Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria forum in Shepparton discusses problem gambling challenge for new migrants.JOHN LEWIS August 2, 2014 3:57am
Sudanese community leader Haroun Kafi (front) with members of a gambling forum at Shepparton's Ethnic Council offices on Welsford St.
Tackling problem gambling in migrant communities was the focus of a public forum in Shepparton this week.
The Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria forum saw more than a dozen people from a variety of community groups and cultural backgrounds meet at Shepparton’s Ethnic Council offices on Welsford St.
The forum followed a Monash University report released in May that found Chinese migrant gamblers were five times more likely to fall victim to problem gambling than the general gambling population.
Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District manager Chris Hazelman said while gambling was not presently a major issue among new migrant communities in Shepparton, the forum was ‘‘an eye-opener’’ on its potential problems.
‘‘We don’t see it now, but we would expect over time with generational change it would become an issue in these communities. It’s such a pervasive thing in Australian culture,’’ Mr Hazelman said.
Sudanese community spokesman Haroun Kafi spoke of refugees in ‘‘cultural shock’’ when they arrive in Australia.
‘‘They have been dreaming for many years about Australia being the best. Then when you come here, you realise there is something going on — and you begin to get a real picture,’’ he said.
He said gambling was not a seen as a big problem in the Sudanese community because it was culturally prohibited.
‘‘If somebody does it, they will try to do it in secret. You can’t see it until you realise something is wrong financially,’’ Mr Kafi said.
He knew of at least one member of the Sudanese community who had experienced financial problems because of gambling.
‘‘The best thing we can do is inform the community and let them know the problems, but we need to get the information at the right time — as soon as we get to the country,’’ he said.
Shepparton-based Responsible Gambling Foundation counsellor Heather Turnbull said gambling problems surfaced across the whole community.
‘‘We don’t have a high number of ethnic background clients coming through our doors. But in a lot of communities it is hidden,’’ she said.
Today the The News is launching its Downsizing Shepparton Campaign.
The Yarrawonga Pigeons have secured a vital win over Wangaratta Magpies at JC Lowe Oval in Yarrawonga.
Murray Dairy has appointed Ross Read from Toolamba West in the extension co-ordinator role.
An Echuca man has pleaded guilty to bashing and kidnapping another man in Moama in August 2013.
Fiona Colenso was shocked last week when Campaspe Shire contractors arrived to fence off her driveway.
The final 25 players have been chosen to represent the Goulburn Valley Football League in their quest to regain the number one football ranking in country Victoria.
A 640 000 bird proposal finally gets the green light from Strathbogie Shire Council.
Record cattle prices were recorded at the Finley Saleyards on Friday
People in rural and remote areas are significantly over-represented in the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads.
Cobram Barooga residents are being encouraged to eat pink this month to support breast cancer research.
First Deniliquin crop shows promise.
The Farm Water Program Round 4 Registration of Interest call has reopened to enable irrigators who may have missed the main call another opportunity to participate.
Former Member for Indi, Sophie Mirabella has two other contenders for Liberal pre-selection for her old seat.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.