Due to the high transmission rates and spike in cases of the Delta strain of COVID-19, certain Local Government Areas (LGAs) across South-West and Western Sydney were subject to tough public health orders. This restricted mobility and impacted workers, families, and communities. Given the highly diverse cultural and linguistic demographics of these areas, multicultural communities across the state were hit hard.
Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, the NSW Government led an intensive program of community engagement to ensure relief efforts reflected community needs and to provide up to date public health advice. This was achieved through various engagement initiatives to respond to rising COVID-19 concerns, including online forums, community sentiment collection, and the Community Connectors Program.
During the height of the Delta wave more than 110 online engagement forums were operational. Over the peak 3 months, the NSW Government’s response was led by 716 in-depth interviews with community leaders. This helped to track changes in community sentiment and identify community needs.
The insights also helped to inform the allocation of more than $38 million in grants and the establishment of local networks of grant recipients across 12 LGAs. Shared strategies were implemented across cultural, linguistic and religious communities. This helped to create new linkages between grassroot multicultural organisations and larger mainstream providers of food and welfare relief.
Find out more information in the Community Relations Report 2020-2021.
In 2021, more than 110 online engagement forums were operational.
- 600 people virtually attended forums at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Forums often attracted between 150 to 350 attendees.
- Combined, the forums involved more than 6830 individual engagements.
- Insights informed the allocation of more than $38 million in grants to address the needs of the impacted communities.
“A collaborative approach between government and organisations has been essential to building robust and resilient communities in a time of emergency and crisis.”
- Community Connector participant feedback
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