Shepparton: Cultural Diversity Week 2018

Cultural Diversity Week is Victoria’s largest multicultural celebration, featuring a week-long program of festivals and events in metropolitan and regional areas. In Greater Shepparton, there were many events marking Cultural Diversity Week, 17-25 March, 2018.


Cultural Diversity Week is held annually in March to coincide with the United Nations Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and Harmony on March 21.

St Brendans

Notre Dame College in Shepparton has an enrolment of 1900 students, who come from many nations. There are Christians, Sikhs, Muslims and Punjabi students attending the college, in addition to students from middle eastern cultures. In 2016, the Shepparton Interfaith Network approached Notre Dame College with a view to producing a multifaith-multicultural video to depict the unity in diversity that thrives daily in the College campuses. This video was produced by students with oversight from College staff and the Interfaith Network. Although it has taken some time to produce – on account of student obligations, timetables and school holidays (and the weather!) this video represents human excellence by participating students.


From the Harmony Day Celebration after the Divine Worship service at St Brendan’s Church:


Students from Notre Dame college speak about the Unity in Diversity video.


Damian Drum MP makes a presentation to Dr Frank Purcell of the Interfaith Network




Greater Shepparton’s formal launch of Cultural Diversity Week takes place at Kidstown. Community buses are supplied for those who do not have transport.





The Shepparton Interfaith Network in collaboration with AMEP language school at GOTAFE presented a seminar on the Challenges of Settlement. Here, guest speaker Chris Hazelman speaks about the many challenges facing new arrivals both today and in the future.



Freedom Stories

The Satellite Rotary Club of Mooroopna-Kialla presented the documentary film – ‘Freedom Stories’ on Wednesday March 21st at the Harder Auditorium (GOTAFE). Please feel welcome to stay for a Q&A session with the director Steve Thomas and a light supper after the film.

Freedom Stories is a documentary based project that brings together a collection of personal stories from former asylum seekers who sought asylum in Australia at a time of great political turmoil circa 2001, but who have long since dropped out of the media spotlight. The people who have participated in our project are all now Australian citizens. Given the ongoing controversies over offshore detention and the closure of the family reunion program, it is timely that these stories were (seen) and heard.




Cultural Tour

The Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District offered a Multicultural Bus Tour to places of cultural significance to the local indigenous communities and the multicultural groups which have made Shepparton their home and constructed houses of worship. Here, participants are boarding the bus to commence the tour:



Health Day for New Arrivals

Uniting (formerly Uniting Care, Kildonan) faciliated a New Arrivals Health Day – an opportunity to meet serivces and those who provide advice and guidance for those settling in our region. Health is among the important issues for those settling in our communities.




Speed Date a Muslim

A group of Melbourne Muslim women are breaking down intolerance and furthering understanding using an unconventional approach-speed dating.

Speed Date A Muslim is the brainchild of Hana Assafiri, who launched the event in 2016 from the upstairs dining room of her Brunswick cafe, the Moroccan Deli-cacy. Here, Hijack’d, a local venture of Mmuslims, hosts Speed Date a Muslim:




As I Wander …

Armed with just a Samsung smartphone, Shepparton’s Liaqat Ahmadi captured the raw emotion on the streets of Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Year 11 Shepparton High School student arrived in Australia in September last year, and met photographer Liz Arcus.

After many conversations about photography with Ms Arcus and after she discovered the images on his Instagram page, Liaqat asked her to help him with an exhibition – so she began the process of mentoring him to create a photographic showcase. Opening at Shepparton Library on March 23, Shepparton High School culturally and linguistically diverse co-ordinator Nej Akdere said the exhibition would also form part of Liaqat’s VCAL studies.



 (photographs courtesy Liaqat Ahmadi)

Community Soccer Match and BBQ




Community Cup Cricket Challenge

Multicultural and indigenous community members and Shepparton police battle it out for the Community Cup at the Indoor Cricket in McGill St, Shepparton. Raising money for the Blue Ribbon Foundation, the cricket bragging rights event aims to improve social cohesion in the Greater Shepparton region. This year’s match has been forced indoors because of bad weather.






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