Large group of people gathered on a grass area.

The Multicultural Advisory Committee provides leadership and direction to Council on recognising, engaging, supporting and empowering people from a multicultural background across the Region.

 

What does the Multicultural Advisory Committee do?

The main functions of the Multicultural Advisory Committee are to provide an advocacy role, coordinated advice and recommendations to Council in supporting multicultural groups, agencies and community members on:

  • interests of the culturally and linguistically diverse background communities both established and emerging and the sector that supports them, at a Local (Council and the broader community) State and Federal level
  • best practice access and equity models for settlement and integration for skilled migrants, family reunion, refugees and other visa categories throughout the Council area
  • emerging opportunities and issues relative to the trends and needs of culturally diverse communities in the Region
  • the establishment of protocols for working with culturally diverse communities
  • tourism opportunities which will promote the rich history and contribution of our culturally diverse community.

The Multicultural and Advisory Committee will also:

  • encourage and support coordination and cooperation within the Region’s multicultural and culturally diverse sector
  • provide assistance/guidance on specific projects or issues as identified by Council
  • assist Council in the dissemination of appropriate materials to aid in the facilitation of community dialogue with our culturally and linguistically diverse communities
  • promote positive images of Culturally and linguistically diverse community members in recognition of the contribution our diverse communities make to community life
  • assist Council to organise and contribute to key community events for our Culturally and Linguistically diverse communities.

 

Multicultural Advisory Committee meeting times and location

Meetings are located (unless otherwise stated):

Community Rooms, Level 3, Toowoomba City Library (Corner of Victoria and Herries Streets)

Upcoming meeting dates and times for 2022:

  • Thursday, 21 April: 4.30pm to 6.30pm
  • Thursday, 12 May: 4.30pm to 6.30pm
  • Thursday, 9 June: 4.30pm to 6.30pm
  • Thursday, 14 July: 4.30pm to 6.30pm
  • Thursday, 11 August: 4.30pm to 6.30pm
  • Thursday, 8 September: 4.30pm to 6.30pm
  • Thursday, 13 October: 4.30pm to 6.30pm
  • Thursday, 10 November: 4.30pm to 6.30pm
  • Thursday, 8 December: 4.30pm to 6.30pm

 

Meeting minutes

 

Background/scope

The Multicultural Advisory Committee (“the Committee”) is constituted under Section 264 of Local Government Regulation 2012, which empowers the Council to appoint advisory committees.

Tenure of committee

The Multicultural Advisory Committee is established for the term of the current elected Council, unless disbanded earlier by Council resolution.

(Subject to any Council resolution to the contrary, if a Committee is appointed for a particular purpose or for a limited time, the Committee is abolished and appointment of Members to the Committee is terminated upon the fulfilment of that purpose or the expiration of that time.)

Purpose

The Multicultural Advisory Committee will provide leadership and direction on the functions and responsibilities listed below.

Functions

The main functions of the Multicultural Advisory Committee are to provide an advocacy role, coordinated advice and recommendations to Council in supporting multicultural groups, agencies and community members on:

  • Interests of the culturally and linguistically diverse background communities both established and emerging and the sector that supports them, at a Local (Council and the broader community) State and Federal level.
  • Best practice access and equity models for settlement and integration for skilled migrants, family reunion, refugees and other visa categories throughout the Council area.
  • Emerging opportunities and issues relative to the trends and needs of culturally diverse communities in the region.
  • The establishment of protocols for working with culturally diverse communities.
  • Tourism opportunities which will promote the rich history and contribution of our culturally diverse community.

The Multicultural and Advisory Committee will also:

  • Encourage and support coordination and cooperation within the Region’s multicultural and culturally diverse sector.
  • Provide assistance/guidance on specific projects or issues as identified by Council.
  • Assist Council in the dissemination of appropriate materials to aid in the facilitation of community dialogue with our culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
  • Promote positive images of culturally and linguistically diverse community members in recognition of the contribution our diverse communities make to community life.
  • Assist Council to organise and contribute to key community events for our Culturally and Linguistically diverse communities.

Membership

  • The Multicultural Advisory Committee will consist of up to 16 members, including;
    1. Up to 13 culturally diverse community members or sector representatives
    2. Three (3) Councillors, one Councillor, who will be designated as the Chairperson. Where the Councillor cannot attend a meeting of the Multicultural Advisory Committee, the other Councillor delegated by Council may act as the chair for that meeting.
  • All members of the Multicultural Advisory Committee (excluding Councillors) must be a permanent resident.
  • All members of the Multicultural Advisory Committee may vote on business before the Committee, except where the member has a conflict of interest.
  • If any member of the Committee is absent from three consecutive meetings without having obtained leave of absence from the Committee, the member's continued membership of that Committee will be referred to the Chief Executive Officer for determination.
  • The Chief Executive Officer may appoint a member of staff to provide administrative support to the Committee however, the support staff will not be a member of the Advisory Committee or have voting entitlements.

