Welcome to the Spring edition of SydWest Multicultural Services' Community Connections newsletter....we hope you enjoy the reading.
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Spring 2018 Edition

Welcome to the Spring edition of SydWest's Community Connections, our quarterly newsletter that brings you our news and events and more.

CEO Message

As the end of 2018 fast approaches we tend to reflect on our achievements and practices throughout the year. Within our sector, success is not always easy to recognise because we are not always able to capture the impact our services have on the communities we serve. In the name of competition and pricing there has been a lot of discussion on the decline in the quality of service provision. The person at the centre of what should have been our focus has been replaced by a conversation on healthy profit and loss statements and profit margins. There are numerous conversations that ‘consumer choice’ amongst large providers with strong branding and opportunities to market their offerings has been replaced with a lack in quality to meet budgetary requirements.
We have already moved into our future 5 year vision to actively seek for opportunities to keep growing our aged care & disability support services. The conversation on quality is one we will keep close to our heart. I hold a strong belief that organisations like SydWest is unique because it maintains its strong local connections with the community and allows for the human touch; a touch so much needed in service delivery. We are not just a service provider that manages growth by providing flexible service models to meet the needs of our communities. We are a link to the community that keeps promoting self-determination. We are an employer of choice as our people is the microcosm of the community itself.  

The impact smaller organisations have on a local level cannot be deterred by fancy sales. We connect cultures and build community. This is something that cannot be replaced by a budget and holds outcomes that cannot be included in a P&L statement. They are called: care and quality in our services regardless of background, age and needs. In the name of profit let’s not forget that we are all walking the same path and we are all interwoven in this mosaic called life.
May you all have a joyful Christmas with your loved ones and keep caring for each other!
Elfa Moraitakis

SydWest Annual General Meeting 2018

SydWest Multicultural Services held a very successful Annual General Meeting for 2018 in Rouse Hill on Friday 9th November 2018. 

The event was preceded by a tour of our new ground floor premises in the Vinegar Hill Memorial Community Centre. These new offices are our base in The Hills area and home to the Aged Care & NDIS Services teams of SydWest. During the tour, our guests met the staff and learned more about working with SydWest. 

Following the tour, the AGM commenced in the Patrick White Room of the Community Centre. Our guest speaker for the event was Clr Dr Michelle Byrne, Mayor of The Hills Shire Council, who spoke about the importance of culturally competent services, as well as the predicted growth in the Hills area in the coming years. The Mayor was particularly complimentary of the commitment that SydWest Multicultural Services has shown to supporting growth in the diverse population and establishing a presence in Rouse Hill.

SydWest was pleased to welcome the large group of attendees that included stakeholders from government, the private sector, the community sector, volunteers and the general community.

The program also featured presentations from two of SydWest's clients, sharing their stories and journey of settlement in their new country, particularly thanking SydWest for their support in helping to realise their goals and ambitions.

The 2018 Annual Report is available for download from

Our Activities in the Community

Navigating Resettlement Research Project Launched

SydWest Multicultural Services launched the WSU-commissioned research report arising from the Navigating Resettlement project at a special event held in July 2018 with the Minister for Multiculturalism & Disabilities, the Hon Ray Williams MP and Prof Peter Shergold, Vice-Chancellor of Western Sydney University and the NSW Coordinator General for Refugee Resettlement.

The Project involved a year’s research on the approach in working with young people as they navigate the settlement process and explore their career and life aspirations.

The Navigating Resettlement Matched Mentoring and Creative Media Design with Refugee and Migrant Youth in Transition Greater Western Sydney Research & Evaluation Report is available on the SydWest website 

Young Refugee Driving Forward

This is Hannah, a 19 year old from Sierra Leone and one of our Youth in Transition participants. Hannah completed her 10 free driving lessons through SydWest with the assistance of local driving instructor Kebra. Hannah needed further support so she arranged extra lessons with Kebra which she purchased at a discounted rate through the program. Hannah has now passed her driving test and has obtained her licence!

