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Cultural Infusion Newsletter [March 2023]

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Supporting Inclusivity and Building Belonging Together

Cultural Infusion March Newsletter

This newsletter, we take a look at some articles and events that have taken place this month. Cultural Infusion contributed to the Australian Association of Gerontology’s paper on Capturing Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Australia. Our Projects and Partnerships Manager for Inclusion Atlas, Lana Perello, details the need for inclusive and accessible spaces. We also look at the Education and Experience’s attendance at the Early Childhood Language Program Annual Forum, the launch of our new 2023 Cultural Education Programs brochures, our International Women’s Day article and highlight an important date on our cultural calendar.

Cultural Infusion is proud to have contributed to the   Capturing Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Australia: AAG (Australian Association of Gerontology) position paper published this month. 

Our CEO and Founder Peter Mousaferiadis provided insight to the paper which aims to share how cultural and linguistic diversity is captured in Australian government data. 

The research explores which variables are currently used to measure cultural and linguistic diversity in Australia and how the government selects, analyses, groups and reports on these data sets.

The paper provides the AAG Position Statement on how CALD could be better identified and measured in Australian government data reports and clarifies what is meant by the term ‘CALD’.

Cultural Infusion supports the four recommendations provided at the end of the paper. These recommendations to the Australian Government are to:

  • Consistently capture the 12 variables suggested by the ABS.
  • Stop using “CALD” to describe a type of person.
  • Identify and report on variables that relate to cultural & linguistic diversity based on the aim of the report.
  • Report clearly on which variables used to explore Australia’s cultural and linguistic diversity.

To find out more, click HERE to access the paper.

Inclusion AtlasProjects and Partnerships Manager, Lana Perello, shares their experience of the lack of facilities for gender-diverse and neurodivergent attendees at a recent concert. 

‘At a recent concert I attended, I knew the potential for gender diverse attendees would be extremely high and as it happened, many found that the lack of accommodations made by the venue greatly impacted their overall experience, including my own.

The bathrooms were classified under male, female and disabled, which alienated some gender diverse people by putting them in uncomfortable and potentially threatening situations. When attending the concert, I opted to use the men’s bathroom. The line for both the men’s and women’s bathroom were significantly long, especially with the consideration that the men’s bathroom only had two stalls. Whilst waiting, comments were made by some men about how they ‘saw how it was’ and ‘how the tables had turned’, though we were just waiting to use the bathroom as they were. How easily this situation could have been avoided if the venue also had gender neutral bathrooms?

As a result of these comments, a member of the security team came into the bathrooms and ordered all the ‘women’ to leave immediately, being extremely loud and intimidating to any that objected. How could I feel safe to do normal functions when someone is questioning my identity?

In parallel, Chloe Hayden, an advocate for people with autism and ADHD, experienced a lack of accommodation for neurodivergent people at a concert. She and many others were turned away from a 12-person capacity sensory room, whilst staff questioned the legitimacy of attendees needs to use such a space. As Chloe aptly put it, ‘fighting for the disabled right to access public spaces should not be this radical, or controversial, or taxing’ and yet, ill-preparedness and apparent lack of staff training can make joyous experiences the exact opposite.

At Inclusion Atlas, we work toward positive change and support for those like myself and many others who have had similar experiences. Accessible spaces are inherently important for the safety and wellbeing of our community. Inclusion Atlas is an accessible and easy tool for you to use in your everyday life, helping you find, rate and review inclusive spaces and to hold venues to account without naming or shaming. ‘

– Lana Perello

To get in touch with Lana for a discovery tour of Inclusion Atlas or enquire, email them at [email protected].

This month, the Education and Experiences team attended the Early Childhood Language Program Annual Forum at the Melbourne Convention Centre. 

The event brought early learning educators from all over the state together to deliver keynotes and participate in workshops to learn how to support children in early learning and language development.

Team Leader Nicola Diomides delivered an opening speech introducing the attendees to Cultural Infusion and discussed the role of culture and how this intersects with language to support early childhood development. Nicola shared our many intercultural resources including cultural programs, educational apps, digital platforms, and our range of professional development materials.

The Education and Experiences team hosted a booth at the event, sharing information and engaging in the rich and diverse conversations around early learning and cultural education.

Bonnie, our Chinese Fan Dance presenter and Hithanjanee, our Bollywood Infusion presenter delivered introductions into their vibrant cultural programs. The room was engaged in the performances and even ended up dancing with Hithanjanee!

Check out the video below to see the event!

Our new Education and Experiences brochures have arrived!

Each state in Australia has its own curated brochure, as well as a specialised brochure for all pre-primary incursions around the country.

Our new brochures feature all of our available presenters, including some of our newest cultural presenters for 2023: Timorese InfusionAboriginal GamesDancing around IndiaMelanesian InfusionAfrica meets the Middle EastTurkish Rhythms and many more!

Click HERE to view our online brochures

For International Women’s Day this year, Graphic Designer and Content Producer Jane Felstead wrote an article titled  ‘Criticisms of Women’s Day (And Some Unbridled Positivity)’.

In the article, Jane reflects on IWD by acknowledging the importance of raising awareness for the various issues faced by women globally. She highlights the need to pay tribute to intersectional issues including restrictions on bodily autonomy, lack of access to education, domestic and partner violence and discrimination faced by trans women.

Jane also notes that IWD celebrations in workplaces often assign additional labor to women, who are already busy with full schedules. 

Despite this, as an organisation, we believe in the importance of celebrating the supportive community of women at Cultural Infusion. Jane asked the women in the office to share some kind words about each other with the purpose of uplifting one another and building belonging.

Click HERE to read some of those sentiments.

Cultural Calendar Spotlight: Fan Dance Day, April 3rd.

Fan Dance Day, occurring on the 3rd of April each year,  celebrates the long history of the traditional fan dance in Asia. With vibrant traditional clothing and fans, it acknowledges the important art form that has been around for centuries.  Performances typically involve live traditional music and are enjoyed by people from all around the world.

Cultural Infusion offers a Chinese Fan Dance program, an engaging interactive program in which students can learn how to perform the traditional dance. With their own eye-catching fans, students will have an entirely unique, educational experience. 

CLICK HERE to find out more about our Chinese Fan Dance program.