December News – Signing off for another year

2017 in Summary

As December gallops toward its celebratory end, take a moment to reflect on the opportunities for growth that 2017 has presented you with, just as we’re doing here at CultureMate.

We’re currently rolling out the new 2016 Census Data, we’ve transferred our interfaith calendar to an online format and re-vamped our CultureMate and JMAwebsites; we’ve expanded our team and have begun to work with some exciting new NFP, health and community partners, on projects with broad cultural implications.

It has been a big year and we are looking forward to recharging over the coming break and returning refreshed and ready to take on whatever it is that 2018 has in store for us!

Australia says ”Yes”
One of the most recent highlights of 2017 for Australians was the resounding ‘Yes’ to gay marriage rights and the passing of this bill in parliament. Though the discussion preceding the vote was challenging for many people, the unequivocal demonstration of the nation’s opinion paved the way for sweeping changes in both a statutory and a cultural capacity. That initial decision was of profound significance for many Australians; politicians, workers, families, the LGBTIQ community and young people. You can relive one of the more emotional moments of the vote here.

Congratulations Vinh!!

We would also like to congratulate a young member of our CultureMate community, Vinh Nguyen of John Monash College, on his award-winning work in furthering our ability to embrace diversity and inclusion through a deepening intercultural understanding. Vinh and his team are pictured above with Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training. Vinh and a number of his student peers won State Historians of the Year for their work on the history of Asian immigration in Australia. You can read evidence of their excellent scholarship here. Congratulations Vinh!

A time to reflect
We also take a moment to consider how we can welcome and include people from diverse backgrounds, for whom this time of year may not necessarily be festive, but with whom we can share the warmth and care that is the spirit of Christmas. Below is a joyful story that exemplifies this spirit; the story of an Indian restaurant owner in Queensland who throws open his doors on Christmas Day, to share food with those who have little or who are without family, in gratitude for the support from his community. Read more of this family’s remarkable story here.

This time of year is a great opportunity for reflection on the myriad traditions and celebrations for people of various faiths and cultures; such as Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights on the 12th of December, the Italian La Befana on the feast of the Epiphany, the 6th of January; Heiliger Abend in Germany on the 24th of December, and Timkat in Ethiopia on the 19th of January, which celebrates the baptism of Jesus. Check out our calendar for more info.


Thank you for being part of the CultureMate experience this year. We give thanks for the opportunities of 2017, and look forward with joy to an expansive and abundant 2018. We wish you and your families a very happy holiday season, and a joyful and safe New Year.

From all of us at the JMA / CultureMate team.

January News

Welcome back everyone! We hope you have had a restful Summer break and are returning to work relaxed and refreshed.

Our CultureMate® clients will find that the new 2017 Interfaith Calendar has been uploaded to the resources section in the Learning Resource.

For those of you that do not have access to CultureMate®, we have provided a link for you to download it here.

The Interfaith Calendar is a great way to keep the office up to date on what is happening for different communities throughout the year.

We have endeavored to include a great variety of religious and cultural celebrations. However, if you feel we have missed something, please get in contact and let us know.

With some major updates and new content in development, 2017 is going to be a big one.

We look forward to working with you throughout the year!

All the best,

The JM&A and CultureMate® team.

December News

Hard to believe it’s already that time of the year again – and what a year it has been!

We are happily relocated at our new East Brunswick office and making the most of the wonderful, multicultural foods on offer in the new neighbourhood – yum!!!

What great news it was last week when we heard Saad Al-Kassab’s inspirational story. Saad Al-Kassab is a Syrian refugee who only started learning English in 2014 after fleeing Homs. In 2016, only 2 years later, he has made national news by graduating as dux of Catholic Regional College in Sydenham – one of Australia’s largest secondary Catholic schools.

He graduated this month, top of his class, with an ATAR of 96.65. This made him place in the top 97.9 per cent of Year 12 students completing their VCE. Find out more about this remarkable young man here.

An amazing, inspirational effort and a great story to cap off 2016 – Congratulations Saad Al-Kassab!!

To all of our valued clients and associates, thank you for joining us this year on our journey to make sure everyone, no matter how they arrived in Australia  can take an active role in nation building as citizens, workers, parents, students, neighbours….

Best wishes from the JM&A and CultureMate® team. We look forward to working with you next year.

October News

It’s time for a change! We are excited to announce that we are moving to a new office space located in the heart of multicultural Brunswick.

From December 2016, we will be relocated at our new address:

Studio 4, 41 Lygon Street
Brunswick East, VIC, 3057

To all our valued clients, please note that our phone number has also changed. You can now reach us on: 03 9046 8523.

We hope you will visit us for a coffee at our new home soon.

Warm regards,

The JM&A and CultureMate® team.