Celebrating Our Cultural Diversity – 21 March 2015

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The Bellingen Neighbourhood Centre wishes to thank all those involved in the Harmony Day event at the Bellingen Markets.The event was successful because of the cooperation and harmonious manner in which all participated.

Margaret Lollback for her organisation of the event.

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Neil Hamilton Bellingen Markets, without whose assistance and guidance the event would not have occurred.

Volunteers Staff and Committee members of the Bellingen Neighbourhood Centre Inc.

Carolyn & Mandy

Gumbaynggir representative for the” welcome to country and smoking ceremony”. Thank you Lisa for organising this and what a great way to start a Harmony Day.

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Kulturithmik with the Salsa dancing and Christina Monneron for not only the dance but for her involvement throughout the day.

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Kaya Boom – Kai Tipping and the drummers finished the day with a great performance.

Aunty Ira Herangi and her daughter Kirsten Daly for the Maori Welcome.

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Tuulenana Tuli for your performance, organising the Hawaiian dancers and assistance with the Fijian dancers, your help was really appreciated.

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Duncan McIvor for the pipes at the start, it was a great way to begin the performances.

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Bellingen public school students who performed magnificently and to all that were involved in the chain making. Thanks teachers and students for your support.

Prachi from “Down to Bhangra” with John and Surinder Arkan, who gave us a taste of Bollywood.

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Thanks to Glen Heath and the Deep Blue Sea who performed on the main stage and added to the day for their support in allowing others to have some of the time dedicated to them.

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Others involved in the day were Bellingen Shire Council, Urunga Neighbourhood Centre and Open Arms Child Services.

 

Gordon Jacob, Manager, Bellingen Neighbourhood Centre

From Gordon Jacob Manager – B.N.C

12 March 2015

I have had a conversation with the providers for this area (which takes in Bellingen) and have been told by two that they haven’t enough money to assist with the Bellingen area. With another going on a hotline system and the other unwilling to discuss I am bewildered that the providers have not been given a specific area within the region. It appears the big areas Coffs Harbour and Grafton will be services by the small towns will be ignored. Surely, this is unjust and discriminates against those who live in a more isolated area of a Region.

I would like to know how much each of these organisations were given, are they to use the funds across the area, what is the amount of cuts to this region in the latest funding from previous funding.”

I believe the providers were made public yesterday. I spoke to Lifehouse Care and they may be able to assist in some form but will not know for a few weeks. They are being asked by a number who have been cut like us. Anglicare are the same, Salvos are going to do it by phone.

It appears those who received the funding will only have enough to meet the needs of the large areas such as Grafton and Coffs Harbour. This leaves us and the other smaller towns out in the wilderness. Hard luck but I guess we all live here because it is our lifestyle and Government won’t help anyone who want to live in a place they don’t agree with.

I have written to Luke Hartsuyker and suggested the 4 providers provide funding each so we can meet the needs of the Bellingen area. I must point out that Luke Hartsuyker has supported us through this whole mess.

Imagine if  each member of parliament, 226 members, were to sacrifice .25% of the wage a fortnight we could operate the emergency relief program for 5 years under the previous funding we received. That is $20 per fortnight or $500 a year. If they would then I would do the same although mine would be about 1.25% per fortnight for the $20.00. High-income earners, say over $150,000 per year could also pay a small amount many of the cuts that have been made by Government could be met. I do not mean that the funds go into a Government account but in a trust to be administered to all the smaller non-for profits, the ones they do not take huge admin fees as they work for the clients not for themselves.

If business or individuals in Bellingen would also give a small amount then we could provide the program. We are looking for at least $20,000 a year to operate a very good program to help those on low income or Centrelink benefits who from time to time find they are in need of same support. Over 30% of the Bellingen population are on less that $600 a week and if they have to pay rent or meet a mortgage, pay the electricity, telephone and other living costs leaves very little at the end of the week. Subsistence living.

We will continue to fight to assist those who have fallen on hard times, and that could be anyone of us at any time if something changes in our life such as losing employment.

 

We are realy pleased to reveal our brand new website.

Over the coming months we will be adding more and more information, devloping a local resources guide for Bellingenshire.

Our new website is designed to be used on the latest mobile devices too so finding the right information is super easy no mater what device you use.

Please take the time to look around and see what services we offer and who is available at our centre