The main theme of the dinner and conversation was that we are all ‘sisters in humanity’. Diana Rah from the Newcastle Muslim Women’s Association shared that events like this bridge the gap that exists between people of different faiths and cultures.
Debbie Carstens from Northern Settlement Services shared her experiences living in a country where she did not speak the language, and having a feeling of powerlessness by not being able to understand, or being treated as if her ‘IQ was equivalent to her language ability’.
Debbie has worked with migrants and refugees for 20 years, and shared that there are simple things that can be done to welcome refugees and migrants. Volunteer opportunities through Mission Australia, Northern Settlement Services and the Diocese’s Refugee Service are all invaluable to refugees who may be new to Australia and the region.
Vice Chancellor Pastoral Ministries, Teresa Brierley asked all of the gathered women of faith to think about how we can be sisters, holding each other’s hands and walking with each other.
The dinner was catered by Zabiba, a local who is building a catering business after moving to Australia from Ethiopia four years ago. The food was delicious!
Great conversation was had, and all look forward to another event like this in the future.