On Sunday, 24th September 2023, Gough Whitlam Park in Earlwood was a vibrant tapestry of cultures, colors, and communities. IWAA, a leading non-profit organization, hosted a multicultural peace walk to commemorate the International Day of Peace, which took place on 21st September 2023.
IWAA, renowned for its dedicated services to the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities, has been a beacon of support in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, and South Australia. With a clientele of over 500, a robust team of 120 employees, and the ability to communicate in 41 different languages in NSW alone, IWAA’s reach and impact are undeniable.
The event was not just a walk in the park; it was a powerful statement against discrimination and a call for unity. The Australia Talks National Survey of 2021 revealed a concerning statistic: approximately three out of every four Australians with non-European ancestry have faced discrimination due to their ethnicity. With this event, IWAA aimed to bridge divides, foster understanding, and promote a sense of belonging among all Australians.
From 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, participants from diverse backgrounds took to the pathways of Gough Whitlam Park. The theme, “Peace and Inclusion Across All Cultures,” resonated with every step taken. The walk saw representation from Australia’s First Nations and multicultural communities. People from various faiths – be it Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Judaism, Buddhist, and more – walked side by side, symbolizing the harmony that can exist in diversity.
A special emphasis was placed on including refugees and migrants from war-torn countries. These individuals, who once faced the horrors of conflict, now find solace and peace in the Australian community. Their presence was a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the possibility of new beginnings.
As the walk concluded, participants and spectators were treated to a multicultural extravaganza. Stalls adorned with arts and crafts from different cultures lined the park. The aroma of diverse cuisines wafted through the air, tantalizing taste buds and offering a culinary journey around the world. The rhythmic beats of music and the graceful movements of dancers showcased the rich tapestry of traditions that make up the Australian community.
In a world where differences often lead to divisions, IWAA’s multicultural peace walk was a refreshing reminder of the beauty of diversity and the strength of unity. It was a day of celebration, reflection, and hope for a more inclusive future.