Newspaper photo about the opening of the Oakleigh MRC.

Within its first decade the Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) had responded to significant settlement needs of clients and had commenced work in program development for services in culturally relevant aged care. The MRC successfully collaborated with the Prahran Council to commence the Ethnic Meals Project for local migrant aged residents.

By 1990 it had started its first Home and Community Care (HACC) project and in 1991 received federal funding to coordinate a Community Visitors’ Scheme, a program assisting volunteers to visit isolated migrant elders in residential facilities.

In 1995, staff worked diligently as the organisation commenced the Assistance with Care and Housing program and aged care social support programs in East Bentleigh’s Moorleigh Multicultural Seniors’ Centre. Continued growth in aged care programs facilitated new programs to address the social support needs of isolated migrants on the Mornington Peninsula.

Apart from growth in aged care services, the MRC expanded in other program areas throughout the 1990s, with new employment programs: the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme, Jobs Clubs, and Job Network Services. Additionally, new office locations were established to reflect the growing needs of migrant clients from broader geographical areas.

In 1993, our organisation set up a new office in Oakleigh, where the MRC provided services and where other community groups shared facilities, including the Afghan and Oromo communities, the South East Network for Refugee Young People, the Romanian Association, the Italian Pension Assistance and the Southern Ethnic Advisory and Advocacy Council (SEAAC).

Meanwhile, the MRC’s Prahran premises faced overcrowding issues with inadequate facilities to support 1,500 people who were using the centre every week by the mid 1990s. The MRC approached and lobbied the Stonnington Council to secure improved facilities, which eventuated in the development of a new community facility.