Kia Ora, Mabuhay, Hola, Ayubowan, Xin Chao, Namaste.
Happy New Year! The fantastic summer we are enjoying is certainly giving us amble opportunity to get out and enjoy Southlands natural beauty.
In December 2017, I was very honoured to receive awards as a Kiwibank Local Hero and The Southland Times' Southlander of the Year. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all of you who selflessly, without expectation, actively participate and support the SMC. As a consequence, you have all enabled me the opportunity to be bestowed me remarkable recognition. To my beloved family and partner, I am forever grateful for your relentless support, tolerance, understanding and encouragement.
Sadly, Sajitha Ferry resigned from her position as SMC Coordinator late last year. I would personally like to thank Sajitha for her relentless commitment to the SMC during her tenure. The SMC Board wish Sajitha all the best in her future endeavours. The Board has agreed to engage a part time administrator so as to ensure that the SMC office operates effectively. We are pleased to welcome Tushnica Dissenayake into this role.
I would like to offer appreciation to the Community Trust of Southland and Ethnic Communities for grants recently received. Their generosity and commitment to SMC is essential in enabling us to best serve the interests and wellbeing of Southlands migrants and ethnic communities.
In the year ahead, the SMC would like to further embrace and promote the cultural diversity we are so lucky to have here in Southland. Also, refugees from Colombia are soon to arrive in Invercargill for resettlement. I would encourage you all to be welcoming and wherever possible offer assistance.
SMC is always appreciative of volunteers who are enthusiastic to lend a helpful hand with the running of events and workshops. If you have a willingness to share your time and skills by volunteering, enjoy meeting new people from diverse ethnicities then please do not hesitate to send us your contact details. We’d love to have you on board. Our office is open from 9am to 3pm Monday to Friday and you are always most welcome to call in for a coffee.
The Multicultural Food Festival is to be held on 24 March at ILT Stadium Southland. The SMC are now very much engaged in organising this popular event and ensuring that it will again be a success. Our monthly potluck dinners, promoting ethnic diversity in Southland, will be ongoing throughout 2018. To start the year off, our February potluck dinner will be celebrating the Colombian culture. This will be an amazing opportunity to experience the joyous, colourful cultural heritage of the Colombian people.
The SMC Youth, Womens and Mens groups will resume again this year. Please keep an eye on our Facebook page and website for dates, activities and workshops .
Until next time, please remember that we are all different which is great, because we all are unique, and without diversity life would be very boring.
"To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable"