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Bendigo Bank and Rural Bank celebrate Harmony Day with support for E-RACED programme in Queensland schools

21 May 2018 |Diversity & Inclusion

Bendigo Bank State Manager Queensland, Gavin Holden, has announced the provision of additional resources for E-RACED, an important schools-based programme designed to change perceptions of refugees and migrants in Queensland schools.

Mr Holden said: “E-RACED founder, Prudence Melom, awarded Young Citizen of the Year 2018 in Toowoomba, winner of the ABC Heywire competition and finalist in the 2018 Queensland Young Achiever Awards can now move her team’s operations out of the family garage in Toowoomba and realise their dream of expanding the E-RACED programme to change perceptions of refugees and migrants in Queensland schools.

“We are delighted to provide office space at our Margaret Street branch in Toowoomba, a vehicle, computers and mentorship to continue and expand E-RACED’s work in breaking down refugee stereotypes in Queensland schools. Announcing this support on Harmony Day brings to life our quest to support and celebrate cultural diversity.

“March 21 is Australia's Harmony Day, which celebrates our country's cultural diversity and coincides with the United Nations' International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

“The bank is pleased to be in a position to make available a number of resources to further the outreach capabilities of E-RACED so that existing funding for the programme can stretch much further and eventually extend operations beyond Queensland to other States and Territories.

“We wish everyone a very happy Harmony Day 2018 and celebrate the contribution migrants and refugees have made and continue to make to our diverse community”, Mr Holden concluded.

Alexandra Gartmann, Managing Director and CEO of Rural Bank, the Bendigo Bank’s agribusiness specialist partner said “Migrants and refugees play a pivotal role in strengthening the social fabric of communities, particularly in rural, regional and remote communities. They bring unique skills, knowledge and experiences to enrich communities. By supporting young people with an aspiration to build understanding across cultures via story-telling, we are investing in our future communities – and I am delighted we can help bring E-RACED to even more communities”, Ms Gartmann concluded.

E-RACED founder, Prudence Melom said: “We are honoured to have the support of Bendigo Bank and Rural Bank who are championing the dream of the E-RACED program.

With our new partners on board, the E-RACED dream is now a reality. We are excited to reach out to more communities to share our stories as we believe that behind each person there’s a great story. By sharing stories of young people from diverse backgrounds we are erasing racism and creating better understanding among young people”, Ms Melom concluded.

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