Multicultural women raise their voices

MORE than 130 women came together to celebrate the annual Hear Our Voices Multicultural Women’s Gathering in May.

Attending the event were women from a diverse array of backgrounds, including Bhutanese, Syrian, Karen, Eritrean, Ethiopian, Afghani Hazara, Croatian, Sri Lankan, Filipino, Indonesian and Aboriginal.

Alison Overeem, from Leprena, led a program allowing women to talk about experiences of education, volunteering and employment.

Other activities include informal workshop style discussions and sharing of stories, music, dance and food.

Glenorchy Mayor Kristie Johnston said the gathering gave women of all ages and cultural backgrounds an opportunity to develop friendships, practice leadership skills, make connections in the community, find out where they could access support and be inspired by other women who shared their experiences.

“It was clearly an enjoyable day for all involved and the group discussions, cultural dancing and singing saw women exploring new friendships and embracing other cultures as well as their own,” she said.

“The women who attend the gathering sometimes suffer feelings of loss with leaving families and friends behind and may still feel worried about family members who are unable to migrate.

“The gathering provides them with a safe place to discuss very sensitive issues they may not be able to discuss at home.

“It is uplifting to see women thrive at an event like this and make connections that will help carry them forward with their lives.”

Hear Our Voices was a collaborative initiative between Glenorchy City Council, Migrant Resource Centre, City of Hobart, Catholic Care, Save the Children and the local community.

It was also supported by the Tasmanian Government.

Caption: Hirut Seboka, left, and Dhana Ganeshan attended the Hear Our Voices gathering in May.