MARSS is excited to announce its expansion into New South Wales. On the 1st of May, MARSS launched its new office at 8/166 - 168 Crawford St, Queanbeyan. This office will initially be run by our generous volunteers, offering casework, and a number of programs and referral.
For many of our clients, going on a holiday to the coast is something outside of their reach, so to be able to offer this opportunity is truly special. A group of 55 of Canberra’s newest refugees and migrants from 12 families of 6 nationalities went on a weekend holiday Pambula from the 6th to the 8th of April 2018. They travelled via Cooma, Brown Mountain and Merimbula and stayed with host families to explore the beauty of the Sapphire Coast.
They participated in activities organised by the Social Justice Advocates of the Sapphire coast including: visiting a native animal sanctuary, beaches, sport, music, dance, and a traditional Aboriginal Welcome to Country complete with a smoking ceremony, musical performance and visit to an ancient site. “This will be an experience that will stay in the hearts of our groups as much as it will be embedded in the hearts of their hosts,” MARSS Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Dewani Bakkum said.
MARSS staff, clients and women from the wider Canberra community celebrated International Women's Day on March the 8th. We had cake, snacks, dances and many inspirational female speakers, all seen cutting the cake below.
During the holidays MARSS continued their well received school holiday programs from the previous semester. On the 11th of July SGP clients and their children were given a tour of the War Memorial. MARSS provided tickets to five lucky families to attend a Persian Music Concert from Afghanistan on 12 August and the clients really enjoyed the performance by thefamous singers they adore.On the 29th of September clients ventured the Cockington Green Garden to enjoyed the delightful and fascinating display of meticulously handcrafted miniature buildings from around the world.
MARSS held an afternoon tea to celebrate World Refugee Day on 21 June. The function was attended by about 120 MARSS clients, volunteers, Board members and staff. There was a musical performance by MARSS volunteer and musician Bernard Forjoe.
In partnership with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) we also held a Refugee Week function at Albert Hall on 23 June. The event was attended by about 250 people including VIPs and MARSS clients and staff. MARSS thanks UNHCR Canberra Regional Office for the opportunity to collaboratively organise this successful event.