On Friday 21st June we held the Diversitat Refugee Fundraiser Dinner to celebrate Refugee Week.
Held at the Geelong West Town Hall, over 180 people were treated to traditional dishes, heard stories of courage, and enjoyed entertainment from local artists.
Families and individuals from Sri Lanka, Syria and Iraq worked tirelessly to share their traditional and delicious dishes consisting of Pakoras, Tepsi, Showerma, and indulgent desserts. We had seventeen SBAT (Student Based Apprenticeships and Traineeship) students sharing and expanding their hospitality skills. Thank you to all the hospitality volunteers on the night – we couldn’t have done it without you! A special thank you to Camille Crozier, Chef at the Diversitat Healthy Living Centre, who guided and had fun with the cooks and students.
Karen weavers displayed traditional weaving techniques while we had Ali Ahmad playing the Oud throughout the night.
The North Geelong Youth Theatre performed excerpts from ‘Waiting for Something Better’ and the local Punjabi Swag Geelong Dancers entertained the crowd with the energetic display of dance and colour.
Amir Abdi shared his personal journey as a refugee with vision loss and his passion for both sports and human rights. Taniya Wader shared the stories of clients reunited with their families after war through Diversitat’s Migration Services.
We were delighted with a display of traditional rugs, pillows at the Oriental Tea area with tea, coffee and henna available to all. Qurban Ali displayed his artwork and shared his story as a person seeking asylum with many people purchasing paintings with money going straight back to the artist.
We thank our sponsors Eldo Jacob Loanworx Group, Bo Thai, G Force, Department of Health & Human Services and Xtreme Technology for making the night happen, numerous donations before and during the night and staff that volunteered their time to put the event together.
Finally thanks to everyone who came on the night. The Geelong West Town Hall was buzzing all night. It was a fantastic atmosphere of celebration and such an important event to recognise the incredible talents of local refugees and people seeking asylum in Geelong.
Thank you to Phil Hines photography for capturing the night.
See you all next year!