Resignation and Replacement of Committee Members

  1. A committee member may resign at any time by way of written or emailed advice to the Chairperson.
  2. When a resignation is received, the resigning member may be replaced as follows:
  • Where such resignation is a Toowoomba Regional Council representative (Councillor or Officer) Council may appoint a suitable replacement representative.
  • Where such resignation is from a Community Representative, Council will call for expressions of interest for a suitable replacement unless the resignation is received less than six months from the conclusion of the biennial term of the committee.

Chairperson

If Council does not appoint the Councillor as the chairperson, a chair will be appointed by the Committee. The Chairperson will preside at an Advisory Committee meeting.

Acting Chairperson

If the Chairperson is absent or unavailable to preside, the other Councillor will preside.

Quorum

The Quorum of any Advisory Committee meeting will be a minimum of 51% of the membership.

Times and Places for Meetings

The Advisory Committee may determine the dates, times and places for its meetings. Council will be responsible for providing a suitable venue.

Meeting Procedures

Unless otherwise provided in these Terms of Reference, the Advisory Committee will generally adopt informal meeting procedures. Where more formal procedures are required, the procedures described in Council's Standing Orders shall apply.

Voting

  1. Each Member of the Advisory Committee has a vote on each question to be decided.
  2. Voting at a meeting must be open and questions decided by a majority of the votes of the Members present however, if the votes are equal, the Member presiding has a casting vote.

Conflict of Interest

  1. Where Committee Members have a conflict of interest, or could reasonably be taken to have a conflict of interest, in an issue being considered or to be considered at the meeting, the member must declare the conflict of interest to the meeting and must not be present while the matter, or a related matter, is being considered by the Committee or otherwise take part in any decision of the Committee in relation to the matter or a related resolution.
  2. For the purposes of this clause, a member has a conflict of interest in an issue if there is a conflict between the member's private interest and the public interest.

Open to the Public

  1. Meetings are to be open to the public, except where confidential matters are discussed.
  2. When the Committee proposes to close a meeting to the public, the Chair will direct all persons, other than members of the Committee, to leave the meeting and every person will immediately comply with the direction.
  3. Non-members may, with the permission of the Chairperson, address the Advisory Committee on any item of business listed on the agenda however, a non-member will not vote on any matter at an Advisory Committee meeting.

Confidential Matters

  1. Should matters of a confidential nature be discussed at a meeting, the meeting may be closed to the public in accordance with Section 275 (1) of Local Government Regulation 2012[1].
  2. A person who is or has been a member of an Advisory Committee must not make improper use of information acquired as a Member to -
  • gain, directly or indirectly, a financial advantage for the person or someone else;
  • harm the local government; or
  • release information that the person knows, or should reasonably know, is information that is confidential.

Media Contact

Media statements will only be made by the Chairperson.

Reporting

The Multicultural Advisory Committee will submit a report (Minutes listing actions, responsibilities, timeframes and outcomes) on each of its meetings to the Chief Executive Officer, who will list any recommendations for Council’s consideration on an agenda of a meeting of a Council Committee.

Sub-Committees

The Advisory Committee has the authority to establish special interest sub-groups and working groups as required to address specific matters identified by the Advisory Committee. These sub-groups (established under the same terms and conditions as the Advisory Committee) are to report back to the Advisory Committee.

Remuneration

The Council will not generally authorise payment or provide remuneration to members of Advisory Committees however, where special circumstances exist, Council may resolve to pay remuneration, reimburse expenses and/or provide facilities to Members of Advisory Committees.

Insurance

The Council will ensure that all members of Advisory Committees are covered by appropriate insurances (e.g. voluntary workers, public indemnity) while undertaking the duties of the Advisory Committee.

Relevant Legislation

Council’s role and obligations are directed by the following laws and regulations:

Relevant Laws and Legislation

Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld)

Equal Opportunity in Public Employment Act 1992

Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld)

Multicultural Recognition Act 2016 (Qld)

Public Sector Ethics Act 1994 (Qld)

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cwlth)

The People of Australia – Federal Multicultural Policy

A Multicultural future for us all – Queensland’s Cultural Diversity Policy

Related Policies/ Documents

United Nations: Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, 2001

Federal Government - Multicultural Access and Equity Policy

State Government - Queensland Multicultural Policy: Our story, our future

TRC Policies and Documents:

