Hundreds of people agreed that the place to be on Saturday was at the Gunnedah Town Hall for the Multicultural Festival.

This event has been hosted annually by the Multicultural Women’s Association to celebrate the different cultures of people living in Gunnedah but this year had a notably large turnout.

In agreement was Multicultural Women’s Association vice president Agnes Kin Thurston, who said there had been about 300 people stop by.

“I feel like we have had a massive turnout this year, compared to the last [few] years. It is really inspiring to have everyone come together,” she said.

The festival is known for giving the shire’s locals a stage to share their culture but this year also included professional dancers and workshops from Suara Indonesia Dance sponsored by the Gunnedah Conservatorium along with Johan Quezada from Latin Dance for Country Towns.

If the different performances and workshops were not why people showed, the multiple different cuisines available certainly had people lining up to try.

There were about 20 different nationalities recognised at the festival.

Agnes mentioned the festival aimed to bring people together to celebrate their culture in a community setting.

“We are celebrating multiculturalism and diversity within Gunnedah and it is mainly about bringing the community together,” she said.

“So, showcasing different cultures and people of different races, to just unify everyone.”

Agnes said there has been more relationship-building with other organisations which was evident at this year’s festival.

“The networking that we have done with the [Gunnedah] Conservatorium, and the [Gunnedah Shire] Council, Gunnedah Family Support, they have been able to bring in these dancers, especially the Indonesian dancers, which is pretty amazing.

“I think the whole relationships we build with other community organisations as well [has added more interest in the festival].”

“There are so many different cultures we have.

“I know there are 2-3 new cultures that have come in from Zimbabwe, we also have Chile and Latin Americans, so it is really inspiring and it makes me so proud to be a part of this community.

“[It is all about] us supporting each other as a community, unifying each other and understanding what our cultural backgrounds are and just having that mutual respect and understanding for each other.”

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