On Saturday, 11 August 2018, the second course Professional Speaking for Migrants offered by Multicultural Tauranga concluded with the formal Speech New Zealand examination.
Some 40 trees in Greerton Village were ‘dressed’ on Sunday, 24 June, interpreting this year’s yarn bombing theme “Your favourite song”.
Multicultural Tauranga had decided to execute a colourful collage in wool to depict the title “We are the world”. It seemed the obvious choice for an organisation whose beneficiaries are people from all over the world and whose logo is a globe or, in other words, the world.
Many of the knitted and crocheted pieces were reused from last year's yarn bombing, as was the huge globe with crochet stripes in Multicultural Tauranga’s logo colours. However, many new items had been especially produced for this theme, such as the musical notes with striking crochet ruffles.
While the team consisting of Alessandra and Clive Tilby, Raffaella Cruickshank-Veneziano and Alexander Finn were up on the ladders and in the tree, a number of encouraging hoots and shouts, such as “Cool!”, from passing cars cheered them on. The team managed to get the decoration up with only a short, light drizzle of rain towards the very end.
On 16 December 2017 12 Tauranga migrants sat a whole-day exam to qualify for a Speech New Zealand certificate in Professional Speaking. The exam marked the formal end of a ten-week course, Professional Speaking for Migrants, offered by Multicultural Tauranga for the first time using a course syllabus developed by Speech New Zealand. The course was designed for migrants who wanted to gain the confidence and skills to be a captivating speaker at interviews, in social situations or at business events.
Course facilitator Pieter de Zwart prepared the class to:
This year the Greerton Community Knitters and Yarn Bombers’ idea was to give local charities an opportunity to present themselves by dressing “their” tree in whatever way they thought most suitable.
The yarnbombing public art project started in 2013 and brings together people from all walks of life and abilities to knit, crochet and weave.
Multicultural Tauranga decided to use the new logo as their key visual and to add flags of different countries to represent some of the international mix of people that Tauranga has become.
The tree to be decorated was aptly situated in front of the Turkish To Go café on Chadwick Road.
Sue Burger, one of the Yarn Bombers who had done most of the needlework for this tree, puts the idea succinctly: “Most of the sleeves are crocheted squares. They are all the same in shape and size but different in colours and textures – just like people from different cultures are all different in some way. But as humans we are all essentially the same.”
On Saturday, 4 March 2017, Multicultural Tauranga's annual festival took place at the Historic Village.
For more information and pictures, go to this page.
Rather than organise an end-of-year Living in Harmony evening as in the years before, this December Multicultural Tauranga joined the Twelve Days of Christmas events at the Historic Village with an international Christmas market.
Stalls in the Village Hall were selling wares – food as well as arts and crafts that lent themselves for presents – from Poland, the Scandinavian countries, India, Japan, Cambodia, Bolivia and Iran.
During the day various performances such as dance, music and songs were offered and drew crowds around midday.
Multicultural Tauranga president Ann Kerewaro is pleased with the outcome. “By the end of the day, at 3pm, we were just about sold out. With proceeds of $500 I think we’ve made pretty good sales. For us it was a successful fundraiser.”
The night of 13 December drew crowds - not only to the street festival that opened the Twelve Days of Christmas celebrations at the Historic Village. It also marked the opening of a three-day art exhibition at Multicultural Tauranga.
Some 50 invited guests including new mayors Greg Brownless of Tauranga City and Garry Webber of the Western Bay attended the opening of Multicultural Tauranga's art exhibition, Our world's got talent.
14 artists from 10 countries presented their work in the main room of the Multicultural Centre. The exhibition had been put together by Multicultural Tauranga's Creative Officer Alessandra Tilby. “We wanted to give our artists the opportunity to be seen not only by our members but also by New Zealanders and the wider community. Showing their art creates a window into their world and their culture through their art”, explains Alessandra.
The type of artwork on show was as varied as the ethnic and cultural background of the artists. It ranged from paintings and drawings, sculptures, flowers made from flax and paper, pottery, artwork using copper, needlework and embroidery, to bonsai trees.
Some of the exhibitors have published their works previously and established themselves in the arts scene. For others it was the first public presentation of their work and an exciting experience.
On Monday, 5 December 2016, 18 participants of the Newcomers Network group enjoyed the annual trip organised by Multicultural Tauranga: a day out to Whakatane and Ohope in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. The group was a “United Nations” of attendees from the Netherlands, England, Sri Lanka, Korea, Russia, Japan, Poland, Brazil, India, New Zealand, Sweden, the Philippines and China.
Highlights of the day were: a walk along the White Pine Bush Track containing a remnant of superb New Zealand native kahikatea (white pine) forest that once occupied the fringes of the extensive wetland in the area; a visit to the Taneatua Gallery lead by prominent Maori artist and activist Tame Iti; the David Poole Art Studio and the 4 Art Sake gallery in Ohope where some of his work is exhibited; ice cream at Blueberry Corner; and a shared lunch at Whakatane.
Much to everybody’s disappointment the chocolate factory was closed, but the group did get a chance to taste oysters at Ohiwa Oyster Farm.
An unplanned hot topic at afternoon tea was the news of Prime Minister John Key’s surprise resignation, with lots of theories discussed about the timing of it.
The Philippines’ Living in Harmony night was dedicated to the upcoming holiday season: Pasko sa Pilipinas, i.e. Christmas the way it is celebrated in the Philippines.
The evening was emceed by Maria Burns, President of Tauranga Filipino Society, and Marylee Coles, whose birthday happened to be on the night.
Marylee Coles started the programme with an overview of the country’s history, pointing out how its Spanish heritage had shaped the Philippines’ Catholic character and the way Christmas was celebrated in a big way, with family and food being the main focus. She also drew attention to the Asian and especially Chinese influence on the island nation, which was reflected in the Philippines’ food: a mixed cuisine that reflected the country’s mixed ethnic history and the availability of local ingredients.
The presentations included a national dance in colourful costumes, a modern line dance by the Tauranga Filipino dance group and a spectacular fashion show of formal or festive dresses. The outfits were modernised versions of different regional costumes and styles.
The evening ended with carols sung in Tagalog, the official language unifying the multi-ethnic country. To give visitors a chance to sing along, the Tagalog words were shown on screen and an explanation on their pronunciation provided to encourage participation.
On 23 November 2016 General Committee member Sue Burger was one of 16 presenters at a Pecha Kucha and music fundraising event held at Te Puke Repertory Theatre.
Pecha Kucha is a short, fast-paced presentation format in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each. The length of speech parts has to be timed exactly to flow and coincide with the automatic slide advancement.
Sue’s speech was aptly titled “20” – a teaser title playing on the Pecha Kucha format, but in fact referring to the percentage of migrants in Tauranga: 20 percent of the population was born overseas – that’s one in five people.
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