We’re going from table to table in the Greater Dandenong region – one of the most culturally diverse parts of Victoria – to take the pulse on climate impacts and what actions are needed most.
To win a faster and fairer transition from polluting coal, oil and gas to clean energy, we need leadership and participation from all parts of the community. But culturally diverse communities have been chronically under-represented at the decision-making ‘table’. Whether advocating to politicians or designing the best way to roll out policy solutions, multicultural voices and stories have often been sidelined or missing entirely.
Environment Victoria is excited to be rolling out a new project focused on seeking out and lifting up voices and perspectives of multicultural community members starting in the City of Greater Dandenong.
Dandenong is known for being one of Australia’s most multicultural regions, home to people from over 150 nations with more than three quarters of the local population having had both parents born overseas.
There is so much action and community leadership on display through regular festive events, cultural support networks and local meeting places. This project seeks to tap into these lively spaces to have new and powerful conversations about climate impacts and solutions from unique cultural points of view.
Throughout summer and the first part of 2024, Community Organiser, Tony Fretton is facilitating a series of ‘Table Talks’ in Dandenong. These are sessions with small groups of people from a similar cultural background taking a seat at ‘the table’ to share their stories and perspectives.
Participants will be asked about their views on climate impacts already being felt here and in other parts of the world where they have family and cultural connections. They will be asked to share ideas for action and ways in which existing solutions – like home electrification – might be taken up faster here in Victoria.
Tony is meeting with community leaders and multicultural groups from the largest cultural groups in the Dandenong area including: China, Vietnam, India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Afghanistan, African communities and Arabic-speaking communities.
Working with a co-facilitator from each of these communities he will capture themes from the discussion and offer opportunities for participants to share stories, stay connected with local climate action efforts or take part in leadership and training opportunities with Environment Victoria or others in the environment and climate movement.
In mid-2024 all Dandenong Table Talk participants will be invited to join a larger event to bring together findings, share stories and consider opportunities for shared action.