SSI sponsors Newcastle ‘Unity in Diversity’ festival for Refugee Week 

Refugee support agency Settlement Services International is proudly sponsoring the STARTTS partnered Newcastle ‘Unity in Diversity’ festival to mark Refugee Week on Saturday, June 25, 2022, at Foreshore Park.

Unity in Diversity is a full-day public program of activities, including multicultural food stalls, entertainment, and family-friendly activities. 

SSI Humanitarian Settlement Program Regional Coordinator for Newcastle and the Hunter Helen Larkin said that the festival gave people from refugee backgrounds an important platform to showcase their heritage in all its richness.

“The Unity in Diversity festival is a chance to experience firsthand the unique culture and artistry found in new communities and celebrates the contributions refugees make to their new homes,” she said.

Ms Larkin said that SSI is supporting recently arrived Ukrainian refugees to participate at the event through food stalls and entertainment. 

“SSI is proud to sponsor the festival for the second year in a row, and is excited to support our newly arrived Ukrainian refugees share their skills and talents with the Newcastle community.”

Ukrainian refugees Yurii and Inna Chuchenko have recently settled in Fern Bay and will have a raw dessert food stall at the festival. 

“We are excited to get involved in the celebrations marking this important cause, and also, connecting with the Newcastle community,” he said. 

Mr Chuchenko said he was eager to raise awareness about the benefits of refugee resettlement in regional Australia with the Ukrainian community.

“As newly arrived refugees in Fern Bay, we’ve had such a positive experience so far and want to share our insights with other Ukrainians across Australia.

“This is why we started the CH2 Project to provide a fluid, secure and efficient pathway for Ukrainian Nationals to a life in Regional NSW.

“Our first project is to build this pathway to the regional cities and townships within the Upper Hunter, Liverpool Plains and New England areas.”

Other Ukrainian refugees that SSI and STARTTS supports will feature at the festival including Zumba dancer and instructor Anna Kuskova.

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