Volunteer Statement

“And suddenly you just know it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of new  beginnings.” Walking into the year 2019 leaving the past   behind, moving forward into new challenges and trials not knowing what to expect drove me to anxiety yet wonder. My        adventure in Invercargill began a month ago and although I had the comfort of my family, loneliness and fear did somewhat succumb me as I felt like a lost fawn in a forest, all alone. But every cloud has its silver lining as I was acquainted with Meggy from Southland Multicultural Council which then led to a new start for me as a volunteer.

I met Meggy a year ago during my visit in Invercargill and she was an embodiment of strength, positivity and courage. Being away from her homeland herself, she was able to understand my worries and yet make me feel like home. Coming from   Malaysia, a country rich with heritage, diversity and culture, it has always been something I was passionate about thus being a part of SMC embraced me into the diversity of culture and communities.

Being a volunteer in SMC is a truly engaging and rewarding experience. As an extrovert, I have always been up for       challenges and new opportunities and it was certainly the    perfect fit for me. It enabled me to discover and learn more about the multicultural community here in NZ. SMC has       organised a variety of events that reach out to the community to promote awareness as well as unity. Events as such are the drive that makes us feel whole despite diversity and being able to be a part of it is indeed wonderful.

I am currently lending them a hand with the preparations for the Multicultural Food Festival and it has been a rewarding        experience for me and I certainly look forward to it and the events that SMC is yet to offer for the year 2019.

Coming to NZ has always been a childhood dream and with the support SMC has given me, I can hold on to the belief that I am not alone and dreams do become reality .    

Dilrukshi Rajapakse (Dilky)


"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 -



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.


President Message


To the Multicultural family  and friends, especially to our Muslim community, there are absolutely no words to express how much sadness and sorrow we are all feeling right now. We are all shocked by the Christchurch tragedy.

On behalf of the Southland Multicultural Council, we express  our sincere sympathies and stand with you together in solidarity. The recent vigil at Wachner Place showed that our community does care and demonstrated how much strength we have as one. SMC is here to support to our Muslim    community and indeed everyone who is in need irrespective of race or religion.

Now is the time to show strength in the community and to not  become individuals and leave others out. Be a strong community by showing each other love, sympathy, empathy and compassion towards each other. We should show that we are not weak and that we are resilient together as one human race. We are all equal and no one should feel this pain, this burden, this unsettlement, this unsafety within this world. We should be showing respect, not hate to anyone  regardless of who they are. We should not  tolerate such  discriminating behaviour within our society as it is not the act of a human being. Please stand up and speak up against any act that discriminates any person regardless of their colour or by their choice of faith. “GIVE NOTHING TO RACISM”

On 23 March from 10 am to 6 pm at ILT Stadium we were able to celebrate the RACE UNITY DAY themed
”-Our people, our cultures, our languages”-“O tātou iwi, ō tātou ahurea, ō tātou reo”  through the Multicultural Food Festival and multicultural performances. It’s was a celebration to embrace cultural diversity within the Southland region. The event went very well and thanks to all the people who came along and participated the event.

I woul like to encourage our community to be vigilant and be safe and always help each other whenever we can to have a peaceful    community. Kindly share love, kindness please come and embrace the richness of our cultural diversity here in Southland.

Lastly, we want to convey our condolences to all the families of the victims who faced this tragedy.



Executive Message     

Celvin RaihanPicture1

Committee Member

Assallamu’alaikum Greetings to Multicultural Whanau and friends. My name is Muhammad Celvin  Raihan and I am the Southland Multicultural Council Men's’ Youth leader. I am  from Indonesia; I became a committee member in March 2018. I attended the Indonesian/Vietnamese night potluck dinner in 2017. At that time, I was  attending as a guest and I enjoyed every minute of my time there. With time, I had the interest to be a part of the organisation. The main reason was to experience working with various people from different backgrounds and ethnicity. As I spent more time as a volunteer, I requested to join in as one of the financial members. Fortunately, my request was agreed by the past committee members. Since then, I tried to volunteer in almost every event of SMC.

At the last AGM, I was elected as a committee member and not long after that I was elected to be the Youth leader. The previous youth leader, a close friend of mine,
Ashvin Illangeshwaran had to leave the organisation as he had been accepted in a  company located in Hamilton.

From August until November 2018, we had bowling nights which were held once a month. The aim of the activity was to have fun and to bring people from different nationalities to play together and build new friendships. The event was a success with a lot of positive feedback. This made me happy thus enhancing my motivation to organise new activities for the youth.

Last February, there were two events: Multicultural Marae Noho and Brazilian Culture Night. In Marae Noho event we learned many things about Maori cultures. On the other hand, during Brazilian Culture Night it was a festive to enjoy the night in Brazilian style. There were Brazilian foods and some cultural performances. The general challenges that we faced to organise those events were mostly on choosing the right people to take responsibility for  those events.

I would like to say thank you to SMC Committee members and Meggy Bartlett-McBride for the wonderful opportunity that has been given to me.


”When we give cheerfully and accept  gratefully, everyone is blessed.” 
― Maya Angelou —


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