The festival known as Africa Day Celebrations is organised by the Central Queensland African Association Incorporated in Rockhampton, in Central Queensland to remember and to celebrate the 1963 founding of the Organisation of African Unity. Under the theme “Showcasing African Culture”, Africa Day Celebrations demonstrate the cultural diversity of Australian Africans (for example, from (i) North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan (ii) Central and West Africa: Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and (iii) Southern and East Africa: Botswana, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) and how diversity has contributed to the richness of life and experience in Queensland.
The images were captured by Dean Saffron from the 2014 Festival held on 24 May.
The oral histories were recorded by Hamish Sewell with Lawrence Chitura and Mildred Muzenda.
Lawrence Chitura, President of the Central Queensland African Association in Rockhampton, speaks to Hamish Sewell about: the association and how its membership grew organically; the experience of the African community in Australia as new migrants; the diversity of the African community and of those who settled in Rockhampton and surrounds (from cultural diversity to diversity in skill sets to expertise); the origins and evolution of the festival; what is involved in the festival and why it's run including showcasing diverse culture; support for the festival; the African diaspora; opportunities to grow the festival; bringing communities together, connecting communities and representing communities; and multicultural Australia.
Mildred Muzenda, Public Relations Liaison Officer of the Central Queensland African Association in Rockhampton, talks to Hamish Sewell about: her role in the organisation to assist refugees who've lived through traumatic experiences and negotiating various cultural protocols; the relationship with local councils; challenges for new arrivals; advocacy and Mildred's previous role in the United Nations; the diversity but also the unity of African cultures; Mildred's role in the festival; the initiatives to assist communities including educational endeavours; the importance of the festival; and establishing an African/ Australian culture.
Sharing Stories from Multicultural Communities was funded through a 'Your Community Heritage Program' grant, from the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Australian Government.