2019 – 2024 Corporate Plan

2.58 Community Engagement Policy

Community Engagement Guidelines

2.62 Access and Equity Policy

Toowoomba Regional Council Access and Equity Plan 2016-2021

4.13 Diversity and Inclusion Policy

4.25 Anti-Discrimination, Harassment and Equal Employment Opportunity

Toowoomba Regional Community Plan

Toowoomba Regional Council Planning Scheme (including Engineering Standards)

[1] 275 Closed meetings

1.   A local government or Committee may resolve that a meeting be closed to the public if its councillors or members consider it necessary to close the meeting to discuss-

  1. the appointment, dismissal or discipline of employees; or
  2. industrial matters affecting employees; or
  3. the local government's budget; or
  4. rating concessions; or
  5. contracts proposed to be made by it; or
  6. starting or defending legal proceedings involving it; or
  7. any action to be taken by the local government under the Integrated Planning Act 1997, including deciding applications made to it under that Act; or
  8. other business for which a public discussion would be likely to prejudice the interests of the local government or someone else, or enable a person to gain a financial advantage.


Our vision

The Toowoomba Region is a vibrant, inclusive and liveable region where respect for tradition and diversity is embraced.

Our mission

We partner with the community through authentic leadership and responsible governance to ensure a sustainable and bright future for our region.

Your volunteer role

Members of the Multicultural Advisory Committee (MAC) assist Toowoomba Regional Council to meets its commitment to recognising, engaging, supporting, and empowering people from a multicultural background across the region.

Your volunteer time commitment

Multicultural Advisory Committee meetings are held ten times per year, with the duration of meetings usually capped to two hours. In addition to monthly meetings, there may also be opportunities to contribute to projects identified by the committee and participate in subcommittees and/or working groups.

Skills and abilities

We are looking for volunteers with the following skills, qualifications, or experience to fill this volunteer role:

  1. demonstrated commitment to representing the interests of the culturally and linguistically diverse background communities in the region, by promoting and supporting participation, inclusion and equality within a framework of human rights, best practice and the service sectors that support them
  2. excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work within a professional, multi-disciplinary group drawn from a range of community and service backgrounds
  3. desire to foster a culture of collaboration, resource sharing, strategic planning, best practice, human rights, and coordination throughout the region to deliver accessible, relevant, and effective multicultural engagement
  4. Previous professional or voluntary experience in roles working with peoples from a culturally and linguistically diverse background, such as community services, human services, employment services, disability services, health, education, youth work, child protection, emergency services, police, youth justice; or specialist migrant or refugee services and community groups, including interfaith.

Key duties

As a member of the Multicultural Advisory Committee, you will help by performing the following duties:

 1. Provide coordinated advice and recommendations to Council on:

  • interests of Culturally and Linguistically diverse communities and the sector that supports them, at a Local (Council and the broader community) State and Federal level
  • best practice models in the Multicultural sector throughout the Toowoomba Regional Council area
  • emerging opportunities and issues relative to the trends and needs of the Culturally and Linguistically diverse communities
  • the establishment of protocols for working with Culturally and Linguistically diverse communities
  • the development and implementation of the Toowoomba Regional Council Multicultural Action Plan.

2. Encourage and support coordination and cooperation within the multicultural communities/sector.

3. Provide support and guidance on specific projects or issues as identified by Council.

4. Assist Council in the dissemination of appropriate materials to aid in the facilitation of community dialogue in relation to Culturally and Linguistically diverse communities.

5. Promote positive images of Culturally and Linguistically diverse communities in the community; and to recognise the contribution our Culturally and Linguistically diverse communities make to community life.

6. Assist Council to organise and contribute to key community events for Culturally and Linguistically diverse communities.

Additional requirements/background checks for the role

Toowoomba Regional Council is serious about its duty to provide a professional service and to provide all people working and volunteering with Council a safe and healthy working environment. We are a child safe organisation.

We are committed to recruiting dedicated, professional volunteers who have the skills and experience appropriate for this role.

 For this reason, we will need to collect the following information prior to you commencing in the role:

  1. resume
  2. national police check.

Assistance will be provided for any arrangements and applications. No out of pocket expenses will be incurred.

Please contact Roberto Garcia, Community Development Officer - Multicultural, if you have any questions about these background checks.

Any information you provide will:

  • be handled in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles
  • not be used for any purpose not related to your volunteer role
  • not be released to any other organisation unless you provide your consent or as required by law.

As a volunteer of Toowoomba Regional Council, you will also be required to:

  • complete the Volunteer Registration form
  • read, understand, and sign the Volunteer Deed of Agreement
  • read, understand, and sign the Code of Conduct for Employees
  • abide by the Local Government Act 2009, Work Health and Safety Act 2011, and other relevant State and Commonwealth Acts.