Home' My Ballarat : My Ballarat March 2011 Contents Embracing and celebrating
Ballarat residents come from different backgrounds and cultures but as
a community we share the same schools, businesses, work places and
Ballarat is fortunate to be home to people from a broad range of
backgrounds that have the freedom and opportunity to preserve, express,
celebrate and practise their culture, as well as share their cultural heritage
with the broader community.
In September 2009 Council adopted its Cultural Diversity Strategy
2009-14. With growing diversity come opportunities and challenges
that require Council to take a strategic and inclusive approach. A key
outcome of the Strategy was for Council to establish a peak Intercultural
The Committee, which was formed in 2010, assists Council by providing
support and advice on key cultural and interfaith issues and in the
implementation of the Cultural Diversity Strategy. The aim of the Committee
is to be responsive and innovative in growing a more culturally aware,
diverse and inclusive community.
There are 19 people on the Committee representing a range of nationalities
including Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Greek, Polish, Indian, French, African,
Italian and the Islamic community.
One of the first projects the committee was involved with was the
development of an Intercultural Calendar that focused on 'All of us'
celebrating together. 'All of us' raises awareness of the numerous and
diverse ways in which to celebrate in Ballarat. The calendar is bright
and vibrant and highlights events and days of significance to 'All of us'
A major event and highlight of the 2011 calendar was Harmony Fest, held
on Friday 18 March to launch Cultural Diversity Week 2011. Hundreds
of people turned out to celebrate and enjoy an evening of music, street
dancing, activities, markets and international food.
For further information on the Intercultural Advisory Committee or calendar
contact Council's Cultural Partnerships Officer Elizabeth Hardiman on
Linél Frank is no stranger to change or challenges. Linél's family moved
from South Africa in 2003, first to Hobart and then in 2009 to Ballarat.
Twice she has had to start her life over, make new friends, start new schools,
all the while conscious of her accent, different cultural background and
appreciation for her new country and home.
As a now proud Ballarat resident, Linél is still pleasantly surprised by how
safe and welcoming our community is, that we
don't need home security systems and that it
is safe to walk down the streets.
The challenges of a new language and
making friends were difficult when she was
younger and first moved to Australia. But
through listening intently, immersing herself
in the Australian culture, reading
widely and being open to people,
Linél not only made friends
but learnt life skills that
she uses every day.
Those lessons of
her early days in
Australia have stayed
with Linél and now, as
a Ballarat Multicultural
Ambassador, she is keen to
share her positive experiences
"As an Ambassador I like to help
migrants integrate in to the Australian
culture, to learn about this environment
and to feel at home here.
"Ballarat is a wonderful place
to work, study and live and I
would like to help promote these
elements, as well as Ballarat's
cultural diversity to others."
City of Ballarat Community Magazine April 2011
Above: The Massive Hip Hop Choir entertain crowds at Harmony Fest 2011
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