S1: Paving the way for frontline engagement

Time: 11:00am – 11:50am
Location: Hunter Room
Yamamah Agha, General Manager Newcomers, Settlement and Integration, Settlement Services International

1.1 Filling the Gap – Policing during the Pandemic

Rima Elhage
NSW Police Force 

About the presentation

The past two years was an extraordinary period in NSW Police Force’s history. Faced with the most dangerous health threat in the state’s history, NSWPF led the government’s response while still keeping the community safe amidst of crime, bushfires, and floods. Officers across the state continued to turn up for duty and put themselves in harm’s way to keep NSW on its feet. One of those dedicated units is the Multicultural Community Liaison Officer (MCLO) Program. In the workshop, MCLOs will discuss the successes and challenges when engaging with and responding to the needs of multicultural communities, giving examples from the work done in the field during the pandemic.

About the presenters

Rima Elhage has been with the NSW Police Force (NSWPF) for 14 years. She was a primary school teacher prior to changing career paths. She began her career with NSWPF as a Multicultural Community Liaison Officer (MCLO) at the Wollongong Police Area Command. Rima remained a MCLO for ten years before becoming the State MCLO Coordinator in 2019. She proudly leads a team of 33 MCLOS across NSW who are an integral part in the NSWPF commitment and response to CALD communities. The MCLO team boast a range of awards for their exceptional frontline work. They were recently recognised for their response during COVID by receiving the Premiers Local Government Business Excellence Award in 2022. Rima has been recognised for her work by receiving an Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Award 2018 and the IMB Community Hero 2019 for projects she has delivered.

1.2 More than just words: Authentic engagement is a three-way street

Dina Petrakis
Ethnic Community Services 

About the presentation

To support ethnic communities during the COVID-19 health crisis, services utilised a dynamic and respectful three-way partnership between clients, service providers and funders to achieve outcomes.  It is through meaningful long-term interactions that outcomes are achieved. Authentic engagement opens up new perspectives and opportunities available in Australia and provides equitable access and a sense of belonging.   In this presentation we will examine what it means to engage authentically with people from ethnic backgrounds who are at different stages of their settlement journey and how we worked with and within communities to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 through the mobilisation of bi-cultural support. As one of the most diverse societies on earth, we cannot afford to exclude any community from our service landscape through lack of prioritisation or commitment at the outset of policy development.  

About the presenter

Dina Petrakis has managed social justice and international aid programs in Australia and the Asia Pacific region. She has worked in education and training, as a researcher with the University of Western Sydney and supported refugee entrepreneurs. She is currently the CEO of Ethnic Community Services Cooperative.

1.3 The Power of Research in Serving Multicultural Audiences

Sarah Yassien

About the presentation 

The purpose of this presentation is to share SBS’s current research findings and methodologies used to meaningfully engage multilingual audiences. 

About the presenter

Sarah Yassien is the SBS Director of Corporate Strategy, responsible for Corporate Strategy, Audience Data and Insights and Audience Relations. Prior to her appointment to Director, Sarah led SBS's digital transformation and product strategy, driving the transformation of the digital offering to deliver a deeper audience connection with SBS’s distinctive programs and services.

Last updated:

05 Oct 2022

We will use your rating to help improve the site.
This field is required
Please don't include personal or financial information here
This field is required
Please don't include personal or financial information here

We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present, and future. 

Informed by lessons of the past, Department of Communities and Justice is improving how we work with Aboriginal people and communities. We listen and learn from the knowledge, strength and resilience of Stolen Generations Survivors, Aboriginal Elders and Aboriginal communities.

You can access our apology to the Stolen Generations.

Top Return to top of page Top