Youth Telling Digital Stories

Ashalew arrived in Australia in 2015. He is a 16 year old from Ethiopia who attends St Bishoy Coptic Orthodox College in Mt Druitt. Ashalew is a keen technology user, loves creating music and is a mad soccer fan.

Like all the young people in the Digital Storytelling project, Ashalew enjoyed learning new technology skills as part of telling his own story. His imagery included some of the things he aspires to be – a soccer player with a classic car (see above pics).

For Ashalaw, the project was an opportunity to meet lots of different people and share his culture with them. The project was also an opportunity to remember the positive aspects of the country he had left. Ashalaw enjoyed the opportunity to play with new technologies such as green screens and drones for creative photography.
The Digital Storytelling project will be continuing with Save the Children over the coming months. For more information, contact the Youth Development Team on
Tel: (02) 9621 6633.

Social Seniors Enjoying Good Health with Yoga

SydWest Multicultural Services Filipino Seniors enjoy YOGA as part of their weekly social support group activities. The Filipino seniors meet on a Thursday at our SydWest Head Office rooms in Blacktown.

Checkout all the Seniors activities and how we can help you with your seniors and aged care support needs at

Disability Employment Services now at SydWest 

SydWest Multicultural Services, in a consortium led by Settlement Services International (SSI) is now delivering the Australian Government’s Disability Employment Services (DES) in the Outer Western Sydney region.

The Disability Employment Services allows us to work to improve the economic outcomes for disadvantaged people living with a disability; our two Employment Coordinators are highly experienced in working in this area.

If you or anyone you know wants SydWest to be their DES coordinator, contact us today on (02) 9621 6633.

Community Connection Coordinators Announced

SydWest Multicultural Services was successful in the NDIS Information, Linkage and Capacity Building (ILC) grant recently. The Community Connection Coordinators program aims to support people with a disability from a CALD background who have fallen through the cracks and require support to build their capacity, confidence and community networks.

Our three Community Connection Coordinators will be providing essential, individualised, intensive life plan development and leadership capacity building within CALD communities. They will operate across the Western Sydney and Nepean regions. For further information, contact the NDIS Team Leader at SydWest on Tel (02) 9621 6633.

UniPic Shares Skills with SydWest 

Soheil Ettehadolhagh arrived in 2015 from Iran after fleeing religious persecution. With the help of SydWest Multicultural Services, Soheil has been building a new life for his family in Blacktown and continuing his work as a professional more

Training our Youth to Share their Passion for the World Game

On the 19th of July, SydWest Multicultural Services in conjunction with Football NSW organised a community coaching session for newly settled refugees. ... Read more

Recent Event Successes

Training with Glenwood Women’s Support Group

The Women's Support Group who meet at Glenwood Hub are currently undertaking an 8 week TAFE training course in Food Handling and Hygiene, organised by SydWest Multicultural Services. Everyone who graduates will obtain their Certificate of Attainment.

The course aims to provide vital information that will assist our women in their own homes as well as provide core skills to assist with employment and enterprise. We are looking forward to celebrating their graduation!

The Glenwood Women's Support Group is part of our Women & Families program that provides a range of support and services to parents and families in the Blacktown and The Hills LGAs. Checkout for more information.

Community Services Expo 2018 Blacktown

SydWest Multicultural Services recently held the very successful 2018 Community Services Expo in Blacktown, with more than 1,000 visitors and 85 exhibitors.

The Expo is a bi-annual event, led by SydWest, to let the local community discover, share and connect with the wide range of services and supports available here. The event reflected the diversity and multicultural flavour of the area as it connected the residents to the services available and to each other.

A big thank you to the Working Group members: Ability Options Australia Government Department of Human Services – Mt Druitt, Blacktown City Council, Blacktown LAC, CRN, Family Referral Services, MECA Mt Druitt, Multicultural Problem Gambling Service, Philippine Australian Community Council NSW Inc, Reach for Training, Relationships Australia, SSI, STARTTS, TAFE NSW, NDCO. Media Support from SWRFM and Blacktown Advocate.

Blacktown Business aims to Accelerate Employment for New Arrivals

SydWest Multicultural Services and selected partners held a very successful Business Breakfast for leading employers from across the Sydney region.

