Peter & The Wolf Cushion Concert
Last September school holidays newly arrived refugee and migrant families from Yennora and Fairfield public schools were treated to an unforgettable experience that included a lively, animated concert followed by a meet and greet with musicians. Close to 200 parents and children were able to get up close and personal with their favourite instruments and characters.
Many families had been in Australia a matter of months and for most it was the very first time they had ever seen an Orchestra. Children and parents were curious and excited about this new experience with one young child telling a musician about her new ambition, ‘I want to do what you do’. This partnership with The Metropolitan Orchestra was an overwhelming success!
Bush Walking Excursion
In January and April of 2016 SPARK ran Bush Walking Excursions with newly arrived families. Over forty kids and parents took the train from Fairfield to Berry Island to go on, what was for many, their very first Bush Walk. Families spotted bush turkeys, water dragons and kookaburras before enjoying the view of the water and a picnic together. These excursions bring together families and aim to connect them with each other as well as wider Sydney.
Hundreds of children have benefited from our partnership with Circus Monoxide to deliver the Under One Big Top program. Over six weeks newly arrived and established children come together to work together, learn Circus skills and put on a performance for their families and class mates. Under One Big Top encourages the settlement of children to feel connected to their communities and develop a sense of belong to their school and peers.
Our partnership with Joining the Dots has resulted in an amazing event that has been held for the first time at any school world-wide. In January this year Fairfield Public School held a Welcome Dinner that invited over sixty newly arrived and established families, volunteers and staff to sit down and share a meal together.
Our hope is that by connecting communities we are building their capacity to be independent, happy and fulfilled members of Australian society. ‘I am honoured to be part of this welcome dinner. This dinner is making me feel like part of a big happy family,’ said one mother who had been in Australia less than 2 years.
In March 2016 we were very excited to run the first ‘Kids & Blokes’ event that celebrates and honours men’s relationship with their children. Over fifty-five kids and their dads, brothers and uncles came together to spend a special night together playing, sharing a meal and recognising the important role men play in the lives of their children. We love being able to work with and support newly arrived fathers in their transition into Australian life and are planning to run more events like this in the future.