Blacktown City Council
Creative Arts fund

Whats Your Story

The ‘What’s Your Story’ project was the development of an engaging and successful online interview-based chat show. Young people of refugee backgrounds, living within the Blacktown LGA carried out a series of interviews with other prominent and successful migrants within the area. The interview subjects were chosen because they had made a significant contribution to the local area, as well as being first or second-generation migrants. The film project showcased the diverse talents of young refugees in the field of arts and television production. The project also broadcasted the incredible success of Blacktown as a multicultural community, and demonstrate its credentials as a destination for talented people from diverse fields and specialisations.

John K-ay from J’ohn K-ay Films’ was the artistic director. Other young people also held a range of technical, post production, set design and project management roles.

The ‘What’s your story’ online chat show was a resounding success, after being posted on social media it was viewed more than 10,000 times. This incredible penetration of the interviews into the community psyche was facilitated by local media coverage. The projects lead artist, John K-ay, was interviewed at MECA by Fairfax journalists as part of his participation in this project.


This year MECA’s volunteer program has been incredibly popular. Volunteers are integral part of MECA. We have supported more than 100 community members through the program, many of whom have gone on to secure employment as a direct result of their volunteer work with the organisation. MECA’s volunteer program aims to provide volunteering opportunities to refugees, migrants and the broader community in Mount Druitt and surrounding areas for the purpose of improving job readiness and enhancing social networks. In addition, these volunteering opportunities improve the skill level of volunteers, whilst also enhancing their ability to engage in other forms of social and economic participation. Volunteers also enable MECA to improve and promote volunteering participation, increase diversity within the volunteering sector. In order to achieve this goal MECA has developed and instituted volunteer management programs as well as policies and procedures that adhere to National Standards and are regarded as best practice in the management of volunteers.
kathleen buckwell

Kath has been an integral part of MECA for over seven years. This year she decided to retire from volunteering at MECA and we wanted the chance to honour her and her work.

Kath moved to Mount Druitt in 1967 with her husband and two children. There were very few services in the area at that time and Whalan Public School was the hub of our community activities. This included working in the school canteen, running various activities for children and providing entertainment for the many social/fundraising activities at the school.

Kathleen and Chris Williams both became involved with the African Mentoring Project at MECA in 2008 not only assisting women with everyday issues but also helping to develop their English language skills. When the program finished, they continued the classes using the skills they had developed through the Mentoring Project to assist a broader community.

Kath and Chris then went onto developed implement the ‘English for Living’ program at MECA , which have been running for r approximately seven years. A weekly English conversation class designed to build confidence and connection.

Kath often used to comment that she learned more from the students than they do from us. They share their experiences with the teachers and develop long trust that they display in our relationship with them.

MECA’s homework support volunteer Lauren Barrientos named Chifley Young Woman of the Year 2017

The generous nature of Woodcroft schoolgirl Lauren Barrientos has been recognised at the 2017 Coral McClean Awards breakfast, which celebrates the women who do so much to build up and help others in the community.

Lauren has spent the past eight months volunteering one day a week as a homework tutor at Mt Druitt Ethnic Communities Agency (MECA).

It is for this work that the 16-year-old was awarded the 2017 Chifley Young Woman of the Year award by Chifley federal Labor MP Ed Husic.


MECA aims to provide a dynamic environment
for working collaboratively with refugee communities to identify strengths, create
innovative solutions and support
implementation through action.

© 2017 MECA. All Rights Reserved.
Get in touch

Level 1, 12 & 13 Mount St.,
Mount Druitt, NSW  2770

ABN 85 023 648 955

Phone: 02 9625 9300


Financial Report 2017

Click on the icon to download a copy of MECA’s financial report. For further information, contact our office on 9625 9300.