Australian Bhutanese Youth to Promote Multicultural Australia through Youth Festival
“Thank you Australia for giving us an opportunity to start our lives all over again” – Bhutanese in Australia after spending over 17 years in refugee camps in Nepal.
The Association of Bhutanese in Australia (ABA) Sydney is organising the Australian Bhutanese Youth Festival Sydney 2014 including the third Interstate soccer from 3 – 6 July 2014 at the Parker Reserve King Street, Penrith.In keeping with its partnership approach, ABA is working closely with a number of organisations. Supporting partners include Settlement Services International (SSI), STARTTS, Community Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) Parramatta, Sydwest Blacktown, Nepean Migrant Access (NMA), Pacific College Auburn and a number of other organisations and individuals.
There will be 10 soccer teams for men from across Australia including Adelaide, Hobart, Launceston, Albury, Brisbane, Cairns and Sydney. This year the organisers have decided to introduce women’s game as well. Although other states will not be fielding women’s teams, the Sydney Women’s team will be playing against other local teams.
The four day festival includes inauguration, team parade and the start of soccer league games on day one, which will be continued on day three with finals being played on day four followed by award and closing ceremony. The second day will be the main Youth Festival day with multicultural parade followed by a number of activities including cultural programs from different communities, motivational speaker, athletics competition, and other fun activities. Formal program on each day will start at 11am and generally conclude at 4pm.
Among others, the Youth festival aims to:
Promote a sense of camaraderie amongst Australian Bhutanese youths and with the youth from wider Australian community
Instil a sense of healthy competition amongst our youth so that they are encouraged in future to take part in games/sports at more competitive levels
Engagement of youths in productive activities and generally youth empowerment.
Promote Multicultural Australia through inter-cultural exchange and learning
The Festival has received wide support and will be attended and addressed by a number of dignitaries including Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-
It may be noted that the humanitarian settlement of Bhutanese refugees in Australia started in 2008 and there are over 5,000 people settled across the country including Adelaide, Launceston, Hobart, Cairns, Brisbane, Melbourne, Albury-Wodonga, Darwin and Sydney. There are around 500 people in Sydney mostly living in Blacktown, Penrith and Campbelltown LGAs. After being evicted from Bhutan, the new arrivals spent over 17 years in refugee camps in Nepal before being able to call Australia home.
From the very beginning, the Bhutanese community has significantly focussed on youth, who are now positively engaged in various activities including sports, cultural activities and voluntary work besides studies, undertaking training or working.
Through resilience and hard work, the newly emerging Bhutanese community has made tremendous progress within a very short period. For example, over 25% of new families are proud owners of their own homes even in the most expensive metropolitan city of Sydney. Most people are either earning or learning, with the small community in Sydney alone producing about 50 health and related professionals and contributing to meet the skills shortage in this area. This event showcases this success story and the community’s humble attempt to promote social cohesion and harmony.
We invite everyone to come and join the fun and help make this Youth Festival a big success.
Association of Bhutanese in Australia (ABA) Sydney
On behalf of the Australian Bhutanese Youth Festival Sydney 2014 Organising Committee
Mobile: 0417 065 142; E: om.dhungel01@