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Canning Cultural Ambassadors Projects

The Canning Cultural Ambassadors run projects to benefit the City's Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) communities.


A large group of people holding up their completed paintings

Sip and Paint – Art Workshop

Project by Dr Cynthi Senarath Yapa

This project provides participants with a relaxing time while they engage in a creative activity: painting their favourite picture. At the same time, they socialise with friends and make new friends. To make it a memorable and chilling moment, drinks will be served while the participants paint the artwork they love. The instructor will give a short lecture on art history.

  • Date: 6 April 2024
  • Location: Hillview Intercultural Community Centre
Top - a group photo of the participants at the event. Bottom - a photo of the group being presented to.

Your Safety is Your Responsibility and Our Priority

Project by Zainon Mohamad Kassim, Jess Yaping Jiang JP and Rasha Abdelmonem

A forum educating attendees about the importance of protecting themselves, their families and their properties in partnership with WA police.

  • Date: 12 April 2024
  • Location: Hillview Intercultural Community Centre
Top picture shows a room full of people listening to a speaker. Bottom picture shows people playing badminton and pickleball on indoor wooden courts.

Social Badminton and Pickleball to Sports and Cultural Recreation

Project by Anbumoly Kuppusamy

Encouraging the younger generation to participate in sports by providing them a welcoming, safe and fun environment to play. Families with young kids are encouraged to participate.

  • Date: 25 April 2024
  • Location: Cannington Leisureplex
A group of women doing fitness in an indoor space.

Women’s Group Fitness Session

Project by Dr Cynthi Senarath Yapa

The project engages women in a fitness session and medically explaining the importance of physical fitness. Women will be introduced to the Leisureplex group fitness classes and timetables.

  • Date: 27 April 2024
  • Location: Riverton Leisureplex
TOP: A group of women talking in a circle. BOTTOM: A large group of women standing side-by-side, smiling at camera.

Thriving Beyond Limitations

Resilience and Transformation in CALD and Muslim Woman
Project by Zainon Mohammad Kassim

This event offered a unique blend of insightful discussion and relaxed morning tea ambience, focusing on the theme of transformation, navigating change and collective belonging. There is so much power in knowing yourself and bringing together safe spaces.

Khadija AL-Kaddour, an experienced parenting consultant, speaker, mentor, and facilitator, presented on this theme. The ladies were uplifted and were active participants in their own mental health and life.

  • Date: 4 May 2024
  • Location: Hillview Intercultural Community Centre
Children and their parents sharing information and having fun at the Cannington Leisureplex Play Centre

Information sharing with help and care

Project by Jess Yaping Jiang JP

Assisting Chinese immigrant families in obtaining accurate information through proper ways to help their in-need children. The shared information included topics such as how to seek assistance, channels and procedures for seeking help, and the types of support and assistance available for children with different symptoms / needs.

5 May 2024 at Cannington Leisureplex.

A group of people sitting at desks in the Hillview hall

I Know

Project by Rasha Abdelmonem

When new families arrive, they don’t know who, what or where to reach to benefit from the resources are available for them. I Know was a safety information session to promote safety in the community and raise awareness about what are individuals’ duties and rights.

7 May 2024, 17 May 2024 and 8 June 2024 at Hillview Intercultural Community Centre.

2 photos - the top photo features 3 people standing up and presenting. The second photo shows a group of people holding up a colorful painting.

Harmony Through Heritage: Bridging Cultures

Project by Haneen Shehadeh

The activity was an event that brought together Aboriginal people from Australia and new migrants coming from war zones. The event fostered love, welcome, and inclusion by facilitating the sharing of stories and culture through art activities.

8 May 2024 at CREEC.

2 photos - top photo features a woman presenting to an audience. Bottom photo shows a large audience listening to the presentation.

Santai Santai Raya

Project by Marwiah Liklee

To bring together the Malay Community and those who wish to learn more about Malay Culture in celebration of Hari Raya.

