Category Archives: Past Events

“OzFusion” – Multicultural Australia Day

OzFusion_AustraliaDayWhat better way to ‘celebrate what’s great’ on Australia Day!

OzFusion 2013 multicultural Australia Day was a resounding success with around 600 attending! This was the first time Melaleuca was involved in this high profile event. Our clients were engaged in all aspects of the day and it was a great opportunity to meet other multicultural groups.

OzFusion celebrated Darwin’s cultural diversity through an exciting and engaging program of cultural performances and bands and featured delicious multicultural food. A special guest this year was Australia Day Ambassador Mr John Kundereri Moriarty AM, a Territorian and Chairman and co-founder of the Sydney-based Jumbana Group, a leading Australian Indigenous design consultancy. The Hon Terry Mills MLA, Chief Minister of the Northern Territory who performed “Waltzing Matilda” and “In the Jungle” with Capricornica and African All Star Drummers. The Lord Mayor of Darwin Katrina Fong Lim gave a welcome speech.

International Human Rights Day 2012

HumanRightsDay2012The NT Council for Human Rights Education invited on Monday 10 December 2012 to celebrate International Human Rights Day with the community. The event included:

  • Inspirational speaker – Rosalie Kunoth-Monks OAM;
  • A conversation with David Hicks; A social justice discourse with Professor Ben Saul on Australia’s performance in human rights in 2012;
  • Human Rights Poetry Slam by Ali Mills, Sandra Thibodeaux and Bindi Isis;
  • Didgeridoo performance by Mark Hoffman;
  • Basil Schild representing Super Raelene with freedom songs;
  • African freedom dance and drumming performance;
  • Tribute to Vikki Riley from her partner and Hazara speaker Reza and
  • Food by My Sister’s Kitchen (MSK)

Link to Prof Ben Saul’s keynote “Australia’s Scorecard on Human Rights in 2012″ and the panel session with David Hicks.

Annual General Meeting 27 September 2012

The 2012 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Melaleuca Refugee Centre was held on Thursday 27 September 2012 at Melaleuca Refugee Centre. Reports were presented by the Chair, Director and Treasurer. The Committee of Management members for 2012/2013 were elected. For detailed information see the minutes of the meeting.

AGM Agenda


  1. Meeting Opened
  2. Welcome and Apologies
  3. Confirmation of Minutes of 2011 AGM
  4. Business arising from Minutes
  5. Presentation of Annual Report
  6. Treasurer’s Report
  7. Appointment of Auditor
  8. Election of Committee of Management for 2012-2013
  9. Meeting Closed

AGM Minutes 2012

Working for Peace One Day 20 September 2012

Many people interested in building peace in the Darwin community joined together to focus on how we can individually live more peacefully as well as contribute to a more non-violent world for our communities and families. Facilitators and graduates from the Peace Leadership project at Melaleuca joined interested members of the general public in a two hour session. This was led by the Darwin Alternatives To Violence Project (AVP) group and Justine Mickle, coordinator of the Peace Leadership project.

This was but one activity of hundreds across the world in support of the International Day of Peace. For inspiration see and

Deckchair Film Fundraiser for Melaleuca 26 July 2012

the_lady_posterThe first showing in Darwin of “The Lady” certainly proved to be a popular, topical and informative film choice. The story of Aang San Suu Kyi, the inspirational woman at the core of Burma’s democracy movement attracted a full house and $4000 was raised towards Melaleuca unfunded Community Development projects!

Community involvement from the Australia Burmese Friendship Association and Australian Karen Organisation NT gave the event real meaning:

  • Jay Lamach’s interview on ABC radio with Kate O’Toole from his personal experience view point set the context.
  • Community donations to the special lead up promotion exhibitions at the State Library and The Bookshop in Galleria.
  • The mouth watering national dish of Mohinga noodles soup specially prepared by Kyaw Soe, who has just received Food Registration from Department of Environmental Health. An inspiration to all World Refugee Day Festival cooks on the catering journey. Taking orders now!
  • Debut performance of talented Karen musician Brown and singer with contemporary Burmese music, a new cultural sound for Darwin. He also has a band of brothers who played in the refugee camps – look out, they are going places!
  • A Larrakia Welcome from Robbie Mills, building on the cultural exchange with the Karen started earlier this year. Now Robbie’s turn to learn about their story. Community MC’s were Cherry Lin and Jay.

