Worlds of foods, music and art unite

Southern Migrant & Refugee Centre chief executive Ramesh Kumar with Maya Gvozden and Nika Suwarsih ahead of the festival. 198402_02 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS


Foods, fashion parades, music, dance and a Dandy’s Got Talent show highlight the second annual Unity in Diversity Festival.

Set at the Southern Migrant & Refugee Centre and the neighbouring Dandenong Market, the free family-fun festival brings a wealth of locally-based cultural arts and experiences.

The attractions include 25 homemade craft and food artisans as part of the Dandy Makers Market and a Cultural Village to immerse in a multitude of cultures that live in Dandenong.

Buskers including Jonny Maldonado and the Mexican Music Man will provide the tunes.

Children’s entertainment include cuddly baby animals, face painting and a ‘Paint What You Hear’ immersion-art show.

There are also cooking demonstrations and smoothie bikes, and 30 local business and community groups on exhibition.

The festival is a partnership of Southern Migrant & Refugee Centre and Dandenong Market.

Southern Migrant & Refugee Centre chief executive Ramesh Kumar said the festival was a “wonderful example of community harmony”.

“So many of our friends (are) coming together both behind the scenes and on the day as volunteers, stallholders and performances.

“We are very grateful for the all-hands-on-deck approach to getting the event organised.”

Dandenong Market general manager Jennifer Hibbs said the festival and the Dandy Makers Market was a “perfect fit” given Greater Dandenong’s 156 nationalities comprise the most multicultural city in Australia.

“We have 220 small businesses at Dandenong Market so we fully support Dandy Makers’ Market which provides migrants and refugees an opportunity to showcase and sell their traditional craft and artisanal wares.

“Like our own traders this, in turn, promotes economic independence and nurtures our community.”

The Unity in Diversity Festival is at the Southern Migrant & Refugee Centre, 39 Clow Street, and the Dandenong Market terrace on Sunday 13 October, 9am-4pm.


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