* Harmony * Inclusiveness * Fellowship *
11th Toowoomba Languages & Cultures Festival - Media Launch
The 11th Toowoomba Languages & Cultures Festival to be held on 14 August, Sunday was launched on 9 May by the Mayor, Paul Antonio along with Gitie House President TIMS, Francis Xavier President Pasifika Toowoomba, Maria Chong Nee President Samoa Group of Toowoomba, Kila Xavier President Toowoomba PNG Group and Peter Munster Director Student Engagement & Leadership, USQ.
Toowoomba’s many faces on show at Languages & Cultures Festival
The striking melodic music and dances of Pacific Islander communities will be the headline attraction when Pasifika Toowoomba performs at the 11th Toowoomba Languages and Cultures Festival on Sunday, August 14.
Toowoomba’s many faces will combine for an exciting trip around the world from 10am-4pm at Queens Park.
Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio this morning launched the 11th anniversary event with festival co-founder and organising committee chair Gitie House, who also is president of the main organising group, Toowoomba International Multicultural Society (TIMS) along with Pasifika group president Francis Xavier.
Mayor Antonio said he was delighted Council was joining other community groups and organisations to ensure the award-winning festival celebrated the different cultural groups who live around the region.
“The festival is a great day to share in the special traditions that each group holds so dearly,” Mayor Antonio said. “Rejoicing in our diversity shows a great sense of civic pride and maturity. We can learn and be enriched by experiencing a little of the fabulous food, music and dance of the cultural groups that come from all corners of the world. “Getting to know the diverse groups in the community is the perfect way to promote tolerance, respect and understanding among all residents. “Council’s Corporate Plan seeks to value and share cultural diversity and intergenerational knowledge. The festival fits the bill perfectly with its entertainment program and information stalls. “At the time of European settlement, German and Chinese communities were active in the growing town. Today, the region is home to people from around 200 distinct cultural backgrounds. “Welcoming and relying on the talents of people from around the globe has been part of our story from the start and continues to add to the richness of the region.”
Mrs House said TIMS was committed to keeping the festival a community-driven event promoting peace, harmony, goodwill and a day of family fun. “From the start, TIMS and the Modern Language Teachers’ Association of Queensland, under the guidance of Cecily Bisshop, have worked with volunteers and many community groups to make the Toowoomba region a welcoming and inclusive society that values people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds,” Mrs House said. “Genuine inclusion leads to more meaningful integration in the community and a society where people trust and revel in the differences they are free to express. “It is important to show everyone we value their special customs and wish to include them in the broader community. “The festival acts as an ‘ice-breaker’ where the best rewards come from two-way exchanges between people. Seeing is believing and believing leads to greater understanding. “Apart from offering an enjoyable day out, the festival features more than 180 stalls and an array of multi-faith, health and general information displays that can benefit new residents. “Following on the success of the Bollywood spectacular for the 10th anniversary festival, we are excited about the performances of Pasifika Toowoomba, which includes members from Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuata. “There will be displays by many other cultural groups along with rides and activities for children and displays featuring school, languages and community information.”
Ticket prices remain $5 for adults with children admitted for free.
More information is available at the festival website www.TLCFestival.com.au
Council partners with the Toowoomba International Multicultural Society (TIMS), the Multicultural Development Association, Centacare, Modern Language Teachers’ Association of Queensland (MLTAQ), USQ Multicultural Centre, Commonwealth Carer Respite Centre, Carers Queensland and Mercy Community Services to stage the day. The event is supported by the Queensland Government through Multicultural Affairs Queensland.