Large and small-scale Welcome Dinners in Hobart
At the end of October, the Migrant Resource Centre hosted Hobart’s first community Welcome Dinner. It was a lovely spring evening in this sunny building, and 60 people attended, including many people new to the Welcome Dinner Project. A great chance to get to know more of the local community in Glenorchy, we are hoping to continue holding larger scale welcome dinners like this one bi-annually in the Hobart region. Sharing watermelon desert with new friends
Nick Mckim, greens spokesperson for immigration chats with two astute young new arrivals
The play corner, complete with genuine volunteer tassie firefighter uniform dress-ups.
The Welcome Dinner Project is a movement of welcome and connection currently sweeping across Australia, thanks to the huge efforts of volunteers and the goodwill of so many communities! Although Welcome Dinners are free events with a simple format, there is a lot of work that goes on in the background to plan each dinner plus ensure its effectiveness and accessibility for everyone.
How can I help?
Our three biggest areas of need:
Reaching out to newly-arrived people:
Whether they be migrants, international students, refugees and asylum seekers who have arrived in Australian in the past 10 years
You can assist by:
- Putting up our Welcome Dinner posters and leaving our postcard flyers in public places where newly arrived people will see them
- Speaking at local English Classes to invite people to come along to a dinner (you need to have attended a Welcome Dinner first, so you can share from your personal experience!)
- If you speak another language you could assist one of our local Area Coordinators with calling newly arrived people once they have registered for a dinner
- Spreading the word in any way you can!
The Welcome Dinner Project has taken off in such a big way that we are now operating in every State, plus a head office in Sydney. As you can imagine there are some overheads, including rent, public liability and volunteer insurances, materials, online costs, website development, database management, promotional materials and much more! In order to sustain the growth and continued success of Welcome Dinners we also need to have paid Coordinators in each State who manage our area coordinators, facilitators and other volunteers. Coordinators also build local collaborative partnerships, liaise with media and oversee the quality, effectiveness and evaluation of every event. So far, crowd-funding campaigns and local community grants have been our main source of funding, We are now endeavouring to expand the types of fund-raising to include local fund raising events, institutional sponsorship, private benefactors and individual monthly donors.
You can help by:
- Organising a local fund-raising event
- Giving a one-off or monthly donation (Over $250 is tax deductible via our auspice partner)
- Helping connect us with businesses willing to donate in-kind materials or services such as office space, graphic design, printing, picnic ware (plates/cups/cutlery etc – must be eco-friendly)
- Asking your workplace to become a sponsor or including us in your staff giving program
We currently have several State Coordinator and Area Coordinator roles open (see below). We are looking for skilled communicators and creative thinkers, with a passion for community building and a more just society, to join our dynamic team. Experience in the not-for-profit sector would be ideal! Taking up a Welcome Dinner Coordinator role is a great opportunity to further develop your skills in the context of a grass-roots organisation, while significantly contributing to the growth of an initiative that is making a tangible difference in people’s lives, creating the kind of connected and welcoming Australia we all want to live in.
Various positions are now open (organised by state):