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Supporting new community leaders

Published on Monday 31 August, 2020


Five women from the City of Gosnells were among 16 graduates from around Perth to complete the first round of the Community Innovators, Volunteers and Leaders (CIVAL) Workshop.

CIVAL is a partnership project between several metropolitan local governments to support newly arrived community members by giving them training opportunities and a chance to develop a community initiative.

The City’s participants – representing Iraqi, Indian and Malaysian communities – began the program late in 2019, with plans to deliver a community event by June 2020.

Mayor David Goode said early stages of COVID-19 restrictions prevented the group from running events but they found other ways to benefit City residents.

“A Food Basket project provided essential goods for families in need during Ramadan, particularly as many were losing their jobs and there were no face-to-face gatherings or sharing of food at that time. This initiative provided support for 10 families to eat healthy and well during Ramadan.

“Another participant volunteered to assist vulnerable residents with their shopping deliveries during COVID-19, a service offered through the City’s Community Hotline.

“It was great to see how the group adapted to the changing and difficult situation during the pandemic, and how their focus remained on supporting people in need.

“CIVAL has enabled these five women to gain valuable skills to develop and lead community projects.

Funding for the project was provided through the Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs to improve the social participation, economic and personal well-being of new community members to create more positive and long-term settlement outcomes.

A second round of the CIVAL program is starting in September.