On Thursday 22 April, the Girl from Mumbai – A Migrant Story was launched by Hon Alex Hawke, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Multicultural Affairs & Migrant Services at the Rydges Hotel, Norwest, Baulkham Hills. The launch was also attended by Minister for Police & MP for Baulkham Hills, Federal MP for Parramatta Julie Owens, MP for Granville Julia Finn, Thevan Krishna CMRC Chairperson and Nola Randall from the CMRC Board. The event was well attended by settlement sector family, friends, groups, colleagues, and organizations in Western Sydney. Mayor of the Hills Council spoke warmly of Melissa and her service to the community in the last three decades. Minister Alex Hawke and the others all reflected on her contributions to the Migrant and settlement fields in the last twenty years in Australia.
In the presence of her own family and friends , Melissa introduced the Book which is a narrative of The Girl from Mumbai and her own settlement journey here in Australia. The Girl from Mumbai is about this 12-year-old who wanted to help people. And help she did. But along the way there were people that shaped and moulded her into someone with an undying passion for service. A calling that seeks to inspire you about my past that shaped my future. It is about the motivation, the loves, the people, the reason, the season, the challenges, the calling, the purpose, passion and why?
Melissa has spent many hours on understanding the changes in our world around us. New challenges for the social work profession throughout the world, the changes to Settlement. It also outlines the love of family, support of extended family and her journey through the Not for Profits I she was involved in.
She has highlighted the impact and influence of people around her over the last 40 years and spotlights the people, the issues and organisations that shaped her thinking as a
growing girl. Melissa was moved by poverty when she was as little as 8, by inequality, social injustice, issues like Dowry, attitudes to adoption, street children, breakdown in family and relationships. She and her husband Prakash came to Australia in early 2000, chasing the Australian dream. From exposure to the world of prostitution as a field placement during her masters, to street children and not for profits here in Australia, she is shaped by family and colleagues over three decades.
All proceeds go to the Community Migrant Resource Centre.