Bold Thinking Series: Social cohesion in the Goulburn Valley – Shepparton

Join us for the sixth Bold Thinking Series lecture for 2017, and our second regional lecture, where we discuss the Goulburn Valley’s relative success at receiving, and accommodating, large numbers of migrants of different ethnic origins over a long period. The different groups and subsequent emerging communities represent diversity in not only nationality, culture and circumstance, but also in the way that their migration has occurred.

Hear from our expert panel comprised of La Trobe academics Dr Anthony Moran and Dr Julie Andrews, Kon Karapanagiotidis and Fatima Al-Qarakchy at this special Bold Thinking Series event.

While earlier waves of migration were mostly self-driven in response to a variety of either push or pull factors, recent years have seen the arrival of many refugees and asylum seekers. As the Goulburn Valley is also home to Victoria’s largest Indigenous population outside Melbourne, the variety of cultures and nationalities, as well as the many diverse migration circumstances, suggests that the region is well-placed to be a source of valuable information regarding success factors and challenges facing a culturally diverse regional community.

Wednesday 27 September
4:45 – 7:15pm
Eastbank Centre
70 Welsford Street
Shepparton, VIC 3630

Register online to secure your place! This event is free!


Dr Anthony Moran

Anthony is a senior lecturer in Sociology, in the Department of Social Inquiry, at La Trobe University. He is the author of The Public Life of Australian Multiculturalism: Building a Diverse Nation (Palgrave, 2017), Australia: Nation, Belonging and Globalization (Routledge, 2005), and the co-author of Ordinary People’s Politics (Pluto Press Australia, 2006). He teaches and researches in the areas of race, ethnicity, nationalism, multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism and indigenous/settler politics and relations. In 2015 he was commissioned by the Victorian Multicultural Commission to research social cohesion and multiculturalism in Shepparton and Mildura. The findings were published in the co-authored report Understanding Social Cohesion in Shepparton and Mildura (November 2015).

Dr Julie Andrews

Julie is a member of the Dhulunyagan family clan of the Yorta Yorta tribe and since 2015 has been the Coordinator of Aboriginal Studies at La Trobe University. Dr Andrews designs and teaches curriculum on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues in Melbourne and northern Victoria, in particular, her On Country subject at Shepparton has won awards for education experience. Her research interests focus upon Aboriginal communities in both Melbourne and regional Victoria. She has developed many higher education and employment strategies and partnerships between La Trobe University and the Victorian Aboriginal community. She was the Chairperson of the Hyllus Maris Memorial Lecture from 1999 – 2003.

Her research has produced a body of knowledge in the areas of Aboriginal narratives, identity, Aboriginal demography and mobility, cultural resistance and community development and maintenance. She has been a cultural broker and advisor in partnerships and projects on Aboriginal education, the arts, sport, employment, business, community development, family and welfare. She is a member of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee for the Museums Board of Victoria and an active member of the Melbourne Aboriginal community.

Kon Karapanagiotidis

Kon has been a human rights advocate for the past 25 years. As a lawyer, social worker and teacher Kon has worked at the coalface with communities experiencing inequality and oppression from people seeking asylum to Indigenous Australians, survivors of sexual abuse to the homeless. Kon’s commitment to social justice come from his parents experiences of discrimination and exploitation and his own personal experiences of racism growing up.

At 28, Kon founded the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC). Established in the space of 8 weeks as a class project while a teacher, the ASRC has now gone on to become Australia’s largest organisation helping people seeking asylum. Over 12,000 people have now been helped via a team of over 1200 volunteers and 80 staff who deliver 30 life-changing programs, all without a cent of Federal Government funding.

Kon holds 6 degrees in the fields of law, social work, psychology, business, education and international development (including two degrees completed at La Trobe University) and his work has been recognised with an Order of Australia Medal, a Churchill Fellowship, La Trobe University Young Achiever Award, Victoria University Alumni of the Year, AHEPA Humanitarian Award, Citizen of the Year by the Maribyrnong City Council and recently voted one of Australia’s 25 most influential people in the social sector by Pro Bono Australia.

Fatima Al-Qarakchy

Fatima arrived in Shepparton from Iraq one week after 9/11. After three months Fatima joined the staff at McGuire College and Wilmott Rd Primary School as a teachers’ aid, soon supporting students in her fields of Maths and Science. The next year, Fatima qualified as an English/Arabic interpreter, one of only two women in a cohort of nineteen.

Since 2004, Fatima has worked as Kildonan’s Settlement Services Worker, assisting arrivals who have been in Australia between six months and five years. Fatima is working to close the gap between English and non-English speaking people.

In addition to her work role, Fatima acts as an informal advocate and mentor for Shepparton’s Iraqi community and offers support to families experiencing domestic violence. Fatima holds a Bachelor in Biology and Masters in Microbiology from Mosul University, Iraq and a Diploma of Interpreting and Diploma of Community Services gained in Australia.