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Tuesday, 02 June 2020
Media release

Multicultural communities unite in response to COVID-19

Australia’s multicultural communities are playing a key role in Australia’s response to COVID-19.

Today, acting Minster for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge joined members of the Oceania Federation of Chinese Organisations from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos Inc. at the Royal Melbourne Hospital where they presented a donation of more than $37,000 for the hospital’s COVID appeal.

The money will go towards the hospital’s front line response as well as research into treatment options and vaccines.

Minister Tudge said Australians, regardless of their background, were going out of their way to keep themselves, their families and their communities safe.

“In times of adversity, Australians often shine and we have seen that this year – first with the response to the bushfires and now with the pandemic.

“This absolutely includes the responses we’ve seen from our multicultural communities. I have been blown away by the generosity of multicultural communities in terms of the money they have raised and the support they have provided to their fellow Aussies.”

Oceania Federation President Sunny Duong said the organisation mounted a fundraising appeal after seeing reports of frontline workers facing shortages in protective equipment and other medical equipment such as ventilators.

“Most members of the Indo-China ethnic Chinese community have settled in Australia for over 40 years. We consider Australia our home and wish to do our part when Australia is in need,” Mr Duong said.

“In January this year, we also donated $110,000 to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal and $89,000 to The Salvation Army for their Australian Bushfire Appeal.

“We hope that this donation today can be spent and used in the continued control and fighting of Covid-19 by the Royal Melbourne Hospital.”

Professor Christine Kilpatrick, Chief Executive, the Royal Melbourne Hospital said the generous donation will be used to support the continued efforts of the hospital staff and researchers.

“The Royal Melbourne Hospital has been involved in clinical trials, science and innovative new technology throughout COVID-19 and this donation will aid our efforts in continuing these programs that are making a difference to the global response to the pandemic,” Professor Kilpatrick said.

Minister Tudge said the Government was continuing to support multicultural communities through the pandemic, with key advice being translated into 63 languages and ongoing engagement through virtual round tables and briefings.

“I join with all Australians to thank multicultural communities for all they have done to help our nation get through this pandemic. Now is a time to come together and support one another.”