Sandgate Community Dinner
In August, we did something that we have never done before in Queensland. We had a community dinner welcoming hundreds of newly arrived Iraqi families on the North Side. We were quite nervous as the guests began arriving in droves, with the queue going out the door and onto the street! With the help of volunteers from the Bracken Ridge Parish and Sandbags Community Centre, we managed to welcome the guests and organize the community hall. There was a language barrier but it was easily overcome with the assistance of an interpreter and willing guests who were wanting to connect. The food was shared not just across tables, but across the community hall. Our volunteers weaved their way through the sea of tables to ensure every belly was full and the buzz and beauty of the attendees ensured that every heart was full too. There was a wonderful and fun buzz in the air as everyone conversed with one another and all the children played together. For some of the Iraqi guests, it was the first time that they had tasted traditional Australian fare, such as the traditional sausage rolls to which they nodded their heads in approval. Thank you Sandbag, St Patrick’s College and the Brisbane City Council for your support and assistance in making this event possible.