Some of the performers appearing at the inaugural Unity Festival in Murwillumbah.
Some of the performers appearing at the inaugural Unity Festival in Murwillumbah.

Celebrating diversity

UNITY was the theme for the weekend as more than 1500 people celebrated diversity in Murwillumbah.

The inaugural Unity Festival included diverse local community groups from Indian, African, Filipino, Aboriginal, Indonesian, South Sea Islands and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.

Project manager Kerry Turner said the festival had been her dream for the community with the theme Celebrating Diversity.

“I’ve spent a year planning it and it has been so worth it,” Ms Turner said.

She said the ultimate goal was to make the festival another major tourist attraction for the Tweed in the coming years.

“We have plans to make it a three-day event and this weekend was just a showcase of what is to come,” Ms Turner said.

“The day was absolutely excellent and we haven’t received any negative feedback.

“These kinds of events are great community-builders.”

The festival included music, dance, costumes, food, art and craft, and stories of the culturally diverse communities of the Tweed Shire as well as workshops on weaving, spear and woomera making, boomerang throwing and didgeridoo lessons.

“One of the biggest challenges for me was gaining an understanding of all the different cultures and I think I’ve grown because of it,” Ms Turner said.

“It has been such a celebration of everyone coming together.”

Ms Turner said as support grew she hoped to run four events per year to showcase the area with quality events for the community.


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