18 March 2023

Temora embraces its growing multicultural community with a new festival

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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People gathering at an event for a photo

Temora festival to acknowledge “culture, diversity and inclusion”. Photo: SolStock.

Temora is set to celebrate its growing multicultural community with the inaugural Embrace Festival.

The Embrace Festival is set to promote cross-cultural awareness and understanding.

Temora Shire Council Economic Community Service Officer Shontayne Ward is looking forward to next month’s festival.

“I cannot wait. There is such a broad range of experiences being offered over the three hours and there is something for everyone to enjoy,” she said.

Ms Ward said the festival is open to all members of the community, will promote cross-cultural awareness and understanding through allowing multicultural communities to come together to share cultural traditions through interactive experiences and workshops that include participating in an Aboriginal smoking ceremony, learning Korean calligraphy and learning to play traditional Indian music.

The event will feature regional performers from the Chinese Prosperous Lion Dance Association, Yuluug Cultural Programs, Coota Bollywood All Stars, a trio from Melbourne Tabla School, and Dizzy Dilemma, along with many talented local performers and entertainment for the kids.

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There will be plenty to eat, with a range of international foods available to purchase that will be provided by the Temora Youth Hospitality team, the Ex-Services Club and other local food vendors.

Ms Ward said Temora’s growing multicultural community is contributing to the shire’s prosperity, culture and resilience.

“Events that celebrate culture, diversity and inclusion are very important, no matter where you live,” she said.

“Multicultural events provide the opportunity to nurture our communities, valuing people-to-people connections through shared storytelling and mutual respect.

“We recently hosted a Chinese lion dance troupe at one of our Temora newcomer events and we received great feedback. There were community members from many cultures in attendance and for some, it was the first community event they had been to in Temora.

“We need to provide more events that are safe and inclusive for all members of our community,” she said.

Ms Ward said the idea for the festival stemmed from the council’s welcoming committee which was established to support newcomers relocating to Temora Shire from western Sydney as part of the NSW Growing Regions of Welcome (GROW) program.

“The committee is comprised of representatives from various organisations who can support the transition from city to country life for migrants and refugees that are participating in the program,” Ms Ward said.

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“Part of the remit of the committee is to ensure the community of Temora is ready to welcome culturally and linguistically diverse newcomers.

“The Embrace Festival is just one of a suite of events and activities the committee is undertaking, through council, to highlight and celebrate the diverse community we already have, and pave the way for further cultural diversity.”

Ms Ward said the Temora Community Centre is a safe and inclusive space that provides first line support to people in need. They are part of the welcoming committee and a key partner in delivering this event.

“‘Embrace Temora’ is the umbrella for all council programs that promote diversity and inclusion. This is where the name for the festival came from,” she said.

The Embrace Festival will be on Sunday 2 April.

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