Bridging the social gap

The newly formed Melbourne City Southbank Lion’s Club has identified improving access to social welfare services for migrants as its primary focus for its first year in operation.

Having chartered in September last year, the group is now looking forward to actively engaging with the Southbank, CBD and Docklands communities in a bid to address a range of social issues in our city.

The group’s secretary Cheng Ji said its first objective would be to work alongside other Lion’s Clubs and community organisations to help remove social and cultural barriers for new overseas residents.

“One of the major things we want to help facilitate is a sense of community especially in the CBD,” he said.

“We’re focusing on offering social welfare services to new students or anyone new to Melbourne who run into problems and don’t know where to find services that they’re entitled to.”

“Because of the newness of the CBD, Southbank and Docklands there are a lot of students, immigrants and young professionals so targeting the needs of these people are very important.”

The group already consists of more than 30 members and six office bearers: Alan Cui (president); Damian Ng (vice president); Cheng Ji (secretary), Bo Li (treasurer), Amy Monsma (membership); and Andrea Johnston (director).

Cheng said the group was founded on a shared belief on the importance of giving back to the community.

“Honestly I am a strong believer in giving back to the community that’s what I see as being the point,” he said.

“Instead of just working everyday this is what I feel is a need to give back to the community.”

The group will hold its first monthly meeting for 2016 on February 9 at 7pm at the Boyd Community Hub in Southbank and is calling on anyone from Southbank, CBD and Docklands to get involved.

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