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12 Nov 2019

Media releases

New Beginnings Festival welcomes all to celebrate, regardless of ability

The SSI New Beginnings Festival in Spring, a unique celebration of the creative work of artists, performers and craftspeople from refugee and migrant backgrounds living in New South Wales, will have an Access and Inclusion tent and volunteers briefed to assist people with different levels of ability.

With diversity and inclusion at its core, the New Beginnings Festival strives to be inclusive and accessible for all members of the community.

Mable, the festival’s Accessibility and Inclusion Partner, will host an Access and Inclusion tent, with a quiet space, lived experience educators from the SSI Our Voice program, DIY bag making workshops, sensory tools such as noise-cancelling headphones, sensory toys and communication cards, mindfulness activities and disability and cultural awareness resources.

Mable is an online platform that enables people with disability and older Australians to find and connect with independent support workers in their local area.

Support workers from Mable, who represent diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, will be present to assist attendees to navigate and enjoy the festival.

Mable Chief Executive Officer Peter Scutt said, “We are proud to be invited as the Accessibility and Inclusion Partner for this year’s festival, given the shared values and mission of Mable and SSI New Beginnings to drive awareness of diversity and inclusion in the arts.

With the support of Mable, SSI has developed an Access and Inclusion Guide to welcome and support and attendees of all abilities. The Guide, which includes information about travelling to the venue, location of places of interest and accessible bathrooms and facilities, is downloadable from the New Beginnings website.

The event venue, Tumbalong Park in Darling Harbour, is fully accessible for persons with mobility impairments or using a wheelchair.

An initiative of SSI’s Arts & Culture Program, the SSI New Beginnings Festival has been held bi-annually during Refugee Week (June) and Spring (November) since 2015.

Through an innovative and vibrant program staged at inner-city venues, the festival showcases the work of culturally and linguistically diverse artists and makers to Sydney audiences and beyond.

Ultimately, the celebration of hope, unity and new beginnings seeks to counter negative sentiments about refugees and people seeking asylum, and to encourage people to celebrate the creative contributions newcomer artists and communities bring to Australia.

Event details:

When: Saturday, November 16, 2019

Time: 12.00 pm – 8.00 pm

Where: Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour, 11 Harbour Street, Sydney NSW

Find the Mable Accessibility and Inclusion Tent next to the main stage.


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.

About Mable:

Mable believes that all individuals should have the choice and control over who supports them. That is why Mable has established an online platform that helps people with disability, older Australians or their families choose and connect with support workers who share their interests and meet their needs best.

Mable wants to increase inclusivity for people with disability and older Australians and is passionate about working with the individuals on its platforms – and broader Australia – to make this happen.

For more information, visit:

Media enquiries:

SSI Communications Officer, Greg Clennar, 0417 687 064,

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