July 26, 2022
A Gunnedah Shire Library initiative has been shortlisted for the Local Government Week Awards.
The library’s Multicultural March initiative is vying for the title of Innovation in Special Events in the RH Dougherty Awards category alongside four other councils. Winners will be announced on Thursday, August 4.
Multicultural March was a month-long event highlighting and celebrating multiculturalism within the Gunnedah Shire through library events.
The library was transformed into a colourful multicultural space adorned with the flags of various countries and book displays featuring numerous countries and multicultural authors. Mannequins were also dressed in vibrant clothing of different countries.
Library staff collaborated with the Multicultural Women’s Association (MWA) whose members read children’s stories and shared their culture in their own languages and in English during Book Buddies sessions (storytelling for children 0-4 years).
Over the course of the month, Librarian Christiane Birkett said six languages - Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, Malay, Maori and Korean – featured in the Book Buddies program, which attracted record numbers, including children from local pre-schools.
“All participants expressed a delight in the program and their joy in speaking of their own culture to others, and the wish to continue storytelling in this welcoming space,” Mrs Birkett said.
“We are thankful to the Multicultural Women’s Association members for sharing their own time, languages and cultures with us.
“More than 5500 people visited the library during Multicultural March and we feel it was a great success.”
MWA Acting President Katerina Haenga said the members “thoroughly enjoyed” being part of the library’s activities.
"We believe that multicultural literature serves as a powerful tool in enabling children to gain better understanding of their own culture and the cultures of others; it was great to share our cultures within the community of Gunnedah,” she said.
“We congratulate Gunnedah Shire Library on the nomination of the RH Dougherty Award for innovation."
Caption: Multicultural Women’s Association’s Dibahni Marsh speaks in Spanish for a Book Buddies session as part of Multicultural March at the Gunnedah Shire Library.
For more information, contact Gunnedah Shire Council’s Communications team on (02) 6740 2100.