Director's Update - June 2017

The month of June has flown by.  We paid tribute to the sheer courage and perseverance of refugees on World Refugee Day, 20 June.  As I began my work as Director of the Office of Ethnic Communities, old and new friends have made me aware of the significant difference that ethnic community representatives involved in business, migrant settlement, refugee services, culture and heritage, education and other important fields are making too many people's lives in Auckland and elsewhere. Our partners in government agencies have been most welcoming and my team and I look forward to collaborating even more with them to provide strong support to communities.

Our Big Day Out is, of course, EPIC NZ, being held tomorrow, Friday 30 June. It is the Office's sixth EPIC conference and remains as popular as ever with over 300 people expected to attend. We would like to thank the Minister of Ethnic Communities for her support and attendance of this event. Diana Solomon, our Manager for Policy and Research, led Team Office of Ethnic Communities' excellent efforts in organising and hosting this conference and I would like to thank our vibrant ethnic media - Indian Weekender, World TV, Oceania TV - in addition to the Sunday Star Times for helping us tell the New Zealand business story through the inspiring lens of ethnic diversity.

In wrapping up a great month, the Office of Ethnic Communities sent warm wishes to everyone in New Zealand Muslim communities around the country as Eid Al-Fitr, the New Year following the holy month of Ramadan, was celebrated. In Malaysia, where I come from, we wish each other "Selamat Hari Raya Aidulfitri" and enjoy fragrant food and much delight in each others’ company. May the New Year bring joy and success to all our Muslim friends and neighbours.