11 May 2024 at Hillview Intercultural Community Centre.

2 photos - the top photo showing a group of people in a long boat on the Canning River. The bottom photo shows people hanging out together on the river bank.

Dragon Boating the East Africa Way and Eid Celebration

Project by Verna Kanagaratnam and Sabah Suleiman

To provide a life-altering experience for the migrants from Eritrea and an understanding of water safety by the Canning River. Royal Life Saving Club provided a workshop on how to keep themselves safe when near the water.

18 May 2024 at Kent Street Weir.

4 photographs, clockwise: a group of people sitting in chairs watching a presentation; a woman standing at a podium; a group of people smiling at the camera; a very large (50+) group of people smiling at the camera.

Family Culture – Celebrate, Preserve, Pass It On

Project by Padmini Saxena

Educate, empower and support migrant parents as they navigate through the challenges of raising children in a new environment. 

26 May 2024 at Hillview Intercultural Community Centre.

CPR First Aid Training by Dr Khanh Ho

This event is to educate participants about CPR techniques and empower them to confidently respond to cardiac emergencies, potentially saving lives in their communities.

Gain life-saving skills Feel empowered to act confidently in emergency situations Contribute to building a safer and more resilient community.

  • Date: 18 May 2024
  • Location: Hillview Intercultural Community Centre

Musical Recitation / Musical Meditation by Dr Udbhav Mehta

To invoke community spirit and bonding via musical/spiritual recitation in the different members of the community – especially amongst seniors and youth.

  • Date: 25 May 2024
  • Location: Riverton Leisureplex

International Students Festival by Hameed Mohammad and Anbumoly Kuppusamy

Promoting mental health and wellbeing of international students, and promote positive engagement, social inclusion and cultural diversity through cultural activities and participation. Based on international student feedback and organiser’s expertise in student leadership and university level event organisation, this event will benefit international students through providing resources and community engagement.

  • Date: 25 May 2024
  • Location: Cannington Leisureplex

Multicultural Dance Performance featuring all Ambassadors and led by Dr Cynthi Senarath Yapa

All of the Ambassadors are coming together to share their cultures through dance to foster intercultural understanding and to celebrate Canning's diversity.

  • Date: 2 June 2024
  • Location: Hillview Intercultural Community Centre

A total of 16 projects were completed between April and June 2023. More than 1200 hard to reach community groups were engaged during this time. They gained access to city resources and services and were able to make social connections with fellow Canning residents.

The Harmony in Colours Holi festival is a celebration of season changes that March/April brings. It was led by Canning Cultural Ambassador Dr Sadhana Bose who is a Canning resident as well as Curtin University's visiting chaplain of Student Life and Community area.

"Students face high levels of academic, cultural and social stress whilst pursuing tertiary education. This event helps encourage social interactions, provide upliftment for holistic health and emotional wellbeing. The city is a major hub for international students and this event enables the exchange of ideas between different age groups, as well as backgrounds and skills, with the hope that new ideas and projects emerge," said Dr Sadhana.

Funded by Lotterywest, this is a first-time partnership between Curtin Student Guild, Curtin Hindu Club and City of Canning. The City's youth team were present to create awareness on city lead youth activities in Canning. The event took place at the University campus to enable participation from international and domestic students.

"The Holi event was filled with joy, vibrant colours, and an atmosphere filled with positivity. From the moment I entered the venue, I was immersed in a world of enchantment. The event was well organised, creating a lively ambiance. The energetic Hare Krishna dance left me awe-inspired plus I met people from different cultural background that gave a new perspective on life," shared international student Rekha Suresh.

Ivonne Rodriquez runs a parenting group for newcomer mums. A busy mum herself, Ivonne is a Cannington resident who also works full time as team leader of student support services in TAFE, Bentley. She put together a vision board design workshop with the support of a facilitator at the Hillview Intercultural Community Centre.

