Embracing Diversity: The Multicultural Senior Expo

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On April 26th, seniors from various cultural backgrounds come together for the "Multicultural Senior Services Expo," a vibrant showcase of social service booths, captivating song and dance performances, delicious lunchtime treats, healthful exercises, and expert Q&A sessions on aged care services. Held at the Vincent Community Centre, the event was a testament to our community's rich tapestry of cultures.

Organised jointly by Chung Wah Community Care (CWCC) and the Perth Asian Community Centre (PACC), the expo aimed to familiarise seniors with various social service agencies' services, activities, and support. Special attention was given to language accessibility, with translators on hand to provide one-on-one translation services, ensuring that non-English speaking seniors could engage fully with the offerings.

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The information provided at the expo covered essential aspects of navigating the Australian welfare system, such as using senior cards, applying for pensions, and accessing aged care services. It also touched on everyday living assistance, addressing how to manage loneliness and cope with reduced mobility among older people. Seventeen social service agencies, including government representatives from the WA Department of Community Services and the WA Seniors Council, and local active social service organisations like the Perth Multicultural Service Centre, were present to offer solutions and support.

The expo kicked off with an opening speech by Theresa, the CEO of CWCC. She emphasised that language barriers do not disconnect one from the world, especially for seniors striving to maintain an independent and active lifestyle. She noted that understanding the community's resources and services is crucial, as it empowers seniors to take control of their lives and maintain autonomy.

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Theresa also warmly welcomed newcomers and long-time residents, highlighting the Vincent Community Centre as a focal point for multicultural activities in Perth. Over the years, she has witnessed the growth of the multicultural community and the mutual support and collaboration among its members, which she described as a solid testament to the community's cohesion and inclusiveness. This collaborative spirit promotes cultural diversity and enriches the resources and support available to Perth's immigrant population.

The expo truly encapsulated multiculturalism. The morning session featured a professional yoga instructor, Anna, who led the seniors in chair yoga, introducing them to a popular Western meditation and relaxation technique. Post-lunch, the CWCC volunteer team performed traditional Chinese folk dances and offered calligraphy demonstrations and interactive sessions, adding an element of Asian traditional culture to the event.

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CWCC has always been committed to serving Perth's multicultural groups. It provides day-to-day care and support for seniors and strives to foster close ties and interaction between them and the broader Australian society. CWCC plans to organise various activities based on community needs to promote multicultural integration within the senior community, and everyone is encouraged to participate actively.

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