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ASCON body wins NSW Jim Samios Award

IMG_8984 (1) (250x167) IMG_9024 (250x167)Oct. 20- The Auburn Small Community Organisations Network (ASCON) won the inaugural Jim Samios Memorial Award for Outstanding Contribution to Multiculturalism in NSW (group category) at the NSW  Ethnic Communities Council Annual General Meeting yesterday, 19th of October. Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello MP handed the unique Aboriginal inspired glass plaque and $1,000 cash prize to Dr Cen Amores, member of ASCON Steering Committee and to  Emma Braceros and Glorina Papaioannou.

Also present at the award ceremony were MP John Robertson, Leader of the Opposition; Dr Mehreen Faruq of the Green Party, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Parliamentary Secretary of the Federal Minister for Social Services, Dr Harry Harinath, the new Chair of Community Relations Commission (Multicultural NSW), Prof Lucy Taksa , Convenor, Cultural Diversity Research Network of Macquarie University and the general membership of ECC NSW. 

ASCON was organised in September 2007 by a loose group of about 30 leaders from small and emerging communities in the Auburn LGA. Established to provide a vehicle for community organisation and growth, development and sense of belonging, members now share information and resources, access relevant trainings and facilities, collaborate on multicultural projects, provide peer support to community leaders and volunteers and actively engage with the local council, government offices and other public service providers.

ASCON has since become  a very successful and effective network of CALD communities actively promoting Harmony in Action, stamping out discrimination and racism and encouraging multicultural community engagement through a variety of community initiatives. 

Some of them are : the  establishment of Regents Park Community Hub where small voluntary organisations share office space, facilities and resources;  the holding of annual Flavours of Auburn  where small and emerging communities work in partnership with Auburn City Council, in providing to the multicultural community a taste of traditional food from various parts of the world; organising exotic Food Tours where people all around Sydney hear food-related stories, get information and access to condiments; the publication of Flavours of Auburn Cookbook where people can learn how to prepare traditional food from different parts of the world, enjoy the benefits of a discounted public liability insurance, free capacity building trainings and active involvement in various community activities, fora, meetings and consultations.

ASCON members have demonstrated that people from different cultures can live productively and harmoniously in Australia – even if some of the countries they came from maybe under various stages of conflict. Indeed ASCON showcases the best in multiculturalism: harnessing and promoting the strengths of every culture.