RGAW Event – CALD Women
It’s late on a Friday afternoon and lively chatter fills the two training rooms that have been set up for this event. Tonight PEACE has organised a presentation to be given to CALD women from South Asian backgrounds for responsible gambling awareness week (RGAW). The focus of RGAW this year is the effect that gambling has on family, friends and the community and the women here represent a broad cross section of Australian multicultural society and as such, PEACE wishes to address some of the challenges inherent in parenting in a new society.
After a quick welcome to country and introduction by PEACE gambling help services coordinator, Memoona, the floor is given to Melvin, also a member of the gambling help team. Melvin is giving a speech about his experiences growing up the son of a migrant woman. A speech that outlines the challenges his mother faced adapting to a new society with no support and how a chain of events led to him developing a gambling problem later in life.
The mood changes to serious as the story progresses and there is a certain sense of captivation about the crowd. This is a story of challenges, of perseverance but also, one of recovery. After Melvin speaks the floor is opened up for questions and a light discussion.
Memoona follows on from this by giving a short presentation outlining the facts and common myths behind gambling in Australia as a way to highlight to the attendees the inherent dangers associated with problem gambling.
The next speaker is Detective Brevet Constable Shaun Osborne. He is here to create a discussion about negative perceptions of police that are held by migrant communities and also to outline the ways in which the SAPOL can assist in all matters relating to domestic violence, family breakdown and of course, gambling.
The discussion with Detective Osborne is followed shortly after by Rajni Madan, a relief teacher at Roma Mitchell Secondary College. She migrated from Sri Lanka many years ago and shares the story of her first few days here and also, the challenges that she has faced raising her children and building a successful life in a completely different context to what she was used to back home.
After Rajni has finished speaking, Enaam Ouidh speaks briefly about an upcoming mental health consultation and invites anyone interested to contribute. The restless children and husbands of the attendees arrive from the back room where they have been waiting patiently and join us all for dinner to celebrating such a lovely event.