Once each school term, the grandstand at KGV Football Oval (Glenorchy, Tasmania) transforms into a hubbub of introductions, conversation, children playing and the delightful aroma of an eclectic mix of cuisines.
Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania (MRC Tas) hosts quarterly potluck dinners where new arrivals are invited to share a meal with established locals, MRC Tas staff and volunteers. These events are a family-friendly opportunity for new Tasmanians to relax, meet new people, establish networks and practice English. MRC Tas provides interpreters to help with conversation, and welcomes everyone, from newest arrivals to those who are further along the settlement journey.
The event is also an opportunity for new arrivals to experiment with volunteering, and many community members who start by attending the dinners end up volunteering at the next event or with other MRC Tas programs; building networks and learning new skills.
“I enjoyed the dinner because it’s my first time coming to MRC Tas and meeting people with many different cultures, and made some new friends. Now I’m volunteering with the Migration Support Program and I work with people from many different cultures, and I like socialising with new people.”
– Dinner attendee and now MRC Tas volunteer