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Making connections over a meal

08 Sep 2016

Making connections over a meal Image

Do you enjoy meeting people from other cultures and trying new food?

If so, the Welcome Dinner Project in partnership with the City of Melbourne is providing locals with the chance to do so by hosting a dinner on September 29 at the Boyd Community Hub.

The Welcome Dinner Project connects people who are new to Australia with the established community over a shared meal and the idea is now coming to Southbank to celebrate the diversity in our neighbourhood.

Both established Southbank residents and newly arrived people are welcome to attend and organiser Shelton Fernando has called on locals to bring a dish and connect with others.

Guests are asked to bring a plate of food traditional to their culture or that reminds them of home and Shelton said it was a wonderful way of helping break down barriers.

“Every dish has its own story so it’s a really great way of connecting through stories to break down barriers and bring people together,” he said.

Having run its first dinner in partnership with the City of Melbourne at Kathleen Syme Centre in Carlton last month, Shelton said the initiative had proven to be a major success in the inner city.

He said that with so many students and international people living in the area, he hoped the Southbank dinner would help people living in apartments feel less isolated.

“We hope it will be really successful in helping get people out of their apartments and tap into local networks,” he said.

“At each dinner we run an activity called speech bubbles where at the end of the meal we ask everyone to write down a word describing how they’re feeling.”

“Words like connection, grateful and unity are probably the most common words we see from guests.”

Registration for the dinner is essential and can be done so via southbankwelcomedinner.eventbrite.com.au

For more information visit www.joiningthedots.org

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