New cultural perspectives

By Ashlea Witoslawski

Participants of the Fairley Leadership Program were immersed in a number of cultural experiences on Wednesday, to learn more about Greater Shepparton’s cultural diversity and expand their general understanding of the local community.

The day began with a historic tour of ‘The Flats’ in Mooroopna, led by indigenous elder Uncle Alf ‘Boydy’ Turner and his daughter Leonie Drummond, before a trip to Rumbalara Football Club to learn more about the organisation’s role in the community and to view the photographic history wall.

The group then heard from Goulburn Ovens TAFE multicultural officer Balvinder Kaur, who shared insights into how a diverse and rich history of numerous cultures contributes to Greater Shepparton.

Thon Thon, a Lost Boy of Sudan, shared his story about leaving his home and settling in Shepparton, including the work he now does to support the multicultural community.

The Fairley Leadership Group then listened to Thomas Mayor speak about his role as a delegate for The Uluru Statement from the Heart and his hope for the establishment of a ‘First Nations Voice’ in Parliament.

The group was hosted by Dhami Singh at the Gurdwara Sahib where they learned more about the Sikh faith and the community’s establishment in the Goulburn Valley.

The day was rounded out with a presentation from Betul Tuna to understand what it’s like to be a Muslim woman in Greater Shepparton.

Fairley Leadership Program facilitator Fiona Smolenaars said ‘‘this is a wonderful opportunity for our 2018 participants to learn first-hand about the value of diversity’’.

‘‘The aims of the day were to gain a better understanding of the issues and challenges associated with relocating to another country and appreciate the benefit of community leadership from other culture’s perspectives.’’