Volunteer Statement

I arrived in Invercargill just a few months ago alone, knew no one and with fear of what lies ahead. Luckily, getting acquainted with a few Filipinos led me to join       Southland Multicultural Council. Being a part of SMC showed me the bigger picture that I am a part of a diverse community and that I have nothing to worry. As an admin volunteer, I became connected to other cultures as well as giving me a perfect vision of how it is to live, work and communicate in NZ. Working with SMC is very fulfilling. Being a volunteer excites me as it entails dynamic roles and also gives me a chance to challenge the  introvert in me. Waiting for my family to arrive was easier since I joined SMC as it made me occupied and led me to meet a lot of people in the community.

At present, my family and I enjoy what SMC has been organising monthly as they promote awareness, reach out and create unity. These events make us feel a part of the community and strengthens our affinity in spite diversity.  We came to NZ with a hope to fulfil our NZ dream and we have SMC to thank for making us believe that we are not alone in our challenge to make this dream closer to reality. 

"To build a strong team you must see someone else's strenght as a complement to your weakenss not a threat to your position or authority"  - Christine Caine -


Kristina Benipayo

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.


nielExecutive Message     

Neill Rumble



I am Neill Rumble, Treasurer of the Southland Multicultural Council. I am like the tiger who got old long in the tooth. I have been involved in many Not-For-Profit Organisations for over 45 years. I have had various governance roles and joined as an Executive at the last AGM.

My wife Dot Wilson and I have attended many potluck events and other events conducted by SMCI. The fun we shared with everyone last year inspired me to revisit the governance area and assist in making all these events successful. I am very fortunate that I have a married son in Japan with 5 beautiful grandchildren and talk to them regularly when it is a    special occasion such as birthday or Xmas. I have a lovely daughter who lives in Christchurch in our family flat and have visited her this year.

Like all NPO we rely on volunteers and funders to assist in the day to day running of SMCI and a big thanks goes out to them without their support we would not function adequately. We have had several citizenship events this year and given away a large number of native trees to the new New Zealanders. For me personally it has been a   pleasure to attend some of the ceremonies and talk to the families and individuals.

In October we fare welled Tushnica Dissanayake  our Admin  support person as she obtained a full time position with Alliance as an Accounts officer, Tushnica was a hardworking and efficient  member. We welcomed Sumudu Fernando to the position.

September event was Father’s Day potluck night and was well attended by SMCI and the public.

I want to say thank you to the team for their hard work throughout the year and congratulate Meggy Bartlett- McBride our President, on being recognised as a Woman of Influence.

 "There are two ways of spreading light - to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it" 

   -Edith Wharton-


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