CASS held a luncheon to celebrate achieving its three milestones
The community services provider, CASS, held a luncheon on 9 December 2019 at the Marigold Restaurant to celebrate the achievement of its three significant milestones: the 25th anniversary of CASS Settlement Services, the 20th anniversary of its Home Ageing Services and the 10th anniversary of the publication of CASS Column or Kending as it is commonly known. The luncheon was attended by guests from the community services sector, government officials, business partners, community leaders and the media. Representatives from the CASS Board of Directors also attended the celebration, including Chairperson Dr Bo Zhou, Mr Henry Pan OAM, Dr Leng Tan, Mr Anthony Pang, Mr Sean Zhang, Dr Stephen Li, Dr Bei Lu and Ms Tica Lee.
In his welcome speech, CASS Chairperson Dr Bo Zhou shared the history of the services. The Federal Government announced on 1 November 1993 its approval for over forty thousand Chinese students from mainland China studying in Australia at the time to be granted permanent residency. CASS immediately responded, on its own initiative, by organising seminars to disseminate information, and in the subsequent 10 weekends, CASS volunteers provided interpretation, documentation checks and form-filling services to the Chinese students. The efforts were acknowledged by the Government, leading to the granting of federal funding in September 1994 for the employment of one professional worker to provide Settlement Services in Campsie and Ashfield. In the last 25 years, there had been numerous changes to the Federal Government’s migration policies and the overall funding for settlement services sector has decreased over the years. Since 2012, CASS has become the only Chinese organisation that continues to receive funding to provide overarching settlement services to the Chinese migrants throughout Sydney.
Dr Zhou also revealed that CASS has been providing Home Ageing Service for 20 years. The service started in 1999 serving just 30 seniors of Chinese background residing at home and has grown to the present one which is serving over 1,000 seniors of multicultural background with a range of home ageing services.
At the same function, CASS also celebrated the 10th anniversary of the publication of Kending, or CASS Column. Kending is a collection of articles published under the pen name Kending, a Chinese term for hard-working gardeners who nurture their land with love, dedication and respect. The articles were first published in the Chinese Australian media ten years ago, and have become a weekly must-read for many Chinese migrants. Many of the stories told are about success, but most are connected to experiences of volunteering, inspiring people to join in with community activities and contribute to the Australian society.
Dr Bo said, “The achievements and success of CASS today cannot be made without the support of the community and the government. We would like to thank the Federal Government, all the community organisations and people who have assisted us and supported us in the journey. We also thank all the volunteers and staff members for their contribution. It is the collective efforts that have enabled CASS to reach our milestones today!”
In her speech, Ms Hermine Partamian, Senior Officer from the Federal Health Department, commended CASS for its provision of community services and its outstanding achievements over the years, and expressed her wish for CASS to continue to serve more people.
Ms Melissa Monteiro, Chairperson of the Settlement Council of Australia, complimented CASS for its provision of settlement services, helping new migrants to integrate into the Australia society, enabling multicultural understanding and social cohesion, thereby building a solid foundation for the sharing of common Australian values and contributing to a harmonious society.
At the luncheon, Professor Anneke Fitzgerald from the Griffith University also shared the research findings of the Intergeneration Project that CASS had actively participated in. The findings confirmed that interactions between the seniors and the children significantly lessened the seniors’ sense of loneliness and enabled children to establish a sense of mission and responsibility.
CASS Chief Operations Manager, Ms Maria Cheng, announced at the luncheon: “Building on our foundation of providing Home Ageing Service and activity groups for the Korean community, CASS will use its own resources to provide Settlement Services for the Korean migrants. CASS also has gained the approval of the City of Ryde Council to establish an office and service venue at the West Ryde Community Centre, enabling us to provide a wide variety of services to the multicultural communities in the Northern suburbs.”
Both guests and hosts enjoyed the luncheon amidst the exchange of compliments, congratulations and thanks!
CASS board of directors, government officials and Korean community leaders
CASS Chairperson Dr. Bo Zhou
CASS Founder Mr. Henry Pan