Our mission is

To promote and protect the interests and aims of ethnic communities and migrants in Southland

Southland Multicultural Council Inc. is a member based organisation, affiliated to the New Zealand Federation of Multicultural Councils.

Other functions include:

Promoting and Celebrating the Cultural Diversity in our Community.

Supporting and arranging Educational forums on the NZ way of life.

Educate our Community by encouraging new migrants to speak to groups about their life in New Zealand.

Assist with Settlement Issues through our office; social contacts; home visits; membership and invites to join Women's, Youth & Men's Group.

Membership is only $15 per year 

2018 Annual General Presidents Report

Meggy Bartlett-McBride

“The heart of a volunteer is not measured in size, but by the depth of the commitment to make a difference in the lives of others”

It is with satisfaction that I write this annual report sharing some of the activities and successes of SMC during the past year.

 For the past twelve months, maintaining stability in our governance and operations   has been challenging. Board members personal circumstances have changed and they   have relocated to other regions for better opportunities. Luckily, we were fortunate to   quickly to co-opt very energetic and proactive new board members.

Highlights of SMC activities in the past year, included our monthly potluck dinners which celebrated twelve diverse cultures from around the globe. These dinners have been very well supported and attracted significant interest from outside our membership base. Once again we participated in the 2017 Santa Parade and proudly showcased the vibrancy of cultures in our community. Let’s not forget our annual Christmas picnic which was held at the Queens Park Rotunda. Though the weather was not favourable, everyone had a fun day. The 2018 Multicultural Food Festival was an outstanding success. The SMC team did an absolutely amazing job planning and executing this popular event. Feedback received from attendees, stall holders, volunteers and performers was overwhelmingly positive. Throughout the year we have engaged with many external community organisations, sharing the services and support we offer migrants.

In 2017, the SMC was pleased to receive the Trust Power - Regional Winner of Arts & Culture award and a Certificate of Achievement in the Kiwibank / Mitre 10 New Zealand Community of the Year awards. Both these awards are welcome recognition of our contribution to the community.

I personally was humbled to receive a 2017 Kiwibank Local Hero award and also to be bestowed with the honour of Southlander of the Year by the Southland Times. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone who has unreservedly supported the SMC in the past year, especially our active and enthusiastic volunteers, as for without you I would not be the recipient of these honours.

During the year the board received and accepted the resignation of our Coordinator The Board approved, as an interim measure, the employment of both a part time Coordinator and Administrator in order to facilitate and manage office activities. This decision by the board was necessary in order to ensure that the quality of our service to migrants and ethnic communities in Southland is maintained during a very period of time. A review of both positions will be completed once the SMC Board is appointed.

The board sincerely thanks all staff and volunteers for their valuable contribution during the year.

The SMC is in a positive financial position looking forward. I would like to acknowledge our principal funders - ILT, CTOS, COGS, Lottery Grants Board, Ethnic Communities, ICC and further SIT for venue sponsorship. Without their continued support we could not possibly achieve our objectives within the community. Further thanks must be extended to Tushnica for competently taking responsibility for the management of our accounts.

The SMC has an exciting future, supporting the interests of migrants and ethnic communities in Southland. I am confident that we are progressing in the right direction. We are on track to achieve stability, sustainability and growth. We are now focusing on building a foundation and capability to effectively manage issues in the wider community for the betterment of migrants settling in Southland. With the pending implementation of the Southland Regional Development Strategy, the SMC will be an important advocate for embracing cultural diversity and promoting an inclusive community.

It has been an inspiring year for SMC, as we witness continuing growth in our ethnic community. It is always a privilege to meet new migrants and provide an effective link for cultural groups to connect.

In the year ahead, we propose to explore new opportunities that will further enhance the current high standard of services that we provide, especially for new migrants and refugees resettling in Southland. 

Thank you for your support and we look forward to another great year ahead for the SMC.

Admin Update

 It is my pleasure to forward this report to the financial members for this council.    

I have joined this council as a volunteer on June 2017 and onwards participated all of the events workshops which was organized by the council.  I have been working as a support administrator for the council since August 2017.

I am privileged to be appointed as an administrator by the board on 8th January 2018 to work along the Interim coordinator.

From January onwards I have been working in administration tasks, accounting and supporting interim coordinator with the day to day work of office.

This report is a combination between the Coordinator / Administrator role.

We have organized events and workshops from the Youth, Men’s and Women’s Groups and the monthly potlucks for celebration of different cultures.

Race Relations Multicultural Food Festival: “ Give Nothing to Racism”

The biggest event was the Race Relation Day celebration with the Food Festival.

We had 21 food stalls along with 6 other organizations stall

Approximately we had 4500+ guests

This year no repetitive foods in the stalls

125 performers has participated.

We had 30 Volunteers and team leaders in each areas

Please note that this year the SMC Board members have not appointed a paid event coordinator. Meanwhile the task has been allocated to me as an assistant event coordinator, along with the interim coordinator to lead the event with much involvement from the SMC committee members as team leaders along with other amazing volunteers, together we have successfully finished the event with 1000+ hours of volunteering.

Potlucks Events & Community participation

We organized Philippine, Brazil, Chilean, Indonesian, Vietnam, Thai, Malaysian, Indian, Tonga, Samoan, Columbian and Sri Lankan cultural celebrations. We arranged Immigration seminar, Women’s self-defence course, Youth, Men’s activities as well as Women’s group activities and also we’ve partnership with Venture Southland for the My Skills rule workshop (CV topic) and ongoing plan project with them in future.

Citizenship Ceremonies:

Attended all Citizenship ceremonies held at ICC and SDC. Many thanks to Chris & Brian Rance of the Southland Community Nursery for the donations of native plants we distributed to new citizens.

ILT Kidzone 2017

With our volunteers we taught the children regarding various cultural crafts and activities on site and it’s been great pleasure that children and family enjoyed the activities we provided.

Santa Parade 2017

The Santa Parade 2017 was very successful and yet very colourful float. We showcased different cultures with music, dancing and with a cake decorated with handmade pompoms which was very attractive, many thanks to all our amazing inspiring volunteers’ team who did the pompoms through night and day.

The Council continues to provide interpreters, translators, assistance to the migrants especially to the newcomers as and when required.

We support refugees in terms of keeping them involve in our events and any other ways that they need assistance.

Enquiries from agencies and organizations for information is ongoing. The future strategic plan is to collaborate and partnership with organizations that have same interest in providing a safe, supportive service to the wider community especially to the migrants, newcomers and the refugee group resettlement.

Requests for welfare support from families is ongoing as the demand increased dramatically, we often work beyond what we could to assist families and individuals for them to feel a little bit of ease in a stressful situation.

Finally huge thanks must go to all the volunteers who have contributed their time, skills and efforts for the Southland Multicultural Council as well as to the funders for their ongoing support to enable us to provide our services.

I wish the Council all the best for the future.


  “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members”  - Coretta Scott King-


          Tushnica Dissanayake