Harmony Day to be celebrated in Leeton

Humaira, with Leeton Conversation Group secretary Robyn Hutchinson. Photo: Talia Pattison

Humaira, with Leeton Conversation Group secretary Robyn Hutchinson. Photo: Talia Pattison

COMING to Leeton from Afghanistan is more than just a tiny change. 

One of those to do just that is Humaira, who moved to Leeton to be with her husband just over a year ago. 

With Harmony Day celebrations planned for this weekend, Humaira said she had never felt more welcome or happy to be part of the Leeton community. 

She admitted the first two weeks spent in the town were a different experience, but she was soon put in touch with the Leeton Conversation Group. 

This organisation has been set up for women that have come to Leeton from places such as Afghanistan, Iran and India to make connections with each other. 

Humaira said without the group she would be lost. 

“When I first moved here I was quite bored and homesick, but after going to the group I was able to make friends,” she said. 

“I have learned so much (from the group members). 

“They have taught me many things, helped me and answered all of my questions. 

“Now, I love it here. I definitely want to stay.”

Humaira came to Leeton after her husband proposed to her. 

He had come to town as a refugee from Afghanistan and works at JBS Riverina. 

Both are from the Ghazni province in the country. 

Humaira is a trained teacher and now volunteers at Parkview Public School. 

“I love it there, I have made so many friends,” she said. 

There are many obvious differences when it comes to Australia and Afghanistan, with Humaira glad to be able to call Leeton home. “I feel very safe here,” she said. 

Humaira arrived in Leeton in time for last year’s Harmony Day celebrations and was looking forward to participating again this year. 

The event will be held at St Francis College on Sunday, with all community members invited to take part.

Leeton is home to many different cultures from around the globe, with mayor Paul Maytom wanting residents to use Harmony Day as a chance to get to know their fellow residents and immerse themselves in the cultural diversity. 

This year’s theme is “everyone belongs”. 

“(This) is a great opportunity for all of the Leeton community to embrace cultural diversity and share what we have in common,” Councillor Maytom said.

”Harmony Day is a chance to celebrate our cultural diversity and promote an inclusive and respectful society.

“We are very privileged in Leeton shire to have so many people from all different walks of life that wish to embrace what’s great about Australia and, at the same time, to share our way of life.

“Events such as Harmony Day allow us to share our respective traditions in the spirit of unity and to appreciate each other.”

The event will kick off at noon at the college. 

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