"This workshop benefits the mums in the Canning community by giving them ideas and activities that will positively contribute to their mental health. Self-care can help mothers become their best selves as a person and a mother. It allows them to care for their health, wellness, and family. Happy and healthy mums will be better contributors to society and their community," Ivonne said.

The 30 plus mothers were welcomed by a beautiful ambience, a spread of delicious bites and bubbles along with a supply of carefully put together art materials to help organise their life goals.

"I can organise my ideas in this meeting, I am very happy, relax for me and for my life. Thanks so much," shared happy mum Johanna Agvillon.

A series of workshops were run with the focus on women and school going children. The aim was to not only help them connect and socialise but to build their leadership skills.

"People who live around City of Canning will find Hillview Intercultural Community Centre accessible for them and they will learn new skills and use it as a small business idea," said organiser Israa Sedda.

The series of workshops offered 130 women quilling and soap making activities.

Israa facilitates the City's trial Intercultural book club and is currently assisting the Sustainability team connect with Islamic schools in Canning. Israa also partnered with the City of Canning's Waste team to run fun information sessions on recycling and sustainable practices for the kids.

"The workshop helped me learn a new activity with my child, gain a new skill and be part of a community," said Nadia Jabsa.

This two-day program was organised by Dr S Zaung Nau to give children (any age group) opportunities to explore their potential in the areas of arts, science and sustainability. Participants developed teamwork, communication and interpersonal skills, whilst having fun building robots and doing craft.

"The program is designed to promote the social inclusion as it will not be limited to particular community or ethnic background," said Dr Nau, a lecturer at Curtin University's Faculty of Business and Law.

She also invited the City's waste team to deliver a session on waste management. "Dr Nau worked with us to engage young people from the Burmese and wider community in Waste Education. Using Recycle Right games, participants had fun while learning correct waste sorting behaviours and how they can avoid creating waste. If Dr Nau hadn’t hosted and promoted the event, we would not have had an opportunity to reach these young people and their families," said Julie Brockman, City of Canning Strategic Waste Officer.

Simrat Kaur's project was all about helping women of multicultural background unwind, socialise and learn new skills. The workshop focused on candle making, yoga and meditation, plus Bhangra class for an hour with a quick session on nutritional food.

"I am hoping that the candle making class will encourage women who live in Canning to either have a new hobby or start their own small business," said Simrat.

"Very grateful to attend this, a very nice experience. More workshops please," said Jyoti Rana.

"My favourite part was learning new skills and connecting to people of other cultures," shared Juira Jing.

Elvie Yap who runs Culture Care, a not for profit organised a school holiday program for children aged eight to sixteen. She partnered with the city's Sustainability and Waste plus the Community Safety team to share resources and information in the form of games and fun interactions with these kids.

The session included a presentation on safety around schools and why it’s important to microchip your pets!

"We created this platform for the City of Canning to engage with youth and families from the culturally and linguistically diverse background. The aim is to provide community education to this specific group who may bring the knowledge back to their family and community," said Elvie Yap.

A facilitator was also present to encourage conversations on cultural identity and facilitate better conversation with their overseas born parents around cultural differences. She also organised trainers who focused on drama related skill sets and sports activities.

Syeda Maisara Muzaffar's vision was to create a safe place where young women between the ages of 15 to 21, of multicultural background understand that they have a space in society and that they too can grow and should not be fearful of cultures outside their community.

"My project allows female youth of different communities come together and break barriers while interacting and building a bond with each other. I will gather guests from different cultures to discuss their journey, their life story and how they got to where they are now. The podcast is targeted at multicultural youth, so they can see the pathways the ‘guests’ have taken to not only forge their own path but create a more inclusive community in Canning," said Syeda, a Law Student at Murdoch University.

"The part of the program that I enjoyed most was the fact that I could talk openly without being judged," said Janane Jayaseelan.

"Best use of my time, coming here," shared Atilda Barboza.

Selam Tegegn designed this program with the aim of helping anyone who is seeking employment or is employed to better understand employment law.

