TOGETHER: Group facilitator, Mei Lin Marlin (second from right middle), and interrelate representative Julie Lette (second from right back) with Interrelate's multi-cultural women's group with meet every second month.
TOGETHER: Group facilitator, Mei Lin Marlin (second from right middle), and interrelate representative Julie Lette (second from right back) with Interrelate's multi-cultural women's group with meet every second month. Sophie Moeller

Strength in diversity

ONE of the women in Lismore's Interrelate Multicultural Group arrived in the city from Nimbin in the early morning. The gathering wasn't due to meet until lunch time.

But that is how important the group is to these women who hail from over 10 different countries from many diverse and cultural backgrounds.

According to the group's facilitator, Mei Lin Marlin, the women, who range in age from 24 to 84 years, have now been meeting bi-monthly for nearly three years.

"The group has gone from strength-to-strength and embraces our differences and celebrates our diversity,” says Ms Marlin.

"The main purpose of the group is to support multicultural women, especially those who are newly arrived without family support. We meet, share food, stories, information and often just laughter.

"Women from different ethnic backgrounds often feel isolated. We give them a sense of belonging. Sometimes it is the need to connect socially and mentally but often they just need practical information and the ability to access services,” said Ms Marlin.

Last week, the group met to get "tech savy”, which is an information session offered by Lismore Library on how to navigate your smart phone, tablet and the internet.

Lismore Library Assistant, Sarah King, orginally from Sierra Leone, presented the session to young mothers and grandmothers from Europe and many parts Asia.

One young mother from China said when she first came to Lismore, she would walk around town with her baby and feel "invisible”. Having joined the group, she can see familiar faces and feels that she is not alone.

For more information contact Interrelate Area manager, Julie Lette on: 02 6623 2704 or 0400 883 887.


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