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30 Oct 2019

Media releases

ARIA-nominated hip hop artist joins global talent line-up at New Beginnings Festival

Featuring hip hop artist L-Fresh the Lion, Australian-Sudanese music icon Ajak Kwai, and emerging lyricist and saxophonist Jamarz on Marz, the one-day extravaganza that includes dance performances, artisan workshops, and cultural food and markets, is set to be Sydney’s cultural event of the year.

2019 New Beginnings Festival Ambassador Shyamla Eswaran is an accomplished performing artist, choreographer and teacher with three decades of dance experience and a Master’s Degree in International Human Rights Law. 

Ms Eswaran has taken centre-stage at previous New Beginnings festivals and is a strong advocate of the creative and cultural vision of the festival.

“Every refugee and migrant represents a valuable thread in the rich tapestry of multicultural Australia, yet their stories and voices are not always represented or heard in the mainstream,” said Ms Eswaran. 

“I am deeply honoured to be the New Beginnings Festival Ambassador and wholly support it as a platform that gives artists from diverse backgrounds an opportunity to be seen, heard and appreciated.”

As artistic director of Bindi Bosses, an Urban Indian fusion dance group, Ms Eswaran will be performing again on November 16 in Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour.

“Audiences can expect a colourful program of performers and experiences which will make New Beginnings 2019 a cultural wonderland,” she said. 

What started in 2015 as an intimate suburban community event has now evolved into an annual spring festival attracting thousands of Sydneysiders into the heart of the iconic Darling Harbour. 

Settlement Services International (SSI)’s New Beginnings Festival is the brainchild of festival founder and SSI Arts and Culture program manager Carolina Triana — the 2017 recipient of the NSW Premier’s Multicultural Community Medal for Arts & Culture, which recognised her work with refugees and people seeking asylum.

Ms Triana said that as the festival’s audience reach broadens, so does its program and overall impact in promoting Australia’s culturally diverse talent to the general public.

“To have artists of L-Fresh the Lion’s calibre perform and share the festival’s vision is a testament to how far New Beginnings has come since its inception, and how we continue to attract a wider and more diverse audience year-on-year,” she said.

Ms Triana said that the festival is fertile ground for launching innovative and high-quality arts experiences that promote a deeper understanding across many communities. 

“With so much creative talent and cultural vibrancy among newcomer communities, this year’s milestone event rings true to the festival’s vision of building a creative platform for newly arrived artists and makers, while simultaneously creating a space for community building and cohesion.” 

Event details:  

When: Saturday, November 16, 2019

Time: 12.00 pm – 8.00 pm

Where: Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour

11 Harbour Street,

Sydney NSW 


About SSI:

Settlement Services International is a community organisation and social business that supports newcomers and other Australians to achieve their full potential. We work with all people who have experienced vulnerability, including refugees, people seeking asylum and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, to build capacity and enable them to overcome inequality.

Media enquiries:

SSI Senior Communications Officer

Rebeka Selmeczki


M: 0468 998 300

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