"My objective is to educate the community about their work employment and rights. I would like to help build the confidence of migrants to manage workplace issues and escalate care where it’s required. This will allow them to effectively handle matters that may arise by being armed with accurate information," said Selam.

"What I liked about this workshop was the open discussion we had," shared Jia Kwon.

Santhye Subramaniam's project brought together experts in the fields of medical, art therapy and creative workshops to promote holistic well-being and personal growth:

  • Dr Maithili focused on the overall health of women, men, and children.
  • Dr Cynthia focused on utilising artistic expression as a tool for self-exploration and healing, as well as developing coping mechanisms.
  • Mrs Pushpa, a senior member and local artist, offered a workshop on creating photo frames for loved ones and painting on recycled bottles.
  • Santhye did a food demo on making healthy burger patties and wraps for busy mums. She also provided an opportunity for a local start up to sell her jewellery who had $900 worth of sales.

"I was so happy to see the response to the workshop. We had different age groups and cultures in the room, learning together, having fun and supporting each other. I especially enjoyed empowering mums and university students to prepare a convenient and healthy meal. It was a pleasure to witness Mrs Monu's jewellery business thrive too. This project serves as an inspiration for others seeking to combine art and well-being to create a positive change in individuals and communities," said Santhye.

The workshop brought in 47 community members to socialise, share and learn together that day.

"My favourite part was the presentation about Health and wellbeing. The art workshop was fun! The lunch was great," said Yogini Desai.

Kutty Karunakaran is a Bentley resident and has been part of the Neighbourhood Watch group for over 15 years. When it came to running a community project, Kutty was happy to work alongside the City's Community Safety team, inform diverse community about the safety tips and services the city offers. This project enabled Kutty to distribute 350 safety resources and kits to the community in just 6 hours!

"Kutty did a fabulous job on his safety initiative project. A pop-up stall was held at Bentley Plaza and Southlands Boulevard Willetton providing free graffiti removal kits to the local community. Kutty successfully educated people about how they could use the kits personally on their homes, or in a neighbourhood area, like a park. He also shared information about his experience volunteering with Neighbourhood Watch and commitment to community safety. Kutty is a very friendly and professional person and great to work on community initiatives with," said Jayde Robinson-Clancy, City of Canning Community Engagement Officer.

"I think it is important for community in canning to gain the right knowledge on safety measures. I would also love to spread community safety services that the city provides to all," said Kutty.

“The Safe Communities team had a great experience working with Kutty to deliver his graffiti pop-up event! Kutty was great at engaging with the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse community to show them how to report graffiti and giving away free graffiti removal kits,” added Isabella Miels, City of Canning's Safe Communities Officer.

Grace's motivation around her project was to introduce Korean culture and enable the community to mingle with other residents within Canning.

"The Korean community in Canning is a shy community. They tend to keep to themselves due to language barriers. This program will allow them to not only share their culture but be encouraged to socialise with different community groups and make more connections within Canning. I believe this is a start to many more interactions," said Grace.

Her project brought in close to 50 individuals to have fun, learn to make yummy gimbab (Korean sushi) and pick up KPOP dance. She even supported 2 international students by providing them food vouchers in exchange for their services as dance instructors at her workshop.

"It was fun to make and eat gimbab with my children," said Tina Lee.

"It was fun to meet people from various cultures and learn dance together," said Yeon Oh.

Vijay's project focused on reducing uncertainty among the residents (English speaking and non-English speaking) on managing the various types of waste they end up with in their daily lives.

"We are still unsure which goes into the green bin and which goes into the yellow one. The consequence of this is we do what we think is right and hope it achieves the right outcome. My project was focused on creating greater awareness among the public," said Vijay.

"We organised pop-ups at shopping centres in the City of Canning on two weekends. The idea was to attract members of the public to our pop-ups and share what goes into which bin and possibly get them to participate. The city itself benefits in reducing landfill and reduced contamination of recyclable waste. When we eventually introduce the red top bin, it will be easier to manage as the community will be more aware of their obligations."

