The Deep Listening Festival returns this April with a new theme and line-up of speakers. The Festival aims to explore what it means to live in a community of acceptance and understanding through music, story-telling, art and the opportunity to hear from inspiring speakers and share stories.
The festival, which runs from Friday April 5 to Saturday April 6 offers an impressive collection of speakers, presenters and artists who will highlight the theme ‘Finding a place to call home’, particularly around the areas of homelessness and multiculturalism.
The Festival will feature an art exhibition on Friday evening from local ARTISTS Ian Dowling, Jenny Sanderson, Elaine Clocherty and Christopher Williamson, as well as live music by female vocal group the Charis Ensemble.
The program will have a series of WORKSHOPS such as ‘Building Bridges Across Cultures’, R U House Ready? And ‘The Inner Home’. It will also feature the ‘Cuppa With…’ sessions, which are approachable and informal chats with the presenters. ‘Building a Nest’ will be a community art project taking place throughout the festival, led by Cathie Lambert.
Festival Committee Member Mary Elton said the Church wants the festival to be an inspiring and inclusive activity.
“It’s a chance for people to listen to positive stories of overcoming adversity, be inspired by art and hear from the artists, and find ways to broaden your understanding of the community around you,” she said.
This year’s SPEAKERS:
Esther Amito Onek – Esther was a South Sudanese refugee before moving permanently to Australia in 2003. Esther earned a Bachelor or Social Work at Curtin University and got her first job with Women’s Health and Family Services as a Multicultural Women’s Domestic Violence Advocate.
Suresh Rajan – One of WA’s leading speakers and advocates on all things multicultural. Suresh was CEO of the Epilepsy Association of WA and President of the National Ethnic Disability Alliance. He is the Chair of West Australians for Racial Equality and Secretary of the Ethnic Communities Council of WA.
Naydeene Edwards – Naydeene is a proud and culturally aware woman from the ancestral line of the Ngoonooru Wadjari people in Yamatji country Midwest WA. Her extensive experience in the public housing sector, specifically as an Aboriginal Support Officer enabled her to identify the gaps and barriers which the most vulnerable experienced when stuck in the revolving door of homelessness. This inspired her to start her own business ‘R U House Ready’ to inspire, educate, inform and empower people on the pathway from homeless to home ownership.
Sean Hsu – Originally from Taiwan, Sean first came to Margaret River in 2012. After a stint of work elsewhere, Sean decided Margaret River was where he wanted to call home. Sean started a business with a local person, Chinafriendly, with the aim of building bridges between the two countries. Sean faced the disappointment of being offered sponsorship to stay in Australia, only for that company to close down. Fortunately another opportunity arose and Sean now works at Voyager Estate, where he can use his Chinese speaking and cultural skills.
Meire de Mello – Who is originally from Brazil, before moving to Margaret River worked as a Cultural Support Worker, helping young people from Afghanistan, Vietnam and South Sudan find their way in a new culture. Meire worked for public libraries for almost 3 years and created the first ongoing Multicultural Story-time program presented at the Victoria State Library/Melbourne in 2017. Meire was appointed and volunteered as Multicultural Ambassador for the City of Ballarat between 2014-2016.
Craig Mathieson – Craig grew up in Bunbury and has a string of acting and performing credits to his name, including the SBS TV series ‘Circuit’ and the Australian Opera Company. Craig has experienced difficulties with secure housing, along with his physical, emotional and mental health. This is a story he will share with those in attendance at the festival. He is presently Deputy Chairperson of Just Home Margaret River,where he is currently focusing on developing his creative talent and looks forward to finding secure decent housing that offers himself and his child more consistency and security.
Cathie Lambert – Cathie runs her own business Deep Water Dwelling, which is based around spiritual direction. She provides individual spiritual direction and runs retreats and workshops for groups. Cathie specialises in mandala workshops, which was the topic for her spiritual direction project and released a book in early 2018 through Mediacom, titled ‘A Mandala a Month Workbook’.
Michael Kiernan – Has extensive commercial and corporate background experience with previous positions as chairman and managing director roles in Australian and UK publicly listed companies. From a comfortable lifestyle, following an unfortunate financial occurrence with the ATO he became bankrupt with nothing left but his experiences. He regrouped and embarked on a life of helping homeless people and formed the Saint Benedict’s Homeless Foundation to help address the rough sleepers’ issue in our community of which there are some 2,500 in Western Australia with just under half being women.
More on the speakers here: https://margaretriverunitingchurch.org.au/deep-listening-festival/speakers/
The 2019 Deep Listening Festival will take place on Friday 5th April and Saturday 6th April at the Margaret River Uniting Church. Prices to attend range from $18 -$85. For more information visit: https://margaretriverunitingchurch.org.au/deep-listening-festival/
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