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Fusion fun for everyone


Zoe Satherley
19 August 2009

Exotic, colourful and culturally inclusive, the Fusion Festival makes its annual appearance at Southern Cross University’s campuses in Lismore, Tweed Heads and Coffs Harbour again from Monday, August 31 to Thursday, September 3.

It is a time to celebrate the wonders that diversity brings to our communities. To join hands with friends from all creeds and all nations. To sing, dance and be merry, exploring new culinary delights from far-off lands, learning from our Indigenous brothers and sisters, and getting close to staff, students and members of the wider community who have come from all parts of the Earth to call the Northern Rivers, Coffs Harbour and Tweed Gold Coast areas ‘home’.

It is a wonderful event and it is free and open to the public.

A highlight this year will be a public talk and lunch by the astonishing mountaineer Brigitte Muir, the first Australian man or woman to climb the highest mountains on each of the seven continents.

Brigitte has a degree in archaeology, history of art and musicology but says she hasn’t used it much. She has been too busy climbing! She has also published a book about her life and Everest climb, ‘The Wind in my Hair’ (Penguin) and shares her passion and experience of mountaineering with people, leading custom-designed trips.

In more recent years, Brigitte has also been busy with exploration through her painting and film making. Currently, she is working on a project she calls ‘Beyond the Smile’ which is a literacy program she has set up in the village of Lura, in Nepal, to contribute to the alleviation of poverty and poor health through the empowerment of the Lura women.

Brigitte will give a talk followed by a question and answer session at the Zest function centre, on the Lismore campus on Thursday, September 3. The talk is bound to be popular, so book early for a seat on 6620 3765.

The annual Fusion photographic competition, Unity in Diversity: colours of life, is also on again – for staff and students. The exhibition of photographs will be featured in the SCU library at the Lismore campus during the Fusion Festival and can be viewed by the public daily on level 2 of the library.

Fusion at the Lismore campus

Monday, August 31 – Thursday, September 3

All week – Unity in Diversity photographic exhibition (library).

Monday: Opening ceremony and judging of the photographic exhibition, SCU library, 4pm.

Tuesday: ‘Community in the Plaza’ 11am-2pm. Goodman Plaza will be a hive of activity and heavenly aromas as members of Lismore’s Rainbow Club and SCU’s international students serve up foods native to their homelands. There will also be Australian bush tucker to tantalise the taste buds provided courtesy of Lismore’s Indigenous restaurant and catering service, Gunnawannabe (at 12pm). Music by contemporary music students and the ‘Showcase of Cultural Dress and Language’.

Between 12pm-2pm in the student services lounge in Goodman Plaza, Lismore’s Living Library will be featuring living book stories. An international film night is being held from 6pm to 9pm, in the Whitebrook Theatre, with a free BBQ outside at 5pm.

Wednesday: If you have ever wondered what it is like inside a genuine North American Indigenous tipi, then come along to Goodman Plaza and find out, while enjoying displays of traditional international crafts and ‘Games From Around the World’, 12pm-2pm.

Thursday: Between 11am-1pm in the student services lounge in Goodman Plaza, Lismore’s Living Library will be featuring living book stories. Talk by mountaineer Brigitte Muir, Zest function centre, 12pm-2pm.

Friday: Fusion revisits the U-Film Festival and screens 2 international films, 6pm-9pm, in the Unibar.

Fusion at SCU Riverside, Brett Street, Tweed Heads

Wednesday, September 2

Wednesday: ‘Jam Packed Entertainment Under the Sails’, from 12pm-2pm, will include the launch of 'Sugar & Spice’, an international cookbook made up of recipes donated by SCU international students based at the Gold Coast and Tweed Heads. Over 30 countries and their traditional festivals will be represented in the book, to correspond with each of the nationalities present at SCU’s Lakeside and Riverside campuses.

The celebrations will also include a performance by the Murwillumbah Philharmonic Choir singing the 70s cultural diversity anthem 'The Melting Pot’, face painting, free international food tasting and an art mural by a collection of SCU international students.

Coffs Harbour campus Multicultural Festival

Tuesday, September 1 – Thursday, September 3

All week – Multi-faith Exhibition (D-block foyer) and Refugee Photo Exhibition (library).

Tuesday: Official launch, ‘Welcome to Kuntri' and entertainment, 12.30pm-1.30pm, in the main quadrangle. Free salsa workshops 4pm-5pm and 5.30pm-6.30pm, O-block dance room, O.LG.18.

Wednesday: Schools Day Concert, 9am-1pm, D-block theatre; Students Cultural Share, 12.30pm-2.30pm, main quadrangle; multicultural lunch, 1pm-2pm, main quadrangle.

Thursday: The Living Library project will be featuring living book stories from 10am-3pm in the sacred garden. Free samba drumming experience (max 50 people) – two sessions 3.30pm-4.30pm and 4.30pm-5.30pm, in the new T-block sports centre. Light supper, in the main quadrangle, with various delicacies to tease your tastebuds, 5.15pm-6pm. Evening concert featuring many wonderful acts showcasing local cultural diversity, 6pm-9.30pm, D-block theatre.

Photo: Having fun at the Fusion Festival 2008 in Goodman Plaza.