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Sharing our stories – Cultural Diversity Week

Celebrating Energy Safe’s rich diversity and the cultural backgrounds which inform our experiences today.

Our stories

Cultural Diversity Week brings Victorians together to recognise and celebrate our rich cultural diversity, showcasing the many cultures which shape Victoria.

The week is about inclusiveness, respect and belonging for all Australians, regardless of beliefs, ethnicity or background. From the Traditional Owners of the land and waters, and our most recent arrivals, to those who have called these shores home their whole life.

Celebrating Cultural Diversity Week, we asked our people to introduce us to their cultural backgrounds and how they continue to experience their culture here in Victoria.

As a Brooklyn native with Greek roots, I seek out cuisine – from a (literal) hole in the wall to fine dining and everything between.

As much as I love brick oven pizza in Melbourne and rural Victoria, I'm always looking to test out NYC-style slices here in Melbourne.

Aside from pizza, any decent bagel or deli-style sandwich always takes me back to my old neighbourhood of Bay Ridge.

Melbourne's huge Greek population ensures there's always an incredible restaurant to try out. I also like to visit Greek Orthodox churches outside of service hours to light a candle – a heavy hit of gold leafed artwork, incense and nostalgia.

— John, Content Design Lead

As an Australian with an Indian background, I experience culture in a dynamic blend of traditions.

From celebrating Onam with joyful music and traditional food with friends and family, to savouring the aromatic spices of home-cooked Indian meals alongside classic Aussie barbecues, my cultural journey is a fusion of the familiar and the new.

Celebrating cultural festivals like Vishu or exploring the intricate artistry of Indian dance and cinema, offers me a chance to connect with my roots while embracing the diverse and inclusive atmosphere of Victoria.

It's through this unique mix of Australian and Indian influences that I find myself constantly enriched, navigating the intersections of my identity with pride and curiosity.

— Sumita, Licensing Team Leader

Hogmanay (New Year) is bigger than Christmas in Scotland, where my husband is from. We have a huge party every Hogmanay where the whiskey flows and so does the banter.

— Jane, Report Writer

This March, the vibrant colours of Holi (the festival of colours) painted the skies of the Casey and Cardinia councils areas as more than 2,000 people from diverse cultural backgrounds came together to celebrate this ancient Hindu festival.

I lead a group of dedicated community volunteers to organise this event through music, dance, and the joyous throwing of coloured powders. The event also featured cultural food stalls offering a variety of cultural cuisines. For the children, there were jumping castles, face painting, and henna stalls, adding to the festive spirit.

The event also included meditation tents and Bhagavad Gita card reading tents, offering attendees moments of reflection and spiritual connection. These aspects of the festival highlighted the holistic nature of Holi, which not only celebrates the external joy but also the internal peace and harmony.

Holi marks the arrival of spring in the northern hemisphere and holds immense significance in Hinduism. It reminds us to stand firm in our beliefs, for they can shield us from harm and guide us through the darkest of times, signifying renewal and hope.

The Holi festival serves as a reminder of the importance of unity and inclusivity in today's world. Differences are celebrated and cherished, making the community stronger and more vibrant than ever.

— Nitin, Transmission Approvals Manager

I look forward to celebrating Easter, as it’s an opportunity to bring together generations of our family and friends to celebrate, share food and stories together. Several of us make sure we bring along Easter eggs and other treats because people enjoy some sweetness to have on the day and to take home for later.

— Roanne, General Manager – Customer and People Experience

I was born and raised in Aotearoa New Zealand, moved to Queensland during my teens, and now reside in Victoria. You could describe my cultural identity as firmly anchored in the Tasman Sea.

Kiwi culture is one that roots for the underdog, for the up-and-coming (the endurance of the nation’s longest-running primetime soap drama is testament to this – if you know, you know). Some of the world’s greatest talent were born in humble, unassuming New Zealand. If it weren’t for the kiwi way of spotlighting promising stars, household names would still be kai shopping at the local Pak ‘N Save (much less defending Riverdale, topping charts from the Tennis Court, or introducing us to the Mandalorian race…).

In both Queensland and Victoria, a similar sentiment rings true.

By both nature and nurture, I’m passionate about uplifting the voices of those who may be striving to be heard, or unaware of the power their perspective holds.
From producing publications and events to podcasting and more over the years, championing that pacific proclivity to prioritising bold new voices has proven a huge piece of the projects I’ve tackled to date.

They say big things come from small packages – Aotearoa’s fish and chips is the famous, flavourful takeaway.

As for other stunners on the menu… until we unwrap each proverbial parcel glistening with even the slightest golden grease, we’ll be starved for having never known.

— James, Communications Advisor – Social Media

Date: 21/04/2024 20:42

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Reviewed 20 March 2024

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