Community Voice – Carol Zhang
Community engagement and input is vital to the success of CCK, and we have been fortunate to work with many passionate community members who collectively work together to help us achieve our vision of building safe inclusive communities, strong families and children who are thriving.
Two of these community members, Carol and Jacob, have taken an exciting step in their careers and are both running for local council. We thought it would be great to get some perspective from them as to how being a part of CCK helped them along this journey and how being a community champion has enabled them to, and given them a voice to, run for council.
Carol Zhang – running for Cockburn Central Ward
What role have you played in Celebrate Culture Cockburn?
I was born in China and came to Australia in 2006 to further my education as an international student.
In 2018 I joined the Celebrate Culture Cockburn Action Team as a volunteer and met a team of lovely ladies who shared the same vision as I did of embracing a supportive environment where we could celebrate and share our cultures. We were all committed to promoting cultural diversity and inclusion in our local community.
How has this enabled you to embrace your culture and have a voice in the community?
Playing an integral role in Celebrate Culture Cockburn has inspired me to embrace and value my own culture. As a Chinese migrant, I am proud of who I am, and I want to introduce my culture to other people. Celebrate Culture Cockburn has been a great platform to introduce my own culture to others in the community, and to unite and support community members from diverse backgrounds.
Through my involvement with Celebrate Culture Cockburn I have been part of some unique and exciting cultural experiences that have enabled me to share my culture with others in the community, including Long Table Lunches and the annual Celebrate Culture Cockburn event. Keeping my culture alive has given me a voice in the community and enabled me to connect with other local residents.
We live in a diverse society and understanding all cultures is important to alleviate negative judgements and stereotypes towards other cultures, and to enable us to live harmoniously to form a beautiful homeland.
What highlights do you have from Celebrate Culture Cockburn?
Passion and a ‘can do’ attitude. The team works hard to bring community together with limited resources. By attending CCK monthly meetings, I have met volunteers from other community groups and organisations and we have been able to collaborate to create new programs and events to showcase our cultures.
How has being part of Celebrate Culture Cockburn enabled or influenced your decision to run for council?
The City of Cockburn has a higher percentage of people born overseas than the state average – their voices need to be heard.
I would like to bring awareness to the community, especially for the immigrants. We have landed in a beautiful country which is full of opportunities and fairness. I have seen how humble immigrants in the community live as they have language and culture barriers. I can understand their hesitation, but this is unhealthy for our next generation. We all live under the same sky, breathing the same air and enjoy equal rights.
My decision to run for council is not just for my own community but to stand up for different cultures in the community and advocate for a socially cohesive City of Cockburn.