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25 January 2001


Presented at Annual General Meeting
25th January 2001

Year 2000 has been a very active year for the Lightning Ridge and Region Transcultural Community Council (TCC) Inc. We have been involved with many different community projects. Mostly these projects look at encouraging people in our community to participate and develop on the wonderful cultural diversity that exists in Lightning Ridge.

We are going into our sixth year, as an active community based volunteer group. We believe much has been achieved for the community as a whole through a group such as ours. To be a volunteer you need to want to achieve for your community, to improve and develop opportunities for our community. Seeking out appropriate opportunities and time willing do your best to access funds to achieve this.

TCC did well to continue to attract funding for year 2000, we have successfully applied and received funding for $41 927.91 over the period Jan/Dec 2000. Funding received from Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA), Ethnic Affairs Commission of NSW and Cabrini Hospital, Victoria.

TCC continues employs a Migrant Information and referral Service (MIRS) worker, Gyorgyi Nyers, through funding received from Ethnic Affairs Commission (EAC) and the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA). Gyorgyi is able to assist and refer people of non- English speaking background to appropriate services. Gyorgyi is able to access and inform about our community, local government, government and non-government departments, helping people overcome communication barriers. Gyorgyi attends occasional information and training sessions as funding allows

We would like to thank the Walgett Shire for their continued support for our organisation. Walgett Shire assisted the TCC with the processing of wages for our two workers during year 2000, and accommodating the TCC by means of sharing space at the Neighbourhood Centre.

TCC have been very happy to actively support the newly established women's group the Yawarra Meamei with its inaugural annual general meeting held 14th February. TCC believes much can be achieved with good support for this group. It was a good achievement to get this Lightning Ridge based women's group on its feet. This group will also support the Lightning Ridge Safe House (Domestic Violence) worker.

March 21st and 22nd DIMA Officers visit Lightning Ridge, with Ian Moore, Parliamentary and Ministerial Liaison Officer and organiser of rural visits. Gyorgyi had prior to visit organised appointments for clients with the DIMA officers with any questions concerning family migration, citizenship or other immigration matters. This visit was very valuable, and it is hoped DIMA officers will return again early 2001.

March 27th TCC addressed the Walgett Shire council Open Forum about ratepayers role as Australian Permanent Residents. In earlier years permanent residents were able to vote in the Walgett Shire Council elections, this privilege taken away. TCC have asked the General Manager to investigate this.

March 28th and 29th DIMA consultant, Zaga Nagy and Community Development worker, Migrant Resource Centre Newcastle, Alex Burns, met with the TCC committee on the 28/03/00. TCC keeps close contact with both Zaga and Alex, they are very valuable to us as immediate advisers on any challenging matters. Whilst in Lightning Ridge Zaga and Alex went on a field trip and went down an opal mine. They found Lightning Ridge and particularly the opal fields to be very interesting and a real eye opener to experience of how people live out on the opal fields. Zaga and Alex may also be back in 2001.

June 31st was TCC Field Worker Folke Geijer's last day, after 2 years in this position. Cabrini Hospital, Melbourne, had funded this position very generously, TCC was able to learn a lot about the needs that exist out on the fields through Folke's work in this position. The Field worker position was able to assist many people, with information and how to access services. Nevertheless this project came to an end and will have to develop in a different direction, possibly with the support of the Cabrini Hospital once again.

May 3rd TAFE Outreach together with MIRS worker Gyorgyi organised a community consultation to assess courses of interest to the community As a result of this meeting the small motor maintenance and, opalcutting, courses took place.

Outback Arts, Cath Foggarty, Regional Arts Development Officer and her team in Coonamble have kept in touch with TCC. They are very much dependent on local government and community organisations to make it possible for these events to take place. TCC volunteered to promote the following events for Lightning Ridge and Region:
Circus Monoxide came to Lightning Ridge to entertain both children and adults on 5th and 6th of May, this was circus without animals. This was great entertainment and very popular. Despite the rain and cold people came to see the performance.
24th June Co Opera presented La Boheme. This presentation was quite a treat for the Lightning Ridge community, next time we hope that more people will come and watch the performance.

The Hon. Philip Ruddock and the Ministers Adviser Paris Kostakos came to Lightning Ridge on 06/07/00 to meet with the TCC. It was an honour to have the Minister come to Lightning Ridge, particularly since a previous meeting had been planned for 08/09/99, but due to Timor crisis, an urgent cabinet meeting was held. The TCC took the minister for a tour of Lightning Ridge and the opal fields, also meeting with other community organisations and groups. An evening meal with the minister was held at the Lightning Ridge Pistol Club with eighty guests. We thank everyone involved for getting together and putting together wonderful food and atmosphere, making the ministers visits a success.

TCC attended Walgett Shire Aboriginal Reconciliation Committee meetings held in Lightning Ridge planning for Moorubil Day. August 15th,, Moorubil Day, about recognising and promoting reconciliation. This event was held at the Spider Brown Oval. School children from the region came to Lightning Ridge. This was a great day with entertainment provided by the schools. TCC held a stall serving coffee, tea, drinks and cake.

