Women attending the upcoming ‘International Women’s Night’ event in Blenheim will hear from some of New Zealand’s leading speakers on issues around children’s wellbeing, better outcomes for migrant communities, and family violence prevention.
Attendees will also enjoy special cultural performances by Marlborough migrant women, including a local Chinese dance group, and an Indonesian, Indian, and Pasifika performance.
The event which runs from 7pm - 9.30pm on Saturday 23 March at the Marlborough Convention Centre, celebrates International Women’s Day and Race Relations Day, which both fall in March. Entry is by koha or a gold coin donation, and national dress is encouraged.
Organiser Margaret Western, Manager, Migrant Services for the Marlborough Multicultural Centre, says; “This unique evening featuring interesting speakers, unique cultural performances, and delicious food, is a celebration of the contribution of all women in our community. The theme is “sisterhood” to celebrate the support women have for each other. We are encouraging the women of Marlborough, locals and newcomers alike, to come along and meet the world on your doorstep.”
The Marlborough Multicultural Centre is building on the success of a similar evening held in 2016 when more than 150 people attended.
Mrs. Western says the event’s theme of ‘sisterhood ‘is an opportunity to celebrate the special bond between and among women; “I see these bonds every day in my work. I see women looking after another woman’s children, cooking a meal for a friend, and celebrating the good times. I also see women helping lift each other up when life is tough. I have so many examples of sisterhood in action, and I suspect most women, whatever their cultural background, do too.”
“Celebrating sisterhood and the role of women in the community is particularly important for international women and new migrants living here as so many of them are far from family and their friends soon become extended family.”
Mrs Western says the event is for locals and newcomers alike, and that the idea of “building a connected community for the wellbeing of everyone” is the cornerstone of the Multicultural Centre’s philosophy.
About the Marlborough Multicultural Centre:
The Marlborough Multicultural Centre opened 12 years ago to meet Marlborough’s growing need to support new migrants in the community, as the face of Marlborough began to change at an unprecedented rate. For more information about the evening please contact Margaret Western on 03 579 6410 or 021 158 4426 or visit www.migrantcentre.org.nz for more information and resources.
About the Speakers
Emma Dunlop-Bennett (Sa Petaia, Ngati Maniapoto) has 20 years’ experience working in aid and development, primarily in the Pacific as well as South East Asia and Southern Africa.
Prior to completing her doctorate on child wellbeing from the perspective of the Samoan diaspora in Wellington, Emma was the Country Representative for World Vision in Vanuatu and worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, where she led New Zealand’s Pacific Regional Aid Programme in Fiji.
Guiding Emma’s approach to her work is her ‘Tanugamanono lens’. That is, that aid is based on the needs of the community, it takes a partnership approach, it is delivered effectively, and that it leads to transformational change. *Tanugamanono is the village that Emma grew up in Samoa*
Ann Dysart has many years of management experience in the New Zealand public sector with a focus on designing and implementing innovative social sector initiatives aimed at improving social outcomes for disadvantaged communities and groups in New Zealand. This has included significant government initiatives for Māori, single parents, refugees and migrants, and Pasifika communities. Ann currently manages “E Tū Whānau” for the Ministry of Social Development - an initiative, designed and led by Māori with support from , to address issues of violence within whānau.
E Tū Whānau focuses on community-level prevention within an authentic and culturally responsive context. It is characterised by its kaupapa Māori approach, strong buy in from Māori across the country and a focus on innovation and collaboration. E Tū Whānau includes a specific refugee and migrant component.