Approximately 300 women from over 20 cultural backgrounds came together for a night of singing, dancing, eating and laughing at the 2018 Women of Diversity Dinner on 28 July at the Himalaya Emporium Function Centre in Bankstown.
Rev Rebecca Lindsay is Minister of the Word at Hope Uniting Church. She told Insights that the event was “a very joyful evening of dancing and sharing stories with a room full of women.”
“Everyone seemed to arrive with an openness to new encounters and conversations,” Rev Lindsay said.
“This included learning some Bollywood dance moves which is a great way to break down barriers through laughter.”
“I think events such as this which give people from diverse communities an opportunity to come together are important for building community and social cohesion. There are always amazing stories to hear.”
Lynda Ben-Menashe is the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Community Relations and Policy Manager. Ms Ben-Menashe said the event was an avenue to celebrate Australia’s harmonious multiculturalism.
According to Ms Ben-Manashe, the event’s message was, “whether you were born in Australia, or arrived recently, we all want this home of ours to be a harmonious and peaceful place for our families.”
“The WDD is an avenue to express this sentiment,” she said.
Karla Grant, host of SBS TV’s Living Black, was the event MC. Guests were treated to songs in French, Arabic, Hebrew and Hindi by multilingual performer Dahlia Dior and had fun learning Bollywood dance moves from classically-trained Indian dancers, sisters Varsha and Megha Krishnappa. Another highlight of the evening was the Afghan fashion parade.
The Women of Diversity Dinner is organised by a partnership of organisations including the Ethnic Communities’ Council of NSW, Afghan Women of the Move, Australian South Sea Islanders (ASSI) – Port Jackson, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Muslim Women’s National Network, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, SAHELI, Settlement Services International, the Uniting Church, and individual women.
The Uniting Church and Uniting were represented at the event.
Image by Giselle Habor
Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor