This year’s Fuse Fest at Sydney’s Burwood Park on May 14 certainly did not disappoint, as multicultural communities came together to celebrate their diversity and connections.
Fuse Fest was made possible with the help of Youth in Action of St Nectarios Parish in Burwood, Multicultural NSW, Stronger Together Events and Festivals, and support from the Burwood Council.
Its aim was to celebrate and showcase a wide range of local cultures, traditions and talents.
The Greek contingent was one of the strongest of the day, with Youth In Action spending the day selling traditional Greek sweets and coffee at a food stall. Young people could also visit the Youth In Action marquee to participate in Passport To The World challenges for a chance to win one of two $150 Westfield vouchers.
The youth group was raising money to buy at least one Gravity relaxation chair for the festival’s charity partner, Lucas Garden School in Canada Bay for students with special needs. These chairs cost $2,500 each and support students who use wheelchairs by helping them sit in a more comfortable position in the classroom.
READ MORE: St Nectarios Burwood raises $3,880 for NSW floods through film screenings.
Director and Secretary of St Nectarios Parish Council, Christina Efthymiades, said The Greek Herald that Youth In Action raised enough money to buy one of these chairs and she couldn’t be prouder.
“In the spirit of our Orthodox faith, our young people have shown such a strong commitment to making a positive difference in this world and to truly engaging with the local community,” said Ms. Efthymiades, who is also a mentor of Youth in Action with Father George. Liangas, said.
“They wanted to organize an event that would truly celebrate our diverse community and the traditions of other cultures, as well as our own – and they also wanted to partner with a local charity to support those in need.
“Organizing such a big event taught them some wonderful new skills and was a fabulous opportunity to bond with each other – they really made us proud!”
Lucas Gardens School Principal Jenny Zagas and Deputy Principal Wendy du Plessis also attended Fuse Fest to speak about the school’s needs and thanked Youth In Action for their support.
READ MORE: Principal of Lucas Gardens School, Jenny Zagas: “We put the person before their disability”.
Besides the fundraiser that day, there were also a number of Greek dances by The Nassibian Dancers conducted by Ms Efthymiades, Cypriot dances by The Cyprus Community of NSW Dancers conducted by Sydney Sizmos, sung by Natalia Papadakis of Youth In Action, and music by the Alpha Bouzouki school under the direction of Tassos Lambrou.
Dance groups from the Spanish, Indian, Chinese, Cypriot, German, Japanese and Scottish communities also took part and drew loud applause from everyone in attendance, including the Mayor of Burwood, Cr John Faker.