The Opal and Gem Expo was held as usual 27th July - 30th July and TCC usually tries to promote TCC with information. This year as part of the Expo the Inaugural Opal Jewellery Design Awards (OJDA) were held, with a view to make this an annual event for Lightning Ridge. The OJDA were a great success with magnificent opal and jewellery. TCC was asked to contribute with using our banner with our emblem and flags to decorate for the OJDA dinner. We could offer our emblem, but flags had not yet been organised. TCC were happy that our community group was given recognition at this very special occasion.

In August TCC purchased 51 various national flags representing the cultural backgrounds of the people who live in Lightning Ridge. We have used loan funds to pay for the flags. We ask individual people to donate towards the cost of the flags. Custodianship of the flags remains with the TCC, flags to be displayed for special community events. Flags will be kept at the Lightning Ridge Bowling Club for safekeeping. The flags were purchased at a cost of $60 each. TCC encourages community to donate money, towards paying off loan of 3070.00. Approx. a third of this amount has been recouped with donations towards payment of any flag or specific flag.

Olympic Torch arrived in Lightning Ridge 20/08/00, many came together to watch the Olympic torch go through Lightning Ridge. There was much activity and entertainment with After the Flame events. TCC held a stall, selling coffee, tea and slices of cake. TCC organised for 51 flags to fly across Opal and Morilla streets. The flags added a splash of colour, showing the diversity of our community. We thank Phil Frew from Telstra, Paul Jones-North Power and the Walgett Shire Council workers-Wayne Holden, Howard Mitchell, Paul Humphries, Anthony (Frog) Leeder, who made it possible to fly the flags safely for this occasion.

Lightning Ridge Opal and Fossil Centre -TCC has been involved in an ex officio capacity supporting the development of the Opal and Fossil Centre. October 3rd attended community consultations and workshops with Study Consultants, Australia Street Company conducted focus group workshops with key stakeholders, to consider issues and opportunities related to the Centre.

Our Treasurer Lovelyn has been overseas for a long period, and it became evident that we needed to put acting Treasurer in place. Committee member David Lane took on this position 03/11/00, we thank David for coming into this position, particularly over this crucial period with the 1st quarter of the Business Activity Statement (BAS) due.

TCC Women's Group started on the 22/11/00, this is a social group, getting together, with occasional guest speakers, sharing experiences and information with each other. This group meets once a month.

Lightning Ridge Central School (LRCS) invited the TCC on the 13/11/00 to meet with the District Student Representative council to speak about multiculturalism and the "migrant experience". The TCC very much enjoyed informally presenting our experiences and the question and answer session, we thank Christine Resinger of the LRCS for inviting us.

TCC continued to be represented on the School Council, recognising that many of our local children come from a non-English speaking background. TCC representative in 2000 was Folke Geijer, we hope for continued involvement in 2001.

The Ella Nagy Youth Centre, the Walgett Shire and Barriekneal Housing celebrated official opening 24/11/00, TCC invited to participate. The Youth Centre is a an important addition to our community, Barriekneal have done a good job renovating the old Memorial Hall

TAFE Opal Cutting Course, organised by the TCC, held on 27/11/00 and 04/12/00. This was a five day course, 13 students attended in all. Opal cutting teachers were Ralph Pownall and Sam Hopkins of Morilla Street. This course attracted much interest from community and many are still on the list should the course resume in 2001, pending on funding.

30/11/00 our Secretary Lydia Hanna resigned from her position, organising move to Sydney. We wish Lydia and family all the best and thank Lydia for her support for the TCC.

Constitution for the TCC- Draft was presented at the 30/11/00 general meeting, and to be adopted at the Annual General Meeting 25/01/01. The constitution was discussed over a number of sessions, with considerations for the clearest possible constitution.

TCC Newsletter, prepared by the MIRS worker, continues to be distributed quarterly, copies of the newsletter is available at Neighbourhood Centre or can be accessed on the
TCC website
Or email:

As the president, with an interest in many community activities and groups it is very frustrating that we year after year we are faced with chasing around for an appropriate facility to hold community meetings and events. There is a great need for us to support a push for a community centre in Lightning Ridge

I wish to thank the year 2000 Committee, as follows, for their support, making year 2000 such an eventful and successful year. Vice Presidents - Ian Woodcock, Nezaket Schulz, Treasurer Lovelyn Miglietta, Secretary Lydia Hanna, Public Office-Joan Treweeke, Publicity- Nezaket Schulz, Committee members-Joe Sostarec, Maria Sostarec, Steve Matic, Drago (Marko) Markovic, Elena Edgely, Anna Geijer, Rosemarie Dohring, Peter Lang.

We have had an interesting and eventful year and hope 2001 will be both satisfying and productive for the committee. For year 2001 I wish the new committee continued success for the TCC.

Sincerely Christina Johansson President

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