History and Background

Gippsland Multicultural Services Inc. is a community based organisation, assisting migrants and refugees in Gippsland through the provision of a range of services and programs that support the settlement and ongoing participation of our diverse communities in the Gippsland region.

We also provide a range of services to the wider community and service sector, including resources and training, and other services. Gippsland Multicultural Services now plays a major role in supporting our ageing CALD community members, both through the direct provision of a range of services, and also through assisting other aged service providers to better meet their needs.

Gippsland Multicultural Services Inc. (GMS) was formed through the efforts of the culturally diverse communities in the region in 1984, and remains the key service in the region that is able to advocate on behalf of migrants and refugees, and is managed “for and by” people from diverse backgrounds. The move to establish a Gippsland Multicultural Services in the region arose out of recognition that the particular needs of migrants and refugees in the region were not being met effectively by mainstream agencies, and that their participation in the community and access to services would be greatly enhanced by a centre specifically for this purpose.

Throughout our extensive history, we have worked collaboratively with a range of new and emerging, and well established communities, assisting them to participate in the wider community, and providing a responsive set of services to the needs of everyone from newly arrived refugees to highly skilled migrants and their families, youth through to our ageing migrant community, and to advise government.

Significant numbers of migrants have been settling in Gippsland for many years, including those who came following World War 2, as “displaced persons” from Eastern Europe, and those who followed from all over Europe later to join the then growing workforce in the Latrobe Valley’s electricity industries. We owe much to these generations, who contributed so much to the building of our regions’ infrastructure, often in very challenging and isolating circumstances.

Our Objectives

  1. 1. To provide poverty support to refugee and immigrant families and individuals suffering financial crisis, destitution, misfortune, helplessness and sickness.
  2. 2. To develop and deliver specific programs and services to address migrant settlement needs that alleviate the effects of poverty where there are identified service gaps within the context of each community’s needs.
  3. 3. To promote and increased awareness of the special needs and migrants and refugees amongst service providers, and within the general community.
  4. 4. To facilitate the planning and Co-ordination of services for newly arrived and established migrants and refugees in the Gippsland region
  5. 5. To advocate for access and equity and influence the policy and practices of organisations in an Australian multicultural society.
  6. 6. To assist in the provision of facilities and services to ethnic groups, including women, youth, the elderly and people with disabilities and newly emerging ethnic groups, that alleviate suffering and enhance participation.