Tag Archive: cald community

  1. CaLD communities raise awareness of scams and employment rights

    Leave a Comment

    In March and April, ECLC collaborated with CaLD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) community leaders and topic experts to present tailored, free, online, plain-English information sessions for people living in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne to raise awareness of scams and employment rights.

    In late 2020, ECLC met with the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) to discuss strategies to empower CaLD communities in the east. At the meeting, VMC expressed its concern on many areas of law that were an issue for many CaLD community members, in particular scams and employment rights as the VMC had seen a rise in these issues in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

    A working group to develop information sessions was formed including the Council on Ethnic Issues (CCOEI), ECLC, Indian CareServices Australia, the Australian Taxation OfficeBounce – Refugee Youth Mentoring ProgramCentre for Holistic HealthFair Work Ombudsman, and the Migrant Information Centre.

    More than 120 community leaders, workers and CaLD community members joined the session on What you need to know about scams in March and heard from Services Australia, the Australian Taxation office, and ECLC. Participants learned how to identify and avoid being scammed.

    Following the successful scams session, more than 50 community leaders, workers and community members joined the session on What you need to know about your employment rights in April and heard from the Fair Work Ombudsman, Services Australia, the Australian Taxation office, and ECLC. This session covered:

    • National Employment Standards and minimum wages;
    • Awards and agreements at the workplace;
    • Common issues at the workplace and your rights as an employee;
    • Independent contracts and sham contracting;
    • Your rights and obligations when you are receiving government payments; and
    • What you need to know when working with Australian Taxation Office.

    ECLC’s Manager Partnerships and Community Development Jacinta Maloney said the keen interest and participation in these online sessions showed that community-led activities are more targeted to community needs and therefore more likely to raise awareness.

    “We know that scammers are getting more cunning every day and employment legislation is getting more complex to keep up with our quickly changing world.

    “But this complexity can be challenging for CaLD communities where English is not their first language. This is on top of the issues faced when people don’t know where to start to find key and relevant information,” said Jacinta.

    Watch ECLC’s video on common types of scams:

  2. Karma, or kartha? Elder abuse in CALD communities

    Leave a Comment

    By Aparna Ananthuni

    A sad and shocking reality for many older members from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in Australia is the experience of elder abuse.

    To raise awareness of this issue and offer advice to those suffering, a workshop event was held for members of the Indian Senior Citizens Association (ISCA) to coincide with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on 25 June. Funded by a grant from the Victoria Law Foundation, the “Matter of Trust” workshop was organised by Jacqui D’Silva (Program Coordinator at Eastern Community Legal Centre, ECLC), Dr Inderjit Jasal (Vice President of ISCA), award winning community volunteer and financial expert Dilnaz Billimoria, and Anand Shome of IndianCare.

    The workshop included a role-play scenario and presentations by several agencies including Centrelink, Victoria Police, Department of Justice, Eastern Community Legal Centre and Ringwood Family Relationship Centre.

    The need for greater awareness of elder abuse in CALD communities was first raised some years ago by Leigh Gilmore, the Senior Sheriff’s Officer of the Department of Justice, who noted increasing evictions of older people from their homes.

    Dilnaz Billimoria explains how older couples will often sell their homes and businesses to come and live with their adult children, frequently to help them out, financially.

    “They shift their lives. They find that initially it’s all great…and [then] they’re finding that suddenly things have changed.”

    The younger couple asks them to help pay for a second mortgage. Or help them start a business.

    “You’ll be shocked, the parents do it all the time,” she says. “Then, when things go bust and they can’t pay, the bank says, ‘Sorry, but you’re the guarantor’.”

    And it’s not just financial abuse. Elders, even ones that have been in Australia for a number of years, can be physically and emotionally bullied, isolated without means of transport, and even locked in the home.

    There is a cultural dimension to the way abused Indian elders might view their situation. “A lot of Indian senior citizens, even though they’re suffering, believe that this is part of their karma and they actually accept it,” Billimoria says.

    The response to the workshop from the audience of around 50 Indian senior citizens was, Billimoria says, “absolutely amazing”.

    “Initially they were aghast to know that this was happening, but about 50 per cent of them knew it was happening to a “friend” – perhaps themselves – and they had so many questions as to what they can do to stop it,” she says.

    For older people, there is no need to fear being kicked out of your house or prevented from seeing grandchildren or other members of the family, regardless of what your visa status is or who owns the house you’re living in. Moreover, as explained in the workshop, those on a Dependent Visa can still access Centrelink services.

    All Australian government agencies can provide free translation interpretation services, as well as confidential meetings. There is also short-term emergency housing available.

    But, as Dilnaz Billimoria says, don’t let it get to that stage. Take control. Don’t give away all your money. Make a will. Have an executor. Talk to someone.

    “Someone at the event came up with the phrase, ‘It’s karma versus kartha’. There are some senior citizens who are realising, ‘I’m not going tolerate this rubbish and I’m going to take action’.”

    Hear hear!

    If you or someone you know is experiencing elder abuse, please contact Eastern Community Legal Centre

    First published in Indian Link. Reproduced here with permission.