Ivory’s Rock Welcomes 500 New Australians

Ivory’s Rock Conventions & Events Centre opened its doors on Saturday 26th May to five hundred New Australians, recently settled in Queensland from countries as diverse as Syria, Sudan, Congo, Burma, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sri Lanka and Ethiopia.

The Family Day included a full cultural program with Welcome to Country and performances by the local Yuggera Dance Group followed by Tichawona Mashawa, orginally from Zimbabwe and Tenzin Choegyal, originally from Tibet performing indigenous music. The crowd joined in when Mirama Tokatli and her Middle Eastern Dancers performed, then Hip Hop artist from South Sudan, Mantist Orem, told his story. A drumming workshop by Gilbert Garay was popular.


Presenting an opportunity to learn more about the Australian environment Wildcall delighted guests with reptiles they could see and touch and Biro gave a talk on native birds. The biggest hit was the adorable baby koala, brought along by Ipswich Koala Protection Society; for many children this was the first time they had seen a live koala.

The children were thoroughly involved all day with face painting, craft activities and a sports zone where they skipped, played volleyball, football and cricket. Volunteers from Brisbane Student Ambassadors, Volunteering Queensland, Access, MDA, the local community and Ivory’s Rock Foundation helped with a range of activities. A big thank you to all the volunteers who helped make the day such a success.

Ivory’s Rock Foundation in collaboration with key agencies Multi Cultural Development Australia (MDA) and Access Community Services (Logan) organised the day. Many thanks to the Queensland Government for a $10,000 grant that helped cover bus hire costs and entertainment and the Ipswich City Council for a $2.500 grant that went towards productions.

Lidi Daliri of MDA said “I would like to thank Ivory’s Rock for a beautiful event on Saturday.

It was amazing, many clients commented that they learned a lot about Australia and had a great time. They wrote on their feed-back forms they would like it if we could organise it every three months.”

The video below shows what a special day this was, that will linger in the memory of all who participated, whether as a guest, a volunteer or as an organiser. To share this great facility with newly arrived refugees and show them the beauty of the Australian bush was a complete pleasure.

June 16, 2018
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