Oct 8, 2018
By Bindiya Bakshi, Multicultural Association of Community Empowerment had their first Annual Conference, the theme broadly being Celebrating Women (Body and Soul) on 25th August 2018 at Melton Country Club, the energy was contagious as 100 women gathered traditionally dressed in beautiful colours, under one roof to celebrate each other.

Deepti Alurkar, President – Mace says the event was a grand success and witnessed the presence of many established strong women,we want to support people of multicultural background in aspects including social isolation, domestic violence, getting job ready and organising workshops, mentoring and providing a social platform to interact and socialise, she says. The idea of the event was to educate women about Health & well-being, recognising local women business entrepreneurs and community leaders.

The event witnessed Who’s who of the local Women VIP’s.

Local Member of Parliament Hon.Natalie Suleyman was the Guest of Honour of the event.

Mayor Bob Turner & his wife Val Turner visited the event to wish good luck to Deepti Alurkar& her team and the evening was attended by All Melton Council Women Councillors, Cr.Sophie Ramsey,Cr.KathyMajdlik,Cr.Lara Carli, Cr.Melissa De Santis& Cr.Michelle Mendes.

The panellists included Dr.Manjula O ‘Connor, Dr.PreetiKhillan, Dr.Malini Singh , Jodie Mcgough& Helen Cooney.There were many strong women including KaushalyaVaghela – advisor to Multicultural Minister HonRobin Scott, Jane Sultana- President Zonta Club Melton & Dawn Clark.

The evening was opened with a beautiful Bollywood performance by Mums Dance Club members.

The event started with a impactful speech by Deepti Alurkar- President of MACE addressing the women present and emphasizing on embracing all cultures irrespective of colour, race or background, she shared her migrant story and her journey of starting Mums Dance Club and MACE,along with congratulating women for coming together to celebrate each other’s success, hardwork. She emphasised on lifting each other up and her favourite quote being “Do not fear Competition believe in Collaboration” she concluded.

Hon Natalie Suleyman addressed and shared her story and how she believes in women helping women and wonders can happen.Dawn Clark gave an insightful speech on Domestic Violence and the struggles as she herself has been the victim and survivor of domestic abuse. The panellists covered aspects of health, diets and support available for domestic violence victims too.Mr.Narayan from ISA Consulting shared with us his innovation which is revolutionary with a palm size ECG machine.

One of the many highlights of the event was Q&A with our esteemed Panellists.

Dr Manjula O’ Connor spoke about Family Violence and Dowry System. and how it affects the physical and emotional wellbeing of a woman. She provided some examples from recent cases that she handled Manjula educated women on their rights and provided direction to women that need support. She made us all ware that ANTI-DOWRY Bill was passed by parliament and will now go to the governor for Royal assent.

Dr Khillan spoke to women about gynaec related. Women on the floor had many questions about the increased ration of miscarriage and what steps could be taken to avoid such situations in the future. Dr Khillan provided some tips on how women can look after their bodies once they plan to conceive. She stressed the importance of taking a balanced diet and folic acid.For women, who have suffered a miscarriage advised early pregnancy screening.

Dr Malini singh answered questions relating stress and anxiety in children and adults.Women had many questions around some children have separation anxiety from their mums when they go to day-care or school.Dr Mailini provided suggestion on how mums can better manage these situations.

The evening also acknowledged the winners and presented them trophies presented by Councillors and the Dignitaries: Winners announced for the evening are: Local Business Award- Reliance Real Estate; Emerging Business Award – Last Minute Productions; Innovative Business Award- ISA Consulting
Community award winners are:Community Leader of the year Award:Ms.KaushalyaVaghela ; Community Champions -Brigette Kasindi and Seema Pawar and Special Recognition for work towards Women Health: Dr.PreetiKhillan&Dr.Manjula O’Connor.

There was a beautiful performance by the Les De Femmes Group of Congolese performers.

Fashion show was the showstopper and the participants BindiyaBakshi (AFL Multicultural Ambassador), Daisy Victor, Preeti Deva, Seema, Aishwarya Prasad,Sipti, Sreeja, ParulDandand SanthiyaSubramanim sizzled the stage in their traditional attires.

The evening couldn’t have ended in a better way.

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