Melaleuca staff now have a reputation for their home made cakes, waffles and Chai. All disappeared too soon. We will need twice as many next time. “Curry in a Hurry” once again came up with a variety of delicious curries.

Many thanks to the Raffle donators: The Bookshop in Galleria, Greenies Wholefoods Shop at Rapid Creek, Martin’s Vegetarian Café at Coconut Grove, Jay Lamach, Mie Mie Aung and an anonymous donor of 3 books.

Many thanks to all volunteers who made this a night to be remembered and repeated!

Darwin World Refugee Day Festival “Restoring Hope” 16 June 2012

peace_crane“A vibrant community festival with powerful messages, pride and spirit”

People from many different backgrounds gathered to celebrate this year’s World Refugee Day Festival setting in Jingili Water Gardens, on a Saturday afternoon in June. The festival truly showed the wider community what “community” and being part of it means to people from refugee background and what they have to offer their adopted home in the richness of their experience and culture. This maturing community event was the culmination of months of collaboration and an increasing ownership of the event by the community who managed with confidence the delegated responsibility.

Twice as many people as last year, well over a thousand, enjoyed the diverse and vibrant program of cultural performances, interactive stalls and kids’ activities. An official citizenship ceremony hosted by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship with Senator Trish Crossin was held and meant the final legal step in the journey to become an Australian citizen.

A varied performance program was planned in conjunction with the Multicultural Council NT and Darwin Community Arts including a Welcome to Country for the newest Australians from the oldest. There was a rare cultural exchange between the emerging Karen community and Aboriginal elder Kath Mills singing together her song “Arafura Pearl”. The multicultural performances from Cambodian, Indonesian, Bhutanese and Burundi dancers highlighted the local cultural diversity for a wider audience. The Madi Sudanese dancers gave a stunning first performance with live drumming in their new costumes (enabled by a grant from Office of Multicultural Affairs). An outstanding Hip Hop choreography by students from Darwin High School Intensive English Unit demonstrated how students from ten different backgrounds come together, collaborate and create a dynamic way of interaction and expression. As the “African Brothers” drummers from Sudan, Liberia, Congo and Gambia pounded out their drum beats at the finale, dancers and the crowd were calling out for more. This was the first time that the “African Brothers” performed together, a unique performance in Australia!

As kids explored the adventure land of activities such as face painting and making kites with Restoring Hope messages, the youth could chill out in their Youth Area and join in playing AFL. The interactive stalls run by Refugee Support Network members such as Relationships Australia, AMEP, Early Childhood Australia, Kidsafe, NT Council for Human Rights Education, AFL NT, DASSAN & KASSAN, Centrelink, Red Cross, DCC, African Beauty, Georgette African Fashion & Boutique, Darwin Community Legal Service, Top End Women’s Legal Service and the Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission ensured more interactive, dynamic participation.

The popular ‘World Food’ stalls coordinated by My Sister’s Kitchen and managed by community cooks were running out of food after high demand. The food stalls featured tasty meals from 8 different countries, including Congolese, Iranian, Bhutanese, Burmese, East African, Somali, Burundi and Liberian.

Yassin’s poetic Hazara speech brought home the realities of the refugee situation world wide and how lucky we all are. It makes us realize that we are just a small part of the refugee world and during refugee week we think about the millions of people displaced and surviving without protection across the world.

A big thank you to our sponsor Department of Immigration and Citizenship and our partners City of Darwin, Darwin Community Arts and Multicultural Council of the NT. Thanks to all the interactive stalls, cooks, performers, communities and volunteers who put their heart into making World Refugee Day happen as the festival in its present very popular form is highly dependent on in kind good will. As an official event of the National World Refugee Day Council, the festival was a shining example of how hope can be restored and people from different cultural backgrounds come together and celebrate their contribution to an Australian society, free of fear.

Enjoy some impressions of this special and meaningful community celebration in our Photo Gallery and by watching the ABC report Putting Out the Welcome Mat – Published on June 15, 2012 by NewsOnABC.