"Working alongside Vijay to educate the Canning community about correct waste sorting behaviours has been an amazing experience. We met more than 300 residents, discussed all things waste with them and shared some of our super helpful resources so they can take their new knowledge home. Thanks, Vijay, for this initiative and thanks for your passion and dedication to educate and connect with your community," said Frederic MorinGagnon, Waste Project Officer, Clean Canning, City of Canning.

Dr Jayaseelan's project concentrated on men's mental health. The objective of the project was to assist men combat mental health issues and work towards a positive lifestyle, using various tools that are easy to implement into their daily lives.

"Research shows that good mental health in societies will improve overall learning abilities, creativity, increase productivity, enable better social relationships, good physical health, and increase life expectancy," said Dr Jayaseelan.

"The workshops helped these men focus on ways to improve family relationships and avoid domestic violence. It is alarming that statistics show 12.2% of Australian males aged 16 to 85 have had either depression or bipolar disorder over their lifetime. Meanwhile, 20.4% of Australian males aged 18 to 65 have known what it’s like to live with anxiety. I was so pleased to see close to 50 participants attend the workshops. This is a really encouraging response for men who come from cultures that don't see mental health as a real issue."

"Thanks for organising two wonderful programs. I loved all of it," said Ganesh Tilaori.

"Really appreciate Dr Jaya who has started this initiative. This helps migrants to have a forum to communicate with each other," shared Bejoy Cyriac.

Luul Ibrahim and Wageesha Gamage both are very passionate about how newcomers to Australia cope with the local school system especially when it comes to major school exams and making the right choices for their children. This was their first time running a workshop together but have successfully engaged over 60 parents. Wageesha a teacher herself is very keen to shed some light on how new migrants can best support their children approach NAPLAN or GATE exams.

"The seminar was organised in response to the significant number of inquiries raised by new migrant parents," said Wageesha.

Luul a mother of seven and the founder of Perth Somali Support, feels that a lot of parents in certain community want to be more informed on pathway selection but need guidance on where to start. Because of their shared passion in supporting the community, both Ambassadors decided to partner up to deliver the 2-day workshops:

  • Day 1: Understanding NAPLAN and GATE Exam approach.
  • Day 2: Year 11 Pathways - TAFE vs University options.

"My favourite part about the program was learning the different ways to prepare for NAPLAN," said Warsan Salah.

"I liked the different resource websites shared and the intercultural program offered at Hillview," said Lydia Aldhoux.

"Friendly organisers and speakers, opportunities to ask questions and nice refreshments," said Dannie Lee.

"There should be opportunities for these discussions. I have never studied in Australia before so learning something new from these sessions."

"For newly arrived migrants and students without a drivers’ licence, it can be a real challenge to get around their communities, managing family life, while needing to get to university/TAFE and ultimately to access direct and convenient transport to gain employment," said Syed Muzaffar.

Syed's project focused on the removal of these barriers for four Bangladeshi students living in Canning.

This project provided road safety education and professional driving lessons (on a cost share basis) to these newly arrived students living in Canning. They had to hold a "L" License to receive discounted driving lessons by professional driving instructors. The professional instructors' fees was covered on a cost-share arrangement (60% from this grant, 40% from the participant).

Ubuntu Australia, a not-for-profit organisation that Syed founded, provided support, promotion, and professional driving instructor/s.

"The driving and safety sessions were valuable," said Ahmed Redwan.

"I really like meeting other community members," said MD Sifat Johan.

Organised by Riverton resident Amit Mehta, the Sundarkan program is focused on helping the community battle mental stress by having a day of musical celebration.

"There is a big gujarati and marathi community living here in Canning. This is mainly a family event which involves the participation of kids and seniors too. It is very much a stressbuster which show cased traditional songs sung and performed by members of community. I was happy to see it was well participated by 80 of our community members from all age groups," said Amit.

"I really enjoyed the community togetherness, excellent facilities, new hall and good PA system," said Megha Ashti.

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