HISTORY OF THE FESTIVAL

We've Been Around Since 1999

The Mareeba Multicultural Festival (MMF) is a highly successful annual event that brings the Far North Queensland community together to celebrate the cultural depth of our region and promote cultural understanding and mutual respect. The free, one day Festival includes dance and music by hundreds of performers from 20 different ethnic groups and 15 religious faiths. Fabulous food is available from more than 20 stalls, providing opportunities to experience many different cuisines. Social cohesion, acceptance and mutual understanding are promoted through the sharing of different cultural experiences. In 2016, the 18th MMF will have the theme "Cultural Promise".

The Mareeba Multicultural Festival is a popular annual free public event for the Mareeba community, a celebrated signature event for the Mareeba Shire, and a regional tourism highlight on the Atherton Tablelands and Tropical North Queensland event calendar and importantly a key event for the Mareeba Shire and Tablelands regional community.

The 2015 event, the Mareeba Multicultural Festival 2015 - Cultural Co-operation successfully celebrated the diversity and harmony of the Mareeba community. The event was an outstanding example of community cooperation and accord.

The Mareeba Multicultural Festival, in its 17th year continues to grow and in 2015 experienced the same attendance numbers as the previous year with visitors and performers travelling from Cairns, neighbouring regions and throughout Queensland. The park holds about 8500 but attendance on the day could conservatively be counted as up to 16 000 throughout the day. A key driver of the success of the festival is the continuing commitment of the culturally diverse Mareeba community.

The Festival continues to promote positive community relations and cohesion in the Mareeba community. The importance of the event in positively showcasing the community's' rich and thriving cultural diversity and in educating the community cannot be understated.

The event created awareness of multiculturalism within the region through extensive promotion via local and regional media. Over 8500 attendees witnessed and experienced Mareeba's cultural diversity and influences first hand through performances, food and information stalls.

 

The MMF encourages social cohesion and mutual understanding through the sharing of different cultural experiences such as dance, music, costume and food. It is a catalyst for all cultural groups to interact, learn new skills and create general awareness of local cultural resources.

Social cohesion issues are addressed by bringing everyone together to celebrate the cultural diversity of our community and welcome new Australian citizens (2015's Citizenship ceremony welcomed 15 new citizens from 11 nationalities). The barriers of cultural difference are broken down through the Festival's atmosphere of friendly cooperation and enjoyment, proudly demonstrating the depth of cultural heritage in our region and promoting cross cultural understanding and respect. The methodology for running the MMF is grounded in community development and capacity building strategies, as outlined below. Letters of support from 16 businesses, schools, Members of Parliament, the Police and community groups are attached.

The MMF Committee of 12 democratically elected members represents a broad spectrum of the community, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and cultures from non-English speaking backgrounds. It also includes representatives from the local business community, youth and local government. The Committee members come from diverse cultural backgrounds and six of the original members remain after 18 years of hard work organising this annual Festival (since 1999). Another 30+ volunteers assist the Committee.

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