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Event Summary

January 18, 2021 @ 10:00 am
January 22, 2021 @ 2:00 pm

Multicultural Festival – “The Whole Village into One Digital Stage”

    ‘The Whole Village into One Digital Stage’, a free online multicultural festival, is coming 18–22 January 2021, 10:00am to 2:00pm.

    Learn about Bendigo’s Chinese heritage through the Golden Dragon Museum and an interview with one of its volunteers as well as a presentation about the local Kum Too family, and discover Westgarthtown, a historic German and Wendish dairy farming settlement. We will also host an informative Zoom presentation and a Q&A with Don Susantha Katugampala, immigration specialist and accredited lawyer.

    Enjoy international dances, world music, and quizzes and competitions to win prizes.

    As part of our festival, our knitting competition has already been announced. If you have missed the knitting registration deadline, are interested in performing for our festival or have a cultural tradition for us to showcase, please contact:

    Tinatin Panchvidze

    Community Engagement Officer

    Email: Tinatin.Panchvidze@amcservices.org.au

    Mobile: 0412 418 596

    Our online festival is free, but registrations are required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/multicultural-festival-the-whole-village-into-one-digital-stage-tickets-133624686033

    Stay tuned for further updates.

    18 January 2021— Come, Watch and Try Dancing


    After the opening speech, Aunty Di Kerr, Wurundjeri Elder, will deliver the Welcome to Country ceremony at West Sunshine Community Centre. Burmese, Macedonian, Sri Lankan and Greek/Cypriot communities will perform traditional dances.


    Opening Speech by Tinatin Panchvidze



    AMCS Mental Health Video



    11:00 – 11:45am: Bollywood dance workshop

    Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/93555678420

    The workshop is organised in cooperation with Dance up! Australia at Southern Migrant & Refugee Centre, a group that provides the opportunity for people to learn cultural dances, meet new friends and get healthy.


    1:00 – 2:00pm: Stay fit for dance


    Meet our Moving for Life instructors, Varuna and Samantha, and the program’s participants with a Q&A. Learn gentle exercises to remain fit for dancing.



    Ajantha’s Thank You 

    Anjantha and five other ladies from Sri Lanka Community Services composed a dance based on the movements they learnt from AMCS Moving for Life. With this video, they thank the trainers Varuna and Saamantha for keeping them fit and healthy during COVID-19.


    Sri Lanka Community Services Association

    Chandra’s dance


    ‘This dance is set within a tea plantation and tells the story between a superintendent and one of his tea pluckers. We see the superintendent try to tempt the girl to come with him by offering her things. However, she refuses him as she doesn’t want people to gossip about them. He continues his advances, so she finally lies and tells him that she got married the night before, in an attempt to stop him bothering her. But in the end, he grabbed her and took her away.’ Chandra, Sri Lanka Community Services Association


    Greek/Cypriot Dance


    The Greek and Cypriot Social/Welfare Centre was established in 1998 and held its first meeting in 2000 with great success.

    60 members joined the club for men and women aged 18–90 at the United Church in Preston.

    As time passed, we moved to the Intercultural Centre at Preston Library, but only women attended.

    We then moved to Reservoir Civic Centre and it slowly became a monthly women’s seniors club with activities such as guest speakers, bingo, outings and a Justice of the Peace service.

    During the year, we focus on bringing a variety of cultural events such as the Kataklysmos/Penticosti (Festival of the Floods), which is celebrated 50 days after Greek Easter. The Dekapentaugoustos event is celebrated in August for the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, along with theatrical plays and other events. Hopefully this year, we would be able to hold an International Family Day to bring together members of our community, both young and old.


    Bendigo Chinese Association – Plum Blossom Dances


    19 January 2021 — Share Your Journey to Australia


    10:30 – 12:30pm: Share your journey to Australia followed by immigration information with a Q&A

    Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/98056318089

    Watch a short conversation with a filmmaker and a screening of the freshly realised film about Melbourne’s Serbian migrants discovering indigenous culture through their Australian journey.

    Later, meet Golden Dragon Museum’s director and learn about Bendigo’s Chinese heritage. Listen to an interview with one of the museum’s volunteers and watch a presentation about the local Kum Too family.

    Afterwards, visit a little museum at Melbourne’s beautiful Westgarthtown (today known as Thomastown), which treasures the history and artefacts of German Wendish people, who still live there today. Watch a film with a moving and interesting story about this community and read letters with immigration stories by members of diverse communities.

    There’s also a free online webinar with accredited immigration lawyer, Don Susantha Katugampala. Learn about immigration law’s rapidly changing world and your rights and options.

    Telmo Languiller, former MP and Speaker of the Victorian Legislative Assembly, will join us to share his journey to Australia and his extensive experience working with multicultural communities. The presentation will feature recent developments on immigration law followed by a Q&A.

    Serbian Film: Sreten Bozic Wongar
    Directed by Dragan Gavrilovic


    Introduction about the film by Dr Lara Jakica:  https://tinyurl.com/y63thz2p


    Immigration stories

    Ursula’s Migration Story

    Migration story (Anonymous)


    Our Tapestry of Stories by Suzana Stapar


    ‘It is a real tapestry of stories aimed at connecting different generations of migrants from diverse backgrounds who are helped by the Australian Multicultural Community Services (AMCS), so that the stories can be shared and read by residents of aged care centres, connecting older generation of migrants to today’s migrants.’


    Interview with Director of the Museum at Westgarttown


    Dr Lara Jakica, AMCS Coordinator of Volunteer Programs, takes you on a tour to Melbourne’s beautiful Westgarthtown, also known as Thomastown. The museum treasures the history and artefacts of German Wendish people, who still live there today.


    Westgarthtown & WWI Documentary



    Bendigo’s Chinese heritage through the Golden Dragon Museum

    Interview with Hugo Leschen, the CEO of the Golden Dragon Museum


    Interview with one of the museum volunteers


    Presentation about the local Kum Too family



    20 January 2021 — Diversity Music Collective


    Let us take you on a world tour full of sounds and colours with Sri Lankan, Greek, Brazilian, Filipino and Polish music.

    Get the chance to witness a valuable work by Georgian ethnomusicologists, who keep the tradition of Georgian polyphonic singing alive, and despite the small size of their community in Australia, Melbourne is one of the main hubs of this UNESCO heritage treasure.

    Melbourne band, SARAY Iluminado, will perform Bosnian, Sephardic and Jewish songs and tell fascinating cultural stories.

    Videos and links to come.


    Classical songs sung by Sri Lankan migrants




    Song sung by Dhammika’s Daugther



    Chrishanthi Mangalasinghe’s Song



    21 January 2021 — Show and Tell Your Traditions Day


    Dive into different wedding traditions still flourishing here in Melbourne.

    Watch how a well-planned celebration with guests from overseas became a COVID-normal wedding.

    Witness an exotic Maori wedding, followed by presentations of Sri Lankan wedding traditions prepared by participants from AMCS’ social cafes.

    Greek and Cypriot Social/Welfare Centre will share images of their way of celebrating weddings and other traditional festivities.

    Finally, we’ll head back to Bendigo and see how the Chinese community has never forgotten their traditions and still celebrate their culture through their magical performances.

    Videos and links to come.


    22 January 2021 — Try a New Recipe: Cultural Foodie Day


    Meet Umbrella Lounge Bar’s owner, Temo, who migrated from Georgia and his irreplaceable chef, Helen, from Vietnam. This is a story of true community connectors. Through their passion for music, spices and culture, they created a place, where people from diverse cultural backgrounds call their favourite venue.

    Enjoy Christmas Eve cooking videos in Macedonian Christmas tradition. Try one of the recipes from our social cafes’ participants or a Greek Cypriot cuisine.

    Watch the traditional way of preparing a Papua New Guinean Mumu.

    Videos and links to come.