National Conference on Reconciliation, Multiculturalism,Immigration and Human Rights

Mr Farvardin Daliri
Manager, Migrant Resource Centre Townsville/Thuringowa, Queensland

A Case Study of Cultural Development in Townsville Region

This is a PowerPoint presentation with many colourful pictures and slides about the past six years of cultural development in the Townsville region. This is a presentation which presents factual picture of cultural development in a real case situation.

Six years ago Townsville was perceived to be a remote regional country town, and was often referred to as a redneck town. Public cultural activities and other events did not stage nor celebrate cultural diversity and Indigenous heritage.

Since then, the Migrant Resource Centre has embarked on the challenging task of promoting multiculturalism and reconciliation and reflection of cultural diversity in arts, festivals, community forums, sports and employment.

At the time this MRC operated with very limited running cost and resources. Since then, the Townsville MRC has evolved and systematically helped the larger mainstream community to develop and gain a better understanding of and participation in cultural diversity issues.

The MRC has initiated and organised this region,s annual Cultural Fest since the past six years. Cultural Fest 2000 hosted 30,000 people from all walks of life. A reconciliation march was organized in conjunction with this most popular regional festival and brought on to the streets 5000 strong supporters marching from Harmony Park to the Cultural Fest venue. The establishment of the monument of Unity in Diversity is another major achievement by the Migrant Resource Centre.

This presentation will outline some of our challenges in this region, the process of community development, use of media, success stories and some important unresolved questions:

o If so much could be achieved with very little input why can't the system as a whole do more?
o Why does racism still operate in implicit and explicit ways?
o Why have we never received national coverage for our positive regional achievement?

What is stopping us from moving forward? The politics of domination? Lack of commitment on the part of leadership? Media? Or not recognizing our strength?

Born in Persia (Iran) and completed his tertiary education in India in
1981, graduating in Fine Arts and Post Graduate Research in Ceramic Design
at Lucknow University in India. After coming to Australia, he completed a Bachelor of Education at La Trobe University in Melbourne in 1988 and Master of Education at Monash University in 1991 with a research project in Multiculturalism. In 1995, he began a PhD in education JCU. His latest research was a Community Training Needs Analysis for the Department of Employment, Training and Industrial Relations. This focused on vocational training and employment issues of culturally and linguistically diverse people in the North Queensland Region.

Presentation Type
Workshop or paper

University of Technology, Sydney, 1-2 December 2000

Papers & Workshops