Aromatic spices and other stomach-grumbling smells wafted through Campbell Park on Saturday for the fourth annual Multicultural Day.
The park was crowded as locals filled plastic plates with mountains of food from all over the world. Country crooners Fat, Maria and the Allen Boy set the scene and Aboriginal Elder Esther Gardiner shared a piece of her traditional poetry.
Mayor Paul Harmon was proud to see the event continue to grow and said he felt it reflected the community’s willingness to embrace multiculturalism.
“One of the most humbling things I get to do in my role as mayor is to perform citizenship ceremonies, when someone from another country has chosen to make Australia their home,” he said.
“It actually talks about the fact that no matter your race, gender, what country you come from – you’re free to express all those values within the parameters of the law of Australia.”
Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall officially opened the event.
“Australia is an international success story in terms of multiculturalism,” he said.
“This state is the most multicultural state anywhere in the world, where there’s 146 nationalities that call this state home.”
He said that north west communities were more multicultural than many people realised, and were growing even more diverse each day.
“I think for one, that is a magnificent thing and something we should embrace, promote and be incredibly proud of,” he said.
Children weaved through the crowd with painted faces and hands full of balloons and snacks. Traditional costumes and flags were proudly on display as stall holders tempted locals with tasty treats. Food from Thailand, India, Vietnam, Brazil, Tonga, Fiji, the United States and Australia was available.
Danthonia Bruderhof shared American cookies and apple pie and performed a square dance with fiddle music. A group from Korea challenged event-goers to learn their alphabet, which they claimed was “the world’s most rational alphabet”.
Brazilian barbecue and Thai curries were on offer along with ‘Lisa’s Tongan Delights’. Food-lovers enjoyed everything from popcorn and meat pies to watermelon punch and chop suey.
Local services Pathfinders Ability Links and Rural Outreach and Support took the chance to introduce themselves to the community.
To see a full gallery of the day, click here.