The Weekly Advertiser

Cultural celebration plans for Horsham

Julie Pettett.

Julie Pettett.


By DEAN LAWSON
Horsham will become the home for an annual large-scale multi-cultural celebration if an event planned for later this month grows and evolves as planned.
Organisers are keen to use a Landcare weekend called Heartland Horsham to lay foundations for what they hope will quickly expand to become a major Wimmera community event, attraction and promotion.
Wimmera volunteer and community learning organisation Centre for Participation is the primary event organiser as part of a partnership also involving Horsham Rural City Council, Wimmera Catchment Management Authority, Wimmera Development Association and Laharum Landcare.
A committee has pencilled in May 31 to June 2 for Heartland Horsham and is developing an initial program based on a former ‘Yarrilinks’ tree-planting weekend model.
The annual Yarriambiack Shire Yarrilinks tree-planting weekend, which developed into a multi-cultural event involving people, food and activities from a variety of cultural backgrounds, ended in 2017. The plan is to adapt the successful Yarrilinks model and build on advantages and opportunities available in Horsham to bring people from diverse backgrounds together.
The concept fits neatly into regional efforts to increase the profile of the Wimmera and southern Mallee in metropolitan migrant communities to attract more people to the region.
It will also be designed to support migrants who have settled in the region to explore and share cultural experiences with the broader community.
Centre for Participation chief executive Julie Pettett said Heartland Horsham was about creating an opportunity for people to ‘mix and mingle’ and contribute to something ‘much larger than just a tree-planting day’.
“This is the first time this type of event will have occurred in Horsham and as a committee we have some really exciting ideas about where we might be able to take this into the future,” she said.
“While this will start relatively small, there is a real opportunity to grow it into something special that might include the building blocks for an international food festival. We’re looking at exploring different ways to celebrate diversity and all the wonderful things it could bring to the community.
“We are still working on how this might develop, but a start is confirmed.”
The committee had its latest planning meeting yesterday.
Ms Pettett said Heartland Horsham would initially include a target group of 50 refugees or new immigrants who had an interest in living in a regional area of Victoria.
She said guests would come from a diverse range of cultures and countries and would come through Melbourne multi-cultural groups Lentil as Anything and Adult Multicultural Education Services.
An event agenda would start on May 31 when guests arrived from Melbourne and attended a shared a dinner at Horsham Centre For Participation.
On Saturday they would be part of a full day of planting activities after a shared breakfast and then take part in a Lentil as Anything feast and party at Horsham Holy Trinity Lutheran College hall.
Guests would stay with host families for breakfast the following day before gathering for a tour of Horsham.
They would then regroup for lunch at a proposed multi-cultural food event open to the public, and then return to Melbourne.
ACE Radio Broadcasting through The Weekly Advertiser and radio stations 3WM and MIXX FM is providing financial support alongside other partners to help turn plans for the event into a reality.

The entire May 8, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on May 8 2019

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