Federal Member for Stirling, Vince Connelly MP, said today that the Morrison Government’s latest investment in the Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre (MMRC) in Mirrabooka was a big win for Stirling after several months of working with the organisation to see it better supported.
Migrant groups, people with physical and intellectual disabilities and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Stirling will be the focus of a new initiative aimed at ensuring all Australians can participate in sport and physical activity.
Mr Connelly welcomed the allocation of $632,875 in funding for Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre in Mirrabooka, one of 57 successful recipients of the Driving Social Inclusion through Sport and Physical Activity program. The $19 million initiative is designed to strengthen communities through participation.
“The MMRC was identified by the Government as serving an important role in bridging the divide for newly arrived migrants by encouraging social inclusion across Stirling, which is very pleasing as I know full well how incredibly hard the team works in Mirrabooka,” Mr Connelly said.
“This organisation and others like it continue to play a vital role as we strive toward being more inclusive.”
The grants are the outcome of an open competitive process run by the Federal Government last year. It attracted more than 850 applications.
MMRC’s Chairperson, Mr Iqbal Samnakay said “this funding will enable us, in partnership with the Ishar Multicultural Women’s Health Service, to reach out to a wide range of people in migrant and refugee communities.
“Connect, Move and Play (CoMaP) will engage men, women and young people in sport and activities that will contribute to increased connectedness with the wider community and improve overall health and wellbeing. People from some migrant communities are overrepresented in the statistics relating to diabetes, hypertension and other chronic diseases which has a devastating effect on their health and contributes to early mortality.
“We believe participation in sports and physical activity is vital to reduce social isolation and increase a sense of belonging in the community,” Mr Iqbal Samnakay said.
It is part of the Government’s $71 million investment in social cohesion initiatives to build stronger communities.
Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck said sport and physical activity is a key element to a stronger, more resilient and connected life.
“This is even more important as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Minister Colbeck said.
“It is important for all Australians to have opportunities to lead an active and healthy lifestyle,” Minister Colbeck said.
“Supporting organisations to promote sport and physical activity as a powerful tool for inclusion is a key part of addressing this problem.
“Australians want to get moving again. We want sport and recreation – with all the health, economic, social and cultural benefits – back in our communities.”
As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and community-based group sport and physical activity resumes, grant recipients have been given an extended timeframe to December 2022 to deliver funded activities.
Senator Colbeck reiterated advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), recommending the resumption of sport and recreation activities must be done safely and not compromise the health and safety of individuals and the community.
Further information about the Driving Social Inclusion through Sport and Physical Activity program is available here.