Social Inclusion Week
Bringing Communities Together
"Encouraging communities to reconnect and be inclusive of all cultures, nationalities and the disadvantaged is what Social Inclusion Week is all about!"
Initiated and first launched in 2009 by Dr. Jonathon Welch AM, founder of the Choir of Hard Knocks (now the Choir of Hope & Inspiration) this years 2010 Social Inclusion Week (SIW) will run from November 20 to 28 around Australia.
"I believe Social Inclusion Week is one of the most important national initiatives for Australian society," Welch said.
"We live in a society today where fear has replaced community in many instances. People live in neighbourhoods and have never met their neighbours. They fear the change in the look of their community. SIW is about encouraging Australians to reconnect on a local level. To celebrate social diversity and help overcome the loneliness and isolation which is very real in many communities around the country."
Welch said SIW will see hundreds of events being planned by community groups and individuals around Australia.
"We are inviting communities and organizations around the country to hold their own National Street Party -- and invite everyone along. Already we have many Street Parties registered and it has been heartening to see how many community groups are coming on board this year. The key to their success is that these events are created by the community, for the community.
"We also have some major events happening -- including climbing the Story Bridge in Brisbane, and a series of Q&A panel sessions in a number of states to generate a national conversation on social issues. Prominent social leaders with links to the social inclusion agenda will discuss the implications of social division in Australia today, and look at possible solutions to overcome this very real problem."
"We have a focus on intergenerational engagement this year, so schools are also getting involved. In Brisbane, were partnering with the yLead Association to create an event where young students invite their grandparents to come along to a morning tea, to foster stronger links between generations in their community," Dr. Welch said.
SIW 2010 also features national and state Ambassadors who will represent the week.
"We are thrilled to have Jack Manning-Bancroft, the 2010 NSW Young Australian of the Year and CEO of AIME Mentoring, together with David Wirrpanda, the 2009 Australian of the Year and creator of The David Wirrpanda Foundation, as our national ambassadors. Both of these young men work tirelessly to bring Australian communities together. They are contributing significantly to social inclusion through their respective programs and their ongoing dialogue."
Everyone can get involved in SIW 2010. "How people get together isnt as important as why. Events vary from BBQs, pool parties, dog walks to council hosted resource sessions. SIWs motto is: Get involved. Get connected! The goal is for communities to engage with one another in whatever way produces results." Said Dr. Welch
"All our organised events and details on how to register for the community hosted Street Parties are on the website at www.socialinclusionweek.com.au . I encourage everyone to visit the website to see how to get involved to be a part of making Australia a more socially inclusive nation!" Welch said.
Australian Government, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
05 November 2010
, Australia Wide
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