Bankstown Council (Sydney) Viji Dhayanathan – Tamil Women’s Group volunteer Lynnice Church is our passionate Red Cross Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategy and Engagement State Lead for NSW and ACT. The event was the result of the ongoing meaningful collaborations the MSP Community Development team has Church is our passionate Red Cross Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategy and Engagement State Lead for NSW and ACT. The event was the result of the ongoing meaningful collaborations the MSP Community Development team has

The event was the result of the ongoing meaningful collaborations the MSP Community Development team has been part of with workers and community members within the Cumberland and Canterbury-Bankstown LGAs. All
our guests are treasured individuals of our community, and with whom we hope to continue learning from and working with. While the day possibly (and hopefully!) left participants with more questions than answers, the
conference offered a chance to reflect upon best-practices and challenges organizations might have in trying to truly engage with, understand, listen to and collaborate with local community groups. Reflections considered the need for workers to think more broadly, while engaging communities at a human level and beyond the concernsdictated by funding restrictions, territorial competition or program-specific objectives. A strong wish to increase and improve knowledge and practice sharing was expressed, hoping this could be the first of more constructively frank and refreshing dialogues amongst partner-stakeholders. Break-out groups, Guests and participants had then a chance to break into four smaller groups to explore topics in more depth with a pair of guests while enjoying little treats provided in the rooms. Some comments were that staff would have liked to have opportunities to talk to all guests in such setting, which is an incentive to continue such dialogues in
the future.

Farewell for now, but see you soon!

Chatting went loud after groups reconvened to the main conference room and the event concluded with MSP Community Development team staff member Jo Erana Wirihana offering a heartfelt song as well as words of appreciation in te reo Māori thanking guests for their great contribution and generosity.

Australia Redcross, MSP 31 May 2017

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