Migrant women take centre stage

Not three years ago, our bilingual educators visited the Langham Hotel to run health education sessions with the many migrant women who work there behind the scenes and are essential to the hotel’s operation.

Last week we made sure that migrant women were centre stage, by celebrating in style with a Gala in the Langham’s magnificent Clarendon Ballroom. A full house of well over two hundred guests included dear friends and esteemed colleagues from Costa Group, The Heart Foundation, Cititek Systems, Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Council of Australia, Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria, the Multicultural Women’s Health Australia network, Australian Council of Trade Unions as well as some of the founding members of MCWH, researchers, multicultural, health, family violence and women’s health organisations, local council representatives and board members, staff, and bilingual health educators past and present.

We were also privileged to have in attendance Huong Truong, Greens MP for the Western Metropolitan Region, Emily Lee-Ack; CEO of the Office for Women; Tania Farha, Executive Director of Multicultural Affairs and Social Cohesion; Jane Foley from the Department of Health and Human Services and a whole table of staff from Family Safety Victoria.

The involvement and attendance of our major sponsor, Costa, was one of the highlights of the evening. As Costa’s Chief Financial Officer Linda Kow, explained at the Gala, Costa Group first partnered with MCWH to run the Industry Visits Program with migrant women at their Melbourne mushroom factory in Mernda. Costa’s presence was strongly felt on the night, and not only because of the beautiful fruit that decorated our spectacular centre pieces; Costa also hosted two tables of migrant women from the Mushroom factory to attend the gala and celebrate with us.

Even amidst the celebration, many serving staff moved expertly around the tables, serving our food and pouring our drinks. We’d like to thank and acknowledge the hard work of all the migrant women and men who worked behind the scenes at the Langham to make the event so seamless.