The Weekly Advertiser

PHOTOS | Food provides bookend to Heartland festival

LEADING THE WAY: From left, Let Let Thaw Pay, Yah Min Thu Shwe Ta Lee and Jean Ponseca, all of Horsham, take the lead while welcoming visiting migrants to a tree-planting project at Drung near Horsham. The Landcare project provided the backbone for a Heartland Horsham multicultural event. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

LEADING THE WAY: From left, Let Let Thaw Pay, Yah Min Thu Shwe Ta Lee and Jean Ponseca, all of Horsham, take the lead while welcoming visiting migrants to a tree-planting project at Drung near Horsham. The Landcare project provided the backbone for a Heartland Horsham multicultural event. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

By DEAN LAWSON
A multicultural celebration of food providing a bookend to an inaugural Heartlands Horsham project at the weekend appears set to be a primary area of growth for the fledgling festival.
With organisers declaring the event a ‘roaring’ success overall, they have also identified a Sunday food finale as an occasion primed to ‘blossom and grow’.
Centre of Participation was the primary organiser of the event, which used a Landcare tree-planning project to attract migrants from Melbourne to experience the Wimmera and its people.
Migrants, from a variety of cultural backgrounds, bussed into the Wimmera to join host families, volunteers and immigrants from Horsham district community to be part of activities.
Centre for Participation chief executive Julie Pettett said the weekend met all goals the inaugural Heartland Horsham had set and had provided a perfect development platform.
She confirmed the success of the weekend meant it would not only occur again next year, but also grow as more people, organisations and groups became involved.
“The entire weekend went beautifully. The 50 visitors from migrant communities in metropolitan Melbourne had a wonderful time and some tremendous friendships were formed,” she said.
“I for one had three beautiful Vietnamese women staying with me and they have indicated they would really like to come back.”
Ms Pettett said the weekend activities had the desired effect of bringing people together in the shared project of physical and symbolic tree planting before expanding into cultural extravaganzas on Saturday night and Sunday.

Ben Muir conducts a smoking ceremony prior to tree planting at Drung for HeartLand Horsham community planting event.

Ben Muir conducts a smoking ceremony prior to tree planting at Drung for HeartLand Horsham community planting event.

“The inaugural multicultural food fest at Maydale Reserve on Sunday was really well received and a wonderful high point of the weekend,” she said.
“Having the food feast at the end was a great opportunity to celebrate multicultural food and an outstanding way to farewell our visitors.
“This year’s Sunday food fest was the result of only five weeks from an idea to a reality. Next year, with much more time to prepare, we look forward to engaging with many more community groups who would like to showcase their food. This part of the festival can only blossom and grow and from the upbeat mood it created it is very exciting.”
Ms Pettett said Saturday night multicultural dance demonstrations and food prepared by Lentil as Anything was ‘incredible’.
“It just made me feel very proud of the weekend and the Horsham community. A number of people who came indicated they would pursue the region as a holiday destination while others suggested they might well explore it further,” she said.
Ms Pettett said the event was about building relationships, which in turn prompted questions about how well the region could meet migrant needs to attract them as residents.
“Some of the key questions we need to consider in the long-term picture surround issues such as employment and housing opportunities and services,” she said.
Heartland Horsham is based on the concept of providing people from diverse backgrounds an opportunity to mix on a shared project and promote Horsham and the broader Wimmera as an ideal place for migrants to settle and thrive.
The Weekly Advertiser and radio stations 3WM and MIXX FM were among groups supporting the festival.

Ben Muir conducts a smoking ceremony as Samiksha Jha clenses herself prior to tree planting at Drung for HeartLand Horsham community planting event.

Ben Muir conducts a smoking ceremony as Samiksha Jha clenses herself prior to tree planting at Drung for HeartLand Horsham community planting event.

Raven Ponseca, Heihserpaw Payhae, Victoria Angue and Moyo Kolapo, all Horsham, tree planting at Drung for HeartLand Horsham community planting event.

Raven Ponseca, Heihserpaw Payhae, Victoria Angue and Moyo Kolapo, all Horsham, tree planting at Drung for HeartLand Horsham community planting event.

Mark, Ruben, Lucinda and Jared Ferguson tree planting at Drung for HeartLand Horsham community planting event.

Mark, Ruben, Lucinda and Jared Ferguson tree planting at Drung for HeartLand Horsham community planting event.

The entire June 5, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

Short URL: http://archive.theweeklyadvertiser.com.au/?p=78963

Posted on Jun 5 2019

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