It is my pleasure to welcome you to the 29th Annual Report for Mt Druitt Ethnic Communities Agency (MECA). This past 12 months have been very exciting as we embraced a number of opportunities, continued to develop our creative and innovative approaches to our community, and also had some major and positive changes for MECA.

The most exciting, and most obvious achievement over the past 12 months, is the recent move of MECA into fabulous new premises. We are very grateful to Mission Australia for offering us the opportunity to share their premises in the heart of Mt Druitt, in a much more accessible venue (no stairs!) with great training and group rooms and lovely outside space. And at a very reasonable cost. This great outcome, has been due to the support Julie Jasprizza-Laus from Mission Australia. And of course, Amie, our amazing manager who persevered until we achieved the result we were all hoping for. The partnership with Mission Australia is growing stronger and with additional space available we are hoping to be work with other services to meet the needs of our community.

We have also been working very closely with the NSW Settlement Partnership including Settlement Services International and SydWest MSI as the current funding period ceases and we are all working on the next tender to try to secure funding for the future. It was a relief to have our funding extended for 6 months while the tenders were being worked on, and we are very optimistic that this strong partnership will be successful going forward.

We have also been successful in securing a grant from Family & Community Services for working with youth for $50,000. This is because of our history and experience of working with young people and has enabled us to extend our work with this group.

MECA would not be where it is today without the support, passion and hard work of its amazing staff. Thank you to Yousef, Raeanne, Daniel and Fadi who are all great assets to MECA. And our wonderful manager, Amie, who is the heart of MECA and without whom we would not be where we are now.

I would also like to acknowledge the commitment and passion of our Management Committee – Garry, Farabi, Stephen, Abbas and Moisema. Thank you all for your continuing support of MECA and for giving of your time and your energy. Thanks also to Mawa who had to resign from the Management Committee during this last year as she moved to Melbourne. We wish her well in her career.

So many people contribute to MECA’s ongoing success and so I extend my thanks to all of you – clients, members of our community, partners, staff, volunteers, students, and management committee members. Your ongoing support and belief in MECA is why we continue to thrive!

Jo Fuller