It’s hard to believe that when Camden celebrates its cultural diversity for the first time it can boast a growing population that includes 113 nationalities, 85 birthplaces, 65 languages and 38 religions.
It was not that long ago that Camden was basically a mono cultural enclave.
But all that has changed in the past 25 years so the inaugural Camden Cultures event on Saturday, March 30 will be the celebration of a remarkable change in the heart of Macarthur country.
“Since 2008, our population has increased by 69 per cent,’’ says Mayor of Camden, Cr Peter Sidgreaves.
“This growth has seen people from all different backgrounds, with different customs, religions and traditions call Camden home,” Cr Sidgreaves said.
“In the last 10 years, we’ve seen residents who identify as Vietnamese increase by 442 per cent and residents who identify as Italian increase by 92 per cent, just as examples.
“On March 30 we will be celebrating the 113 nationalities, 85 birthplaces, 65 languages and 38 religions in the Camden area.”
Frances Sio, one of three powerhouse vocalists from the event’s headline act, K-Groove, pictured, said her band was a “groovy mix’’ of cultures.
“My guitarist is Australian, my bass player is Macedonian, our lead male singer was born in New Zealand, but was raised in California, and one of our lead female singers is Italian. I am New Zealand-born Samoan, along with our drummer who is my son,” Ms Sio said.
“We’ll be performing the music we grew up with – classic covers, a bit of old and new RnB, soul, pop, funk and also reggae.
“Events like Camden Cultures open up our eyes and minds to the beauty of other cultures, so we can learn about, appreciate and understand each other.
“I love Camden’s diversity, and how we can all live in harmony.
“This event will be a wonderful and fun way to learn about different foods, languages, music, dance, arts and crafts.”
The free event will be a fun filled, family friendly occasion for all residents, with activities including:
- Live entertainment;
- A fashion parade showcasing trends from around the world;
- A range of international food stalls;
- Children’s activities, including jumping castle and garden games;
- Children can jump into one of Council’s Waste Trucks;
- A screening of Bend It Like Beckham at 8pm.
The event is part of the State Government’s Multicultural March initiative, which aims to foster inclusive and contributing communities.