On the 19th of June, MARSS celebrated the contributions refugees have made to Australia on International Refugee Day. Refugee week throughout Australia aim to understand the diversity, difficulties faced, hope, and strength of refugees through various types of events. In our function, we had several of our clients dance and speak about their refugee journeys including a performance by MARSS' own dance class. We capped these with speeches from our CEO, Chairman and MLA Rachael Stephen-Smith.
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.