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“music”

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“music”

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Eid Mubarak celebrated at SSI Community Kitchen

More than 250 people gathered this week  at SSI Community Kitchen’s Eid- al- fitr (عيد الفطر) celebration to mark the end of Ramadan. The Eid celebration attracted a larger than usual number of visitors and volunteers who all pitched in and enjoyed the warm weather and festive atmosphere.

Refugee Week: meet dancer Hakim

Meet Hakim, dancer and asylum seeker Hakim, 23, left a lot behind when he had to flee Burma, including all of his family and friends. But after arriving in Australia, he picked up something new that is keeping him mentally and physically strong – dancing.

Mums and children enjoy SSI Mother’s Day celebration

A belated Mother’s Day was celebrated by about 60 mothers and 20 children from refugee backgrounds at Old Government House, Parramatta on Tuesday May 12. The women and their children are supported by SSI's Humanitarian Settlement programs. The ‘high tea’ event was a get-together for women in similar situations to socialise, while their children were entertained by face painting, games and craft activities.

New Beginnings: Refugee Arts and Culture Festival

To celebrate World Refugee Day on Saturday, June 20, SSI will host the inaugural New Beginnings: Refugee Arts and Culture Festival to showcase the talents of refugees and asylum seekers in the community. The festival will be held at Addison Road Community Centre, Marrickville, as a one-day celebration of the cultural expressions and heritage of people from diverse communities through performances, arts and craft displays, workshops and food tasting.

OzHarvest CEO CookOff

SSI staff and asylum seeker clients took part in the OzHarvest CEO CookOff, in March. The CookOff is an annual event that brings together celebrity chefs, CEOs and vulnerable Australians to put the spotlight on issues of food security, homelessness and challenges faced by youth in crisis. It’s also a fund-raiser for OzHarvest.

Ability Links NSW celebrations roll on

Communities in Wollongong and Parramatta enjoyed free events to celebrate the "official" arrival of the Ability Links NSW (ALNSW) program and to meet their local ‘Linkers’. Both events incorporated great local musicians, inspiring speeches, and fun with selfies, chalk boards, hand print signs and henna.

A journey with a powerful message

It was a distressing event based on fear and miscommunication in 2010 that was the impetus for Sally Sussman to devise the show that is Origin-Transit-Destination. Ms Sussman is Australian Performance Exchange (APE) Artistic Director and over three performances her latest show will take participants on a journey­ in the company of extraordinary asylum seekers from Middle East warzones.

NSW Standing Together events a success on all levels

Whether playing a game of soccer or sharing a sausage sandwich and a cup of tea, more than 1000 people across 10 different locations joined to show their support for cultural unity at Standing Together events run by Migrant Resource Centres (MRCs) on Tuesday February 24. Throughout Sydney, and in Wollongong and Newcastle, MRCs hosted local community gatherings that were colourful and vibrant, and where people were happy to enjoy each other’s company.

NSW Standing Together

On Tuesday, February 24, 10 Migrant Resource Centres and Multicultural Services across NSW will host free events for the local community to come together in a show of solidarity. A united voice will be on display through activities such as forums, discussions, soccer games, sausage sizzles and performances by local musicians.

Ability Links NSW: connecting communities

SSI was busy throughout December–January celebrating the achievements of Ability Links NSW and introducing the program to local communities. Ability Links NSW (ALNSW) supports people with a disability, their families and carers to live the life they want, as valued members of their community.

Multicultural Foster Care Service acknowledged

“As I walked up the stairs I saw her joyfully dancing with the three children to African music that connected them so authentically to their culture – it was beautiful.” Tari, SSI caseworker. Settlement Services International (SSI) was today recognised for the innovation and positive impact of its Multicultural Foster Care Service on children and families in out-of-home care.

Lights, Camera, Action! Short Film Showcase

SSI’s Storytelling and Film-making Workshop program culminates this month with a showcase of short films. On November 14, SSI friends, staff, volunteers and clients are invited to a special screening of films made by SSI’s asylum seeker clients during the six-week workshop program.

Asylum seekers get together at Eid feast

Nothing brings people together like food. So, after 30 days of daylight fasting, the Eid al-Fitr holiday to celebrate the end of Ramadan is the ultimate unifying feast. SSI’s Community Kitchen Eid event brought together asylum seeker clients to enjoy delicious food while reflecting on the experience of practicing Islam in Australia. Tuxedo-clad toddlers with tambourines ran around the Auburn Centre for Community among about 200 SSI Community Support Program clients, who are asylum seekers living in the community on temporary visas while their refugee status is being assessed. On the lawn, clients set up cricket games, using double-stacked milk crates as wickets; others kicked soccer balls with the kids, and people inside played boardgames.

Cultural Shift symposium for migrant and refugee families

Settling in Australia presents recently arrived migrant and refugee families with many new opportunities but the process of settlement and the associated adjustments to a new country can also be challenging. “The first few years after arrival are when many migrant and refugee families face some of their greatest challenges,” Settlement Services International (SSI) CEO, Violet Roumeliotis said. “As our population grows, it has become imperative that we work together to make the change as smooth as possible for migrants and refugees.” Ms Roumeliotis said SSI had, for the first time in NSW, brought together leaders and experts from diverse organisations to provide an insightful and engaging interactive program at a one day symposium to be held on June 5 in Parramatta, titled ‘Cultural Shift: symposium on supporting migrant and refugee families through settlement.’ Please read on for snapshots of just some of the presentations and workshops at the symposium. SSI can arrange pre-event interviews with presenters and can arrange for interviews if a journalist would like to attend on the day.   

The first Cultural Shift symposium for migrant and refugee families

Settling in Australia presents recently arrived migrant and refugee families with many new opportunities but the process of settlement and the associated adjustments to a new country can also be challenging. “The first few years after arrival are when many migrant and refugee families face some of their greatest challenges,” Settlement Services International (SSI) CEO, Violet Roumeliotis said. “As our population grows, it has become imperative that we work together to make the change as smooth as possible for migrants and refugees.” Ms Roumeliotis said SSI had, for the first time in NSW, brought together leaders and experts from diverse organisations to provide an insightful and engaging interactive program at a one day symposium to be held on June 5 in Parramatta, titled ‘Cultural Shift: symposium on supporting migrant and refugee families through settlement.’ Please read on for snapshots of just some of the presentations and workshops at the symposium. SSI can arrange pre-event interviews with presenters and can arrange for interviews if a journalist would like to attend on the day.

Harmony Day: “Diversity is our strength”

About 300 staff, volunteers and clients celebrated Australia’s cultural diversity on Harmony Day, with a halal sausage barbecue, music, dancing and a game of soccer. At the event on Friday, March 21, Settlement Services International Humanitarian Services Delivery Manager Yamamah Agha said the message for people to consider was that “everyone belongs”.  “Today we are […]

Jam sessions at SSI Community Kitchen

 Musicians from any musical tradition or cultural background are invited to join jam sessions with SSI asylum seeker clients at the organisation’s Community Kitchen every fortnight. The SSI Community Kitchen initiative is part cooking class, part social outing for community-based asylum seekers. The fortnightly Community Kitchen provides a social day out for community-based asylum seekers, many of whom experience social and cultural isolation. Clients are invited to learn how to prepare a healthy and nutritious meal, as well as interact with other community members by jamming, playing a game of soccer, playing cards or chess, and sharing a meal. Each fortnight from 80 to 250 clients attend the Community Kitchen. The idea of incorporating jam sessions into the Community Kitchen program arose as more and more clients were keen to perform for their friends. A donation of a number of musical instruments through the Music for Refugees project, led by Mr Philip Feinstein, sealed the deal. Using music as a universal language, the sessions are expected to create an opportunity for skills building, cross-cultural exchange and community sharing with fellow musicians and other CSP clients. Depending on the level of participation and interest by guest musicians and clients, the jam sessions might evolve into a stand-alone activity available at other locations and times. Each Community Kitchen targets a different cultural group (for example, Persian, Arab or Women and Families) and the invitation is extended to relevant established community groups and leaders to attend and connect with those more newly arrived.