Yuntu-Walun Festival Report 2023

The Murraylands Yuntu-Walun Multicultural Festival in Pine Park Murray Bridge on Sunday March 19th 2023 was an outstanding success. It was the Community Coming Together as the name in Ngarrindjeri Yuntu-Walun interprets. The Ngarrindjeri welcome invited the audience to participate and this theme continued throughout the day. The format for the entertainment was presented as a concert with 18 cultural performances and in addition 40 or so food and cultural stalls contributed. The venue turned out to be perfect and highlighted the need for more shade at Sturt Reserve.
Participants included Traditional Filipino Song & Dance Leah and Gina, Mickster the Trickster, Camilla Traditional Italian songs, Rwandan Dance Group, Arabesque Belly Dancers, Chinese Ode to Joy Drummers, ErHu instrumental Chinese, Bingyi Han with traditional Chinese Guzheng instrumental, Mobolaji and children Nigerian traditional songs, Ode to Joy Ba Wu Performance, Teatu Teunia Pacific Island Dance, Ukrainian Dance School -children, intermediate, girls, and seniors, Folkwave Bhangra Academy Indian Folk Dance and the Australian Navy Band.  We had great feedback from the crowd attending and since.  A significant sum raised by impromptu handing donation tin around in the crowd and the Ukrainian food and craft stall did very well too. Active support from Rotarians included Steve Walker, Christine Willersdorf, Gordon Schultz ( Merilyn Schultz is a committee member on MMN), John Whimpress, Rob Walters, Lesley Murray, Barry Stacey, Darryl Webb and John Scarvelis. Many other Rotarians attended during the day and enjoyed the event. We appreciated the Rotary input into the Event and look forward to the continuing partnership.  Other members of the Murraylands Multicultural Network were encouraged to own the event as part of their leadership training. We had significant financial support from Murraylands businesses who either employ or will employ new settler workers including Big River Pork, Thomas Foods, Costa Mushrooms, the Rural City of Murray Bridge and other service providers. Several reports and posts have been placed on facebook prior and post event, the Murray Bridge News and Murray Valley Standard ran stories and 5MU/Power FM had community announcements and an interview. The Australian Migrant Resource Centre CEO Mirsia Bunjaku, Adrian Pederick MP Rotarian and Murraylands Multicultural Network Chairman John Scarvelis participated in the formalities. Mirsia summed up with the positive, extreme warmth within the crowd and the community generated by the event. Stefan Uzelac and Yan-Shi Ko from the Department of Home Affairs also attended the event and I was able to network with them and introduce them to Murray Bridge Businesses.  John Scarvelis