THE diversity of the migrant community is being captured in a project called My Story, Our Stories for the upcoming Orange Youth Arts Festival.
Twenty people from different cultural backgrounds visited Canobolas Rural Technology High School yesterday to have their portrait taken and be interviewed by year 9 students, who asked a series of questions relating to their lives and experiences here in Orange and Australia.
The photos will be large prints displayed in a public place during the festival accompanied with their stories and a book featuring some of the subjects.
Featured resident, Sharanya Balaji moved from India to Australia five years ago.
“I feel more independent here. Here, me and my husband are the decision makers here. In India my father made all the decisions about everything and he didn’t care about the family. So that’s a very big change for me,” Mrs Balaji said.
“There’s also many more opportunities here.”
Canobolas High community engagement officer Vince Lovecchio said the initiative features Migrant Support Services’ culture hub, which is a major festival partner.
He said this project will be conducted as part of the festival annually to provide an opportunity for everyone to have a voice, share their lives and help build an ongoing archive of stories and images for future generations.
“Multiculturalism is an important part of the festival because it showcases achievements and our unique culture ... we have a very diverse culture in our community,” Mr Lovecchio said.
The festival will be held from Friday, October 9 to Sunday 18.