A LOCAL volunteer group that was formed to assist people from other nations to find their feet and become established within Gunnedah has been boosted by continued support from council.
Multicultural Gunnedah was established in 2019, after a public meeting with Gunnedah Shire Council staff and founder of Multicultural Tamworth Eddie Whitham attracted very strong community interest.
However just as the not-for-profit was trying to establish itself in the shire, COVID-19 hit, which greatly affected the group's ability to meet and limited opportunities for fundraising activities.
Thankfully, council has come on board, offering them twelve months financial assistance in the form of $743 to cover the cost of venue hire at the Cultural Precinct so they can continue to hold their monthly meetings.
Gunnedah mayor Jaime Chaffey said he believes the group will play a "very strong" part in Gunnedah's future success.
"Unfortunately, COVID-19 really affected the ability for this organisation to come forward and start to do what they intended to do, which was to become a voluntary support group for people who are coming into our community from other nations to take up employment opportunities or lifestyle opportunities," he said.
"I believe there is a desperate need in our community currently," he continued.
"But also as we look at advertising - not just regionally but nationally - about the livability and investment opportunities in Gunnedah and we try to attract investment in that population because of our job vacancies, we can expect that a high percentage of people from other nations will be looking favourably on Gunnedah as a place to come and have their opportunity in this great nation.
"So I think this organisation will play a very strong part in our future success in our endeavour to bring people forward and to hopefully reach some of those highly skilled people into our community to take up those positions."
Multicultural Gunnedah volunteers work to connect new international residents to services such as accommodation, employment, skills and training, schools, churches and volunteer service groups.
The group, which consists of six to eight volunteer members, is working towards becoming incorporated which will enable them to access grant opportunities.