As Australia begins to slowly and cautiously ease coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, in Victoria we are now able to spend some quality time with our loved ones, with up to 5 guests allowed to visit private homes and up to 10 people allowed to gather outdoors.
Places of worship, of all denominations, can now open for pre-arranged small religious ceremonies of up to 10 people (plus those required to conduct the service). Outdoor recreational activities are also allowed, including walking groups, boot camps, golf, fishing and hiking. (Read the Premier’s full statement.) We will also see a phased return to school for Victorian students, beginning Tuesday 26 May.
I know, for many of us, the ability to reconnect with family and friends will have a positive impact on our outlook and hopefully help us all cope with these challenging times.
We’re able to make these changes thanks to everyone’s hard work, however we cannot become complacent. It’s up to all of us to use our judgement, continue to maintain physical distancing and be vigilant with hygiene.
A message of thanks and I acknowledge the support to our Australian Federal Government and all State Governments and all those involved in our medical health system during this pandemic. The $11.3 million funding package announced last week was a welcome contribution to supporting multicultural and multifaith Victorians.
I also want to thank all the community organizations, individuals and faith organizations who have stepped up to support people who are in need, especially those who are not eligible for other support, whether from their own, or other multicultural communities. It is a clear demonstration of the strong social cohesion and social fabric we have built in Australia.
I am honoured with the works, concepts, dedication and support of the ALCCI Young Entrepreneurs. During these COVID-19 days and social isolation and with schools, universities and so many other educational, social etc. institutions closed; that they have commenced with their interviewing of successful, influential and Federal and State Government Ministers thru Podcasts. A wonderful way of not just show casing success stories, but more importantly, a great way to reach out to those in need or going thru crisis.
Again, I would also like to mention the great works of the ALCCI Business Women’s Group during COVID-19. I am deeply thankful to the ALCCI BWG for the amazing imitative led by Mrs Mireille Zouky who generously donated over 20 hampers to the nurses at the Footscray Hospital. A wonderful gesture by the ALCCI BWG, particularly for Mother’s Day during isolation times due to CIVOD-19. A way of supporting and thanking all those on the Frontline to try to keep all well and safe. Thank you sincerely to all those who are working in the Essential Service Industry including but not limited to doctors, nurses, medical staff of any profession, the emergency service workers etc.
Some resources available include new multilingual fact sheets from the Australian Human Rights Commission on Complaints under the Racial Discrimination Act , as well as the comprehensive COVID-19 multilingual information available from Health Translations in 70 languages.
It is extremely important that I recognize and sincerely urge that you all support Lebanon and encourage you all to assist and help your families and friends during this crisis period. Lebanon and her people are in desperate need of all of our support.
It was with an overwhelming pride, joy and humility that the ALCCI had the privilege to orchestrate, facilitate and support the great works of Radiance International Pty Ltd in shipping a container of rice to Lebanon. This shipment of this rice is to support and help the Relief High Commission in Lebanon.
Please continue to contact the ALCCI Office with any feedback or any assistance we maybe able to provide using our resources.
The Hon Faddy Zouky OAM