The event was held at the Blacktown Workers Club and provided valuable information to employers on the benefits of employing arefugee or a migrant. The objective for the initiative is to break down the barriers that many of our new arrivals face in securing sustainable employment. The guests heard from our clients about their journey to employment and had the opportunity to network with them during the event.

SydWest will be hosting the 2nd Business Employment Accelerator event on 23rd November 2018 from 11am at the Blacktown Workers Club. If you wish to get involved, contact Haleh Ebrahimian, Employment Project Officer on Tel: (02) 9621 6633 or 

Ice Skating with Youth at Macquarie Centre

SydWest Multicultural Services and the Youth Team visited Macquarie Ice Rink recently to enjoy a cultural excursion and experience a rather unique sporting activity. 

SydWest's Youth Team facilitate a range of new learning and social engagement activities for newly arrived refugees, humanitarian entrants and other migrants, to help with the resettlement process - contact the Youth Team today to find out more and get involved!

Youth Visit to Parliament House – Canberra and Civic Participation

SydWest’s Youth Team recently visited Canberra with a group of 26 young people from refugee backgrounds for a trip to both Old and New Parliament House, and a chance to learn about how the Australian Government operates. ... Read more

Upcoming Events

International Men's Day 2018

To be held on Wednesday 21st November 2018 in Mt Druitt, International Men's Day is a celebration that will highlight men as role model in the family and in the community. 

Blacktown Employment Accelerator 2018

It’s on again! On Friday 23 November 2018 from 11am, SydWest will be hosting this year’s Employment Accelerator for Blacktown.

An event focused on speed-dating, It’s an opportunity for refugees and other migrant job-seekers to network with prospective employers. For local businesses, it’s the time to learn more about the amazing skills and qualifications that our newly arrived can offer you.

If you want to know more or get involved, contact SydWest’s Employment Officer today!

Multicultural Seniors Christmas Celebration 2018

It’s on again! SydWest Multicultural Services, Blacktown and Sathya SAI International Organization of Australia and PNG (NSW Region West), will come together once again this year,  to coordinate and organize the Multicultural Seniors Christmas Celebrations to be held mid December 2018 at the PCYC Blacktown.

It will be another fun-filled Celebration with entertainment by talented Children, Youths, Young Adults & most importantly our vibrant clients.  

If you want to know more or get involved, contact SydWest’s Aged Care Team Leader today!

Donation making a difference

SydWest Multicultural Services has been receiving donations from the public this year and we are pleased to advise that we have been able to present a large and current desktop computer to one of our new Syrian refugee families.

We are so thankful to SydWest for their efforts in giving us a computer which will definitely make a huge difference in the lives of our three young children and ourselves.

If you would like to make a donation to SydWest – cash or in-kind – visit our website today or contact us direct. We are very grateful for all donations received as they make a difference in so many people’s lives every day.
Make a difference - please Give Now

In Brief

SydWest Multicultural Services staff informative visit to TAFE NSW's Migrant English students in Mt more
Multicultural Group Excursion to Warragamba Dam - building confidence & friendships.
Mt Druitt Arabic Speaking Group continue to build capacity as they complete Family in Cultural Transition program
Little Steps to Big School provides transition to school knowledge all parents need.

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Business Hours

Monday to Friday 9:00am to 4:30pm
Please feel free to send mail to

Blacktown Office

Level 2,125 Main Street, Blacktown NSW 2148
PO Box 869, Blacktown NSW 2148
Phone (02) 9621 6633
Fax (02) 9831 5625

Mt Druitt Hub

Shop 3, 6-10 Mount Street, Mt Druitt NSW 2770
Phone (02) 9625 0455
Fax (02) 9625 0322

Penrith Hub

Suite 113, Community Connection Building,
114-116 Henry Street, Penrith NSW 2750
Phone (02) 9621 6633

Rouse Hill Hub

Vinegar Hill Memorial Library, 29 Main Street,
Rouse Hill Town Centre, NSW 2155
Phone (02) 9621 6633
Copyright © 2018 SydWest Multicultural Services, All rights reserved.

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