Attendance records were broken as the community turned out in force at JJ Holland Park to celebrate community diversity and connection at the 10th Kensington CommUNITY Festival.
Festival organiser Deb Wilson, Community Engagement