Shepparton has celebrated the beginning of Refugee Week with food and music.JARROD WHITTAKER June 17, 2014 3:32am
Shepparton has ushered in Refugee Week with a selection of food and sounds highlighting the rich contribution of the region’s migrants to the community.
Refugee Week aims to highlight the issues affecting refugees and their positive contributions to the Australian community.
A function at Shepparton’s Maude St Mall yesterday launched the region’s Refugee Week activities in Shepparton.
Members of the region’s refugee and migrant communities attended the event, which featured a performance from African band Anointing Voices.
Taqi Haidari, 16, arrived in Shepparton after fleeing Afghanistan a year ago.
He now attends Shepparton English Language Centre, where he works on improving his English.
‘‘When I was in Afghanistan I was learning English a little bit,’’ Taqi said.
‘‘So when I came here it was a little bit hard for me.
‘‘When I came here to the language centre it was good, I improved my English.’’
His family arrived by plane in Brisbane before coming to Shepparton.
They have now secured permanent residency.
He said Australia was a great place to live.
Several support agencies and community organisations with connections to Shepparton’s refugee community were also on hand for the opening.
South Shepparton Community Centre community engagement officer Melinda Piggott works with refugees and other migrants twice a week providing English classes.
Ms Piggott said taking part in the classes was a ‘‘very, very special’’ experience.
‘‘We’ve had a lot of Afghanis, we’ve had people from India and Spain,’’ she said.
‘‘Their needs are so few and they appreciate everything we do and we appreciate their company. They really are lovely people.’’
The classes focus on day-to-day English, such as vocabulary needed to go shopping, and to get by in home life.
They also include formal grammar lessons.
‘‘It must be so hard, especially at home watching TV that you can’t understand, you can’t work and you can’t go anywhere,’’ Ms Piggott said.
‘‘So we’ve gone shopping and we’ve gone to the supermarket and we’ve bought food and came back and cooked it together.’’
City of Greater Shepparton Mayor Jenny Houlihan addressed the function, praising the contribution of refugees to the region.
‘‘We all know Greater Shepparton is a very diverse and multicultural community, with more than 13 per cent of our population being born overseas,’’ Cr Houlihan said.
‘‘So many refugees as you would know have settled here for those reasons and council is pleased to contribute to their happiness.’’
Advertising Standards Bureau slaps McDonald's for offering free fries vouchers to children at SPC Ardmona KidsTown.
Yarrawonga Football Netball Club senior footballer Jeremy O’Brien celebrated his 200th senior Ovens and Murray Football Netball League game against the Wodonga Bulldogs on Saturday.
Following a concerted effort by Merrigum Community Group to upgrade signage in the town, it was announced at last Monday’s community meeting that design of a new information sign, to be located near the bus shelter in Waverley Ave, has been completed.
Mac Varell-Mckee knows how lucky he is to be alive and he has Adrian Shultz, Kevin Davis and Steve Marsh to thank.
Rochester resident John Constable has received the latest vision scanner available, thanks to Rochester Lions.
100 days at Tongala Primary.
It's not everyday you get 'most sincere thanks' from the Queen - as a Seymour girl found out.
St Joseph's Jerilderie teacher Steve Jones has released an album with his band, Steve Jones and The Velvet Glove.
The district has shivered during the past couple of weeks with night temperatures falling below zero. For those prepared to brave the winter chill, Lake Eppalock offers stunning scenery and yellow wattle brightens district forests.
Black Dog ride participants meet up in Cobram before they burn rubber to beat the blues.
Deniliquin High School students are preparing to take part in the Great Victorian Bike Ride for the 13th year in a row.
Wheat crops sown at the end of April to mid-May were two to three weeks early, increasing the risk of frost damage, the Finley Discussion Group’s meetings earlier this month heard.
John 'Jack' Roe remembered as a gentleman; battle-scared but a genuine, dignified man of integrity.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.