Quite apart from St Margaret’s role as a leader of social outreach in the community of North Canberra, many of its members have been seeking ways to collectively and interactively cooperate with other community groups. Accordingly, on the afternoon of Saturday, August 29, St Margaret’s (along with Uniting Care Disability) will play host to the first Community Diversity Festival.
Festivities will commence at 11am. The Festival will be officially launched, at 1.30pm, by Dr Andrew Leigh, Labour member for the seat of Fraser. Dr Leigh has, on several occasions in recent years, addressed and joined in Sunday worship with the congregation of St Margaret’s, in celebration of its achievements. As a result, he is certainly a well-known figure to many of St Margaret’s more prominent members. Dr Leigh is primed to speak on the importance of community and diversity in fostering a healthy Canberra.
Community groups who have already committed to participate include: Uniting Care Community Support; Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform; Tuckerbox (a weekly food co-op administered by St Margaret’s ‘sister’ church, Holy Cross Anglican); SEE-Change (Society, Environment and Economy); ACT Disability; Aged and Carer Advocacy Service; Stepping Stones for Life; and Meg’s Toybox. ‘Storytelling Sessions’ will involve the groups sharing tales of their development and ongoing evolution: past, present and future. Apart from the Storytelling Sessions, many of these groups will also put on information stalls.
Lest this all sound too dry and stuffy a way to spend a late-Winter/early-Spring afternoon, there will also be many fun activities in which to participate. Activities for children will allow for interpersonal connections to be made, for friendships to be renewed amongst both young and old(er). These activities will include face-mask decorating; helium balloons; and fun finger-food catered by Uniting Care Disability.
While on the subject of food: a rich, international variety will be on sale. Sausages, Dutch pancakes, pides, and that old standby of church gatherings – good strong coffee. As a long-time member myself, I can say with confidence that St Margaret’s never fails to put on an exceptional spread.
Given suitably warm and auspicious weather, the first Community Diversity Festival holds the potential to usher in a new era of proactive and integrated community within the suburbs of North Canberra. So, whatever your role in the community, no matter your age or religious/political orientation, come along between 11am-3pm on Saturday August 29.
Attend…Participate…Contribute to the building of our community. Make new friendships and renew existing ones. St Margaret’s Uniting: the large white Church opposite Dickson College. Marking the crossroads of four of North Canberra’s major suburbs: Hackett, Dickson, Watson and Downer. At the apex of community.
Community diversity festival:
Date: Saturday, August 29
Venue: Corner of Antill St & Phillip Ave, Hackett