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From all the lands on Earth we come: Migrants celebrated at Murray Bridge’s All Culture Fest
The 2022 festival has featured performers from Vanuatu, the Philippines, China, Nigeria and Australia.
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People from more than 30 nations call Murray Bridge their home.
On Saturday, locals had a chance to celebrate the cultures migrants have brought with them.
The annual All Culture Fest at Murray Bridge Town Hall featured music and dancing from Vanuatu, the Philippines, China and Nigeria; as well as a welcome to country by the Deadly Nannas, a Ngarrindjeri choir.
Smiling eyes fell on the children who took to the stage: Johannan and Joseph Akinbo-Akande, who sang with their mother Mobolaji Olaitan Akinbo, and Enqi Luo, who performed a tai chi sword routine.
For other performances – by the Commissioners, Leah Medina or Hannah Smith, or as Maria Goodridge told her life story – audience members could simply close their eyes and listen.
The afternoon concluded with a ceremony in which 10 local residents became Australian citizens.
Mayor Brenton Lewis encouraged all Murray Bridge residents to promote and practise “Australian values” such as justice, equality, fairness and friendship; and to welcome new neighbours when they arrived in the city.
“The best we can do is not to worry too much about the whole of the world … but we can take the opportunity as a community to be genuine and work together,” he said.
“That’s something you’ve got control over.
“I encourage us every day: when you get up, think about your neighbours and do the best you can to extend a helping hand wherever you can.”
The All Culture Fest was timed to coincide with Refugee Week, a national celebration of the positive contributions refugees make to Australian society.
Council chief executive Michael Sedgman noted at the event that Murray Bridge had become one of the nation’s first refugee-friendly cities in 2003, and had been recognised as an example of how to integrate newcomers into the community.
He encouraged everyone to imagine a world where healing replaced harm and caring became our new currency.
The event was organised by the Murray Bridge council and Murraylands Migrant Resource Centre.
More information about Murray Bridge’s status as a refugee welcome zone: www.refugeecouncil.org.au/rural-city-of-murray-bridge.