Diversity celebrated at Peace Fest
The vision of the Migrant Resource Centre is to ensure people in Tasmania are, and feel, connected, settled, safe and valued.
“We have been doing the HSS, or what’s called the Humanitarian Settlement Service program, for the about 11 or 12 years now, so we’ve settled around 2000 people under that program.” said Migrant Resource Centre chief Ella Dixon.
The clients, from a range of different backgrounds, are now a part of the wider Launceston community and are eager to engage with people in their new home for cultural exchanges.
“It’s quite noticeable in a population like Launceston, you can see the different people and different cultures that are popping up,” Ms Dixon said.
From the development of the Heritage Forest Community Garden, to tutoring programs and learn to drive initiatives, the Migrant Centre helps to facilitate networking and support opportunities for those who are new to Australia.
As part of the Peace Festival, the Women’s Friendship Group will take over the menu at the Inveresk Tavern and create Afghan dishes as part of a series called Launceston’s Multicultural Flavours on Sunday, July 31.
Ms Dixon said the various community engagement programs focused on emotional well-being.
“It’s all about building support systems, you can imagine some of the people we see have come from very traumatising experiences, their pre-arrival experiences can vary from not too bad to quite horrendous, so it’s about their receiving community being accepting that everyone is just different,” she said.
“It’s not right or wrong, everyone is just different. They come with different views, different perspectives, they come with different beliefs and that kind of thing.
Ms Dixon said Launceston is welcoming. “We’ve got a very healthy pool of volunteers and we’ve also got lots of connections with local services that help our clients access what they need,” she said.
- The series of Launceston’s Multicultural Flavours runs each Sunday to September 18 from 1pm to 3pm.
6 Jul 201