Celebrating 40 years of Diversitat

Article courtesy of the Geelong Advertiser

This year Diversitat will celebrate its 40th anniversary year with 40 community events magnifying its vivid story in support and growing multicultural Geelong.

Exhibitions, dinners, tours and the annual Pako Festa parade will be among the event filling out a busy calendar.

Geelong Ethnic Communities Council launched in 1976 with founding members representing Croatian, Greek, Italian, Macedonian and Serbian nationalities, changes its name to Diversitat in 2005 and now has 53 affiliated communities.

Diversitat arts and events manager Luisa LaFornara said Pako Festa’s media launch on February 18 would introduce the big year and a mobile app detailing all 40 of the events.

An exhibition of more than 70 art works from Italy would be opened the following day, February 19.

“Other events include a Cultural Diversity Week dinner and a stunning art exhibition to commemorate Refugee Week in June, a cultural Christmas in July fundraiser presented by Rock O’Cashel Bar, a progressive cultural dinner, church tour and the Diversitat Mud Challenge is cak on the cards in October,” Ms LaFornara said.

“The calendar will also include events hosted by Italian, Serbian, Filipino, Ukrainian, Slovenian, Lithuanian, Indonesian, Spanish, Maori and Irish communities, which will take you on an incredible journey right in our own back yard.”

Diversitat chief executive Michael Martinez said the anniversary was worth marking.

“We’re are relevant today as we were then, and we’re always evolving,” Mr Martinez said.

“The renewal keeps happening, we’re not stale, the new groups learn from the older groups.”

“I think 40 years is a fairly significant milestone, it really marks 40 years of multiculturalism in Geelong too, in terms of policy.”

“We want people to get involved visiting the clubs.”

“One of the ones we’re doing is a roving dinner, that might be at the Spanish Club for nibbles and wine, then the German clubk and the Ukrainian club,” he said.

“It’s not about making money, it’s about celebrating who we are”

Events listing

Pictured: Twins Juhi and Khushi Patel dressed up and looking spectacular for the Pako Festa

Juhi and Khushi Patel