How to strengthen social cohesion with Vivienne Nguyen AM and Hanad Hersi

Voices of Australia

Oct 11 2022 • 46 mins

How can decision-makers empower communities? What do we gain from better appreciating our shared interests and aspirations?

Joining us in the fourth episode of the Voices of Australia Podcast, Victorian Multicultural Commission Chairperson Vivienne Nguyen and Youth Activating Youth Programs Manager Hanad Hersi help us reflect on what strengthens social cohesion within and between communities. In this episode we cover:

  • The key blocks to building new migrant communities in Australia.
  • Why sport is a common second language in Australia and the time Hanad’s mum ran onto the street to celebrate that famous John Aloisi penalty ⚽
  • The roles safety and identity play in social cohesion.
  • The lessons Vivienne and Hanad learnt from working on the ground during the public housing hard lockdowns in 2020.

Voices of Australia is a Scanlon Foundation Research Institute podcast exploring all things interesting in the world of social cohesion. We’d love to hear from you! Send in your questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes to info@scanloninstitute.org.au You can also Tweet us @Scanlon_Inst

Guests Biographies

Vivienne Nguyen - Chairperson, Victorian Multicultural Commission

For over 25 years Viv has been a leader in corporate, community and government settings, applying her business knowledge and technical expertise to work with community organisations to advance their social objectives. She held executive roles at AustChoice Financial Services, AMP Asset Management and ANZ Banking Group, where she led their global diversity strategy. At the community level, Viv led the Vietnamese Community in Australia’s Victorian Chapter from 2015 to 2019, where she ran the Vietnamese Australian Museum Project and strengthened the Dual Identity Leadership Program.

In 2002, Viv was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll for advocating for women’s leadership and supporting young Vietnamese people. In 2003, she was awarded the Australian Centenary Medal and in 2021 was awarded the Australian Order in the AM division for advancing multicultural Victoria.

Hanad Hersi - Programs Manager, Youth Activating Youth

Hanad Hersi a youth advocate, works tirelessly to ensure that young people from diverse backgrounds have access to opportunities and are given the resources they need to prosper and lead fulfilled lives.

Hanad became interested in social services because of his love of travelling. For the past five years, Hanad, a grassroots community advocate, has worked to ensure that the voices of diverse community groups are heard, valued, and included in decision-making processes. Hanad has worked in the development and youth engagement space.

A member of the VMC's regional advisory council, Hanad collaborates with community organisations, councils, and businesses to promote multiculturalism and increase social cohesion.

Programs Manager at Youth Activating Youth, Hanad spends his days working with vulnerable young people who are at risk of disengaging from the education system, or who are at risk of coming in contact with the criminal justice system

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