This event, hosted by the Multicultural Group of Eurobodalla and Far South Coast is hoped to be the first of many that to provide support to those new to the region and to celebrate the cultural diversity of the many residents who call the South East home.
Co-organiser Jan Frikken came to Eurobodalla Shire three years ago to find that there were no services for migrants and refugees in the area. "When the Federal Government removed the Adult Migrant English Program from this area, the Shoalhaven Multicultural Group and I advocated to get funding however, we knew we weren’t going to succeed due to the low number of the new arrivals eligible for this course. We did however got the course back for Nowra.
"Knowing there was a need but no classes to go to, I set up a free English conversation group for the community at the back of my shop ( JJJ Oriental Supermarket at Batemans Bay) . "With four highly skilled volunteer teachers and having 6-10 students we formed a Multicultural Group with the Asian Supermarket as the first point of contact of people from different communities. "In time we may be able to have the conversation group at a different venue, but in the meantime it is good here where people can find support and guidance from my experience in settlement services.
Jan said "I believe in integration and connecting people to each other and it has to start somewhere. I hope to see funding, services and support for people from the Multicultural Community here in the future and events such as the Cultural Diversity Day helps to bring more of our community together."