Be Ha OAM on PRESIDENT’S REPORT Rosemarie Draper on PRESIDENT’S REPORT
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Mrs. Be Ha, OAM, JP
Welcome to Sicmaa’s 40th Annual General Meeting and 40th Anniversary Celebration. It has been a long, hard and a productive journey for our Association in serving the Indo-Chinese communities in Victoria and in the South-Eastern region of Melbourne. While we can look back with pride and gratitude for so many wonderful things the Association, it’s staff and members have contributed towards improving the lives of so many Indo-Chinese people in Victoria, there are disturbing signs and challenges ahead for organisations like SICMAA in the delivery of services and assistance to the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities.
From a very humble beginning, with the love and help of so many friends, associates and governments, especially of the Springvale Community Aid and Advice Bureau, SICMAA has survived and developed into one of the most respected and effective community based multi-ethnic welfare organization in Victoria. In the last 40 years, more than 200.000 direct assistance cases were provided for the Indo-Chinese refugees and migrants in the South -Eastern region of Melbourne by Sicmaa’s Staff. Today , our organization is providing a wide range of services from explaining and providing simple information to complex and on-going management cases.
While it is impossible for anyone to list every achievement the Association has done in the past 40 years, one can certainly recall many important contributions SICMAA has made to the settlement and development of the Indo-Chinese communities in Victoria. Being the first established Indo-Chinese welfare Agency, SICMAA was, in effect, the origin of the subsequent establishment of many important community organisations such as the Cambodian Association in Victoria, the Laotian Community Association in Victoria, the Springvale Indochinese Housing Cooperative, the Springvale Vietnamese Ethnic School etc…
Of course, SICMAA’s contributions were not just limited to the Indo-Chinese communities, they were also aimed to assist mainstream services and mainstream community to be more sensitive and appreciative of difficulties and contributions the Indo-Chinese people have faced and offered to Australian multicultural society. Perhaps, some of the most visible contributions SICMAA has made to the South East region are: the Annual Children’s Moon Festival, The Good Friday Appeal, The Tax help, The clean Up Australia Day …
With the support from all bodies government funding, all our hard-working staff, IT group, volunteers, we set up the system so everyone can work at home to continue to assist our client by phone, by email, by post, by video conferencing like zoom during COVID 19 crisis. The success and contribution SICMAA has made were the results of the direct efforts given by countless number of volunteers and the founding members of the Association, many of whom, are still with us here today. Words cannot adequately express the deep gratitude the association has towards all of its friends, volunteers, staff and the founding members. Today, we honouring them all. You are indeed our heroes and we thank you.
honouring them all. You are indeed our heroes, and we thank you.
AS far as individual thank you goes, it is an impossible task to mention everyone and every organization or government department that ever associated with SICMAA in the last 40 years. On behalf of the Management committee members and staff of SICMAA, I would like to take this to express my sincere thanks to:
Mr. Bui Huu Le
Mr. Nguyen Thanh Khiet
Mr. Phan Dinh Thuyen
Mr. Nguyen Do Huan
Mr. Hoang Cong Dung
Mr. Phan Dong Ly
Mr. Huynh Trung Thanh
Mr. Tran Hung
Mr. Doan Ngoc Mien
Mr. Nguyen van Hung
Mr. Tran Hoang
Mr. Ngo van Be
Mr. Nguyen Kim Khai
Mr. Lu Trieu Duong
Mr. Tran Ngoc Thanh
Mr. Vi Duc Huu
Mr. Nguyen Duy Huong
Mr. Vuong Thoai
Mr. Tran Thanh My
Mr. Nguyen Binh
Mr. Nguyen Thanh Long
Mrs. Nguyen thi Dep
Miss. Nguyen thi Hue
My fellow Executive Committee of Management members for their tremendous support.
Miss My Dung Nguyen, Co-Ordinator of Sicmaa for her caring and professional services to the community.
SICMAA’s Staff, co -located staff, visiting workers, volunteers and students for the support and assistance to our Association.
As I have said, SICMAA has lasted and developed for 40 years due to the volunteerism, the dedication and the contribution of its staff, its volunteers, it’s members and the whole community in the South East.
We are in eternal debs to the late advisors Eric, Merle Mitchell, the late volunteers like Mr. Hoang Duong , English Teacher , Mr. Nguyen Huu Chu , English Teacher passed away on 29th September 2022 . Mrs. Tong whose lives and generosity had touched us all in so many ways. Let’s We Forget from SICMAA’s Committee of Management and Staff.
40 years have passed for SICMAA and it has been a long and hard but very rewarding journey. So many things have happened, staff come and go, programs and services start and end but one thing does not change and that is SICMAA’s compassion, kindness, commitment, drive and passion to work tirelessly for the disadvantaged Indo-Chinese people in Victoria. With all your support and help, we will continue for another 40 years and beyond to serve and work tirelessly for the community.
Without their compassion, kindness and generosity to help another fellow human being, SICMAA would not be here today.
Thank you for attending this 40th AGM and celebration with us.
We are looking forward to receiving on- going support from you all in the coming years.
Springvale Indochinese Mutual Assistance Association ( SICMAA )
BE HA JP, OAM
Dear SICMAA’s Members, Friends
This year we celebrate 39 years services to our community. We are approaching our 40th Anniversary very quickly. 40 years of servicing the community will be a fantastic milestone to pass.
We would like to share with you all , our advisor Mrs.Merle Mitchell AM passed away on 20th September 2021.Merle was a truly remarkable person.She was compassionate, humble and tenacious advocate for justice, humanity and the disadvantaged in our community. She had left an undeletable mark on whoever she met, worked with and cared for.
It was a great privilege for me to know and worked with Merle since I came to Australia , Springvale Community Aid and Advice Bureau , Enterprise Hostel Project …
She was our Advisor , our community partner and our best friend for life.
It’s very sad and unfortunate that we all can not farewell her in person due to the lockdown.
She will be forever missed and remembered in our hearts, especially for those who associated with SCAAB.
Rest in Peace Merle. We love you and forever.
With the support from all bodies government funding, all our hard working staff , IT group, volunteers, we set up the system so everyone can work at home to continue to assist our client by phone,by email,by post,by video conferencing like Zoom.
One special Grants I would like to report to you is Volunteer Grant.
In 2020/2021, SICMAA received a Volunteer Grant of $5,000 under the Families and Community Programs. With this grant,SICMAA was able to establish,maintain and develop a group of Vietnamese women, carers, elderly, people with disabilities who are socially isolated and have very limited social connections.
The group meet weekly at SICMAA and participants have an opportunity to socialize,share knowledge and update information related to government services. Besides,volunteers from other organizations also come to our group in order to exchange experiences in voluntary works. Members of our group now become volunteers in community activities such as Clean Up Australia Day or Good Friday Appeal. From 20 members at the beginning, now we have 50 members who are volunteers in different program at Sicmaa. Members of this group now become leaders in recruiting and maintaining other small volunteer groups who are engaging in various programs at SICMAA including family support services,counselling Service,and English programs.SICMAA also engages members in voluntary work in business sector in order to enhance their employment aspects and explore new experiences .
This grant not only help SICMAA to raise awareness about voluntarism in the community but also assisted the disadvantaged Vietnamese people especially women to engage in positive activities in order to break isolation,develop motivation and strengthen harmony in the family and the community as a whole.
SIMAA has a dream 12 years ago until now, we love to set up a cooking school to introduce our Vietnamese cooking and exchange our Australian cuisines.
We hope one day with a strong support from the local government, business associations and volunteers we will achieve our goal.
Many years we thank and dedicate our love and thanks to our volunteers who give up their time with their families to lent us their knowledge, wisdom and expertise, and their love and compassion to help another human being to make this world a better place to live in.
Thank you for all your support and attending 2021 AGM.
We hope you enjoy this year’s AGM and have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.
BE HA OAM, JP
Springvale Indochinese Mutual Assistance Association