Sue Ellery

Sue Ellery

Minister for Child Protection; Communities; Women's Interests; Seniors and Volunteering

    New multicultural op shop is a WA first

    15/07/2008 12:00 AM

    Polish artwork, Russian books and Czech CDs are among the eclectic items set to adorn the shelves of Western Australia’s first multicultural op shop.


    Communities Minister Sue Ellery said the new Bedford store would offer not only a unique shopping experience, but an opportunity for people from ethnic backgrounds to become more involved in the community.


    “Many of the items at the Multicultural Op Shop have been donated by volunteers and clients of the not-for-profit Umbrella Multicultural Community Care Services, which will staff and operate the shop,” Ms Ellery said. 


    “Umbrella provides home care services to more than 340 seniors and disabled people from about 35 ethnic backgrounds, as well as a day centre where clients can meet and socialise.


    “The organisation’s community care initiatives, including the new Multicultural Op Shop, are important in meeting the needs of people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.”


    Umbrella Multicultural Community Care Services general manager Anna Harrison said the project would help promote positive ageing by giving the organisation’s older volunteers and clients the opportunity to share cultural experiences.


    “Many of our members wanted something to look forward to and it is good to see people from different backgrounds overcoming social isolation and loneliness by establishing something that belongs to them,” Ms Harrison said.


    “The range of items will give people, especially the elderly, a reminder of their home countries.  While clothes and other standard op shop items will be sold, a focus on multicultural items that are hard to find elsewhere will give the shop its individuality.


    “No-one else has had an idea like this before and it is truly a joint community effort, with our members appealing to their families and friends for donations to set up the store.”


    Money raised from the Multicultural Op Shop at 263 Coode Street will be used by Umbrella to establish a new purpose-built community centre.


    Minister's office: 9213 7150