Queensland Government

Summary

The St Vincent de Paul Society is a nationwide charity who, with the help of thousands of volunteers, works to assist people in genuine need and oppose social injustice across Australia. St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland (Vinnies Qld) were one of the first organisations to join the Ambassador Program in 2017.

Opportunity

As part of their role on the Ambassador Program, Vinnies Qld committed to embed the principles of the Multicultural Queensland Charter (the Charter) in their organisation. They saw this as an opportunity to examine how Vinnies Qld is contributing to a more inclusive, harmonious and united Queensland, and where they could strengthen or redirect their efforts to improve cultural diversity and inclusion.

Action

Shortly after joining the program, Sandy Hang (VoRTCS Program Coordinator and Vinnies Qld’s Ambassador Representative) undertook an analysis of how Vinnies’ strategic plan, programs, events, training framework and services aligned with the Charter principles. Sandy mapped this out by listing the eight Charter principles and identifying Vinnies’ activities which contribute to each principle which can be found in her Charter document (PDF, 0.6MB).

This exercise allowed Vinnies Qld to see how their organisation is currently maximising cultural diversity and fostering inclusion, while also revealing areas where they could strengthen their efforts.

In one example of embedding Charter principles (principle four), Vinnies Qld invested in a Learning and Development Officer who reviewed their training framework and included culturally diverse training modules on topics such as Leadership and Multiculturalism, and Embracing Diversity. These additions contributed to developing a leadership program titled ‘Leadership Conversations’ allowing these topics to be discussed and more broadly understood.

In another example, Vinnies supports programs which specifically target people from culturally diverse backgrounds such as Volunteer Refugee Tutoring and Community Support (VoRTCS) – based in Brisbane and Townsville, an initiative providing free in-home tutoring and support for refugee families. They also offer a program called ‘Migration Advice Service’ that offers free visa advice for migrants and refugees who can’t afford the professional services of a migration agent/lawyer (Charter principle one).

Achievement

By taking the time to examine whether Vinnies’ strategic plan, programs, events, training framework and services align with the principles of the Charter, Vinnies Qld are ensuring they are actively contributing to a more inclusive, harmonious and united Queensland and fulfilling their role as a Multicultural Queensland Ambassador. This exercise has also allowed Vinnies to develop an inclusive framework for decision making and long-term strategic planning to maximise the benefits of cultural diversity and continue to foster inclusion through their organisation.