Grave concerns have been raised by the Broadmeadows community over a Government proposal that will see the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation (MITA) facility on Camp Road, Broadmeadows, include a higher security compound.

Federal and State Members of Parliament, Local Government representatives and community members met at a roundtable discussion this week - facilitated by Maria Vamvakinou MP, Federal Member for Calwell.

A $1.5 million investment by the previous Labor Government towards the construction of the Islamic Museum of Australia is helping to foster greater understanding between the Muslim community and the wider Australian community.
Shadow Minister for Citizenship and Multiculturalism, Michelle Rowland today joined Member for Batman, David Feeney and Member for Calwell and Co-convenor of the Parliamentary Friends of Multiculturalism, Maria Vamvakinou to tour the facility.
This museum is an essential part of Australia’s rich multiculturalism and serves as a reminder of the great contribution that Muslims have made to Australia since the arrival of the Afghan cameleers 150 years ago.
Labor believes multiculturalism has enhanced Australia’s economic prosperity and cultural diversity and we want to ensure all Australians, regardless of background, have a stake in the future of our nation. #ICV

Maria Vamvakinou, Member for Calwell says around 1300 local pensioners face significant cuts to their pension from New Year’s Day because of cuts made by the Turnbull Government and the Greens.

Around 980 Calwell pensioners will see an average cut to their pension of $119 a fortnight. A further 320 local pensioners will lose their pension entirely, leaving them on average worse off by $182 a fortnight.

“Many of my constituents will be celebrating Christmas with their children and grandchildren and will be relying on their pensions to help them,” says Vamvakinou.

“Not only does this cut to pensions hurt, but the timing is just plain cruel.”

Labor voted against this cut to pensioners in the Parliament, this is because Labor believes in a fair go for pensioners and will continue to fight for it.

Pensioners who are concerned about how the Government’s changes to the pension assets test will affect them are urged to contact Centrelink Financial Information Services on 132 300.

13 December, 2016

A report addressing vast gaps in information when it comes to caring for our elderly, particularly those from CALD communities, was launched in Parliament House yesterday.Co-chairs of the Parliamentary Friends of Multiculturalism the Federal Member for Calwell Maria Vamvakinou and the Federal Member for McMillan Russell Broadbent had the pleasure of releasing the Federation Of Ethnic Communities’ Councils Australia (FECCA) Review of Australian Research on Older People from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds (CALD).FECCA commissioned the Australian Population and Migration Research Centre, University of Adelaide, to review the Australian Research on older people from CALD backgrounds to address the sporadic information available in this area.

The Turnbull Government is failing the Broadmeadows community because it's simply unable to develop a real jobs plan to help the northern suburbs of Melbourne.

At a meeting with the Member for Calwell, Maria Vamvakinou, in Broadmeadows, Shadow Minister for Employment Services, Workforce Participation and the Future of Work, Ed Husic, heard how local jobactive provider AMES is breaking down cultural and educational barriers faced by job seekers.

“Services like AMES are doing the hard work of training job seekers and helping them get into the market,” Mr Husic said.

“But their job is made harder by the Turnbull Government’s hollow slogan of jobs and growth that isn’t backed up by action.” Mr Husic said the latest labour market statistics reveal a collapse in full time work opportunities and harsher conditions for Australians trying to make ends meet.

“There have now been 112,000 full time jobs lost since the start of the year. And a drop in the participation rate, to just 64.5 per cent, is a sign people are becoming disillusioned and giving up looking for work,” he said.

"Finding security and stability in work is becoming harder under the Turnbull Government.”

“Decisions taken by the Abbott-Turnbull governments undermined local auto manufacturers. One of this area’s largest employers, the Ford manufacturing plant, just closed its doors as a result.” “This region needs an active jobs and training strategy or job seekers will slip into long-term unemployment.”

“A high level of local unemployment, especially youth unemployment, makes it imperative for government to respond to a worsening jobs crisis with a positive, practical and viable plan,” Ms Vamvakinou said.

“The Turnbull Government’s lack of response to the declining job opportunities – and the recent Ford closure - indicates that they have no understanding or interest in job growth in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne.”

“We need to train and skill our local people but more importantly we need to be able to give them a clear pathway into a job.”

Monday 24 October, 2016

Federal Labor Member for Calwell, Maria Vamvakinou welcomed funding from the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon Michael Ronaldson, for local projects to commemorate this year’s Centenary of ANZAC.Ms Vamvakinou said so far the following organisations had been allocated a combined total of $90,415.00 under the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program (ACLGP), with a  further 5 grants still waiting for approval.

* Keilor Historical Society, $25,000, to undertake the production of a book and DVD to raise awareness about the names on the World War 1 honour roll at Keilor.*Turkish Sub-Branch of the Victorian RSL, $10,000, to construct an Australian-Turkish Friendship Memorial Sculpture.*The Australian Chaldean Federation of Victoria, $28,500, to produce booklets and DVDs to commemorate the Anzac Centenary amongst their community.*The Greek- Australian Recreational and Instructive League of Victoria, $14,950 to produce a theatrical production, book and DVD to raise awareness about the Anzacs.*The Flynn Group,$12,000,  to host a commemorative event called “Snapshot from a War”.

“This year’s 2015 Centenary of ANZAC is an important occasion to remember and commemorate the sacrifices made by many Australian men and women to defend and protect our way of life,” Ms Vamvakinou said. These local projects which have been reviewed and approved by the Calwell Anzac Centenary Local Grant Committee, will assist and allow our local community to remember this important occasion”, Ms Vamvakinou said.

As the Federal Member for Calwell, Maria Vamvakinou MP has the great pleasure of hosting a memorial lecture for her electorate’s namesake, Arthur A. Calwell. The lecture was held on Thursday evening at the Keilor Bowls Club with keynote speaker, the Hon Tanya Plibersek, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development.The lecture is held in honour of Arthur Calwell, Australia’s first Minister for Immigration. Ms Vamvakinou explained the importance of commemorating Arthur Calwell, “Calwell was responsible for expanding Australia’s immigration policy to include new migrants from southern and eastern Europe. It was this wave of post-WW II migration that laid the foundations for Australia’s successful multiculturalism policy.”Tanya Plibersek MP, Deputy Leader of the Opposition, delivered the lecture. In her speech, Ms Plibersek commended Calwell for establishing a policy of multiculturalism in Australia and referred to her own family’s immigration history. Ms Plibersek also took the time to answer questions from the crowd with questions relating to immigration and foreign affairs. Ms Plibersek stated that the Australian government “cannot ask other countries to be accountable to internationally agreed human rights instruments while refusing to be accountable ourselves.” This is the fourth Arthur Calwell Memorial Lecture Ms Vamvakinou has hosted. Previous speakers have included Lindsay Tanner, Kevin Rudd and Chris Bowen. The lecture is seen as an opportunity for leaders and future leaders of the ALP to speak about their vision for Australia and the visionary reform work of previous leaders such as Arthur Calwell.“Having the Tanya Plibersek, the keynote speaker is an opportunity to reflect on the people that Calwell’s reforms touched and provides an opportunity for a current leader of the ALP to share her vision with the local electorate,” Ms Vamvakinou said.

Federal Labor Members for Calwell  and Wills  Maria Vamvakinou and Kelvin Thomson, have today expressed serious apprehensions about the latest unemployment figures for their electorates. The latest Department of Employment  report ,Small Area Labour Market Figures for Wills and Calwell are extremely concerning.In Calwell a real catastrophe is unfolding. In the City of Hume, unemployment has increased since June 2013 from 6.9% to 10% in June 2014. In Broadmeadows unemployment has risen since the change of government from 21.9% to be 26.4%. Unemployment in Campbellfield and Coolaroo has risen from 18.8% to be 22.9%, and unemployment in Meadow Heights has risen from 18.6% to also be 22.9%. These are terrible figures. They are a recipe for social disadvantage on a massive scale, with the certainty of crime, drugs, and mental health problems to follow.The figures also show that unemployment in Melbourne’s inner north is now higher in some cases than the unemployment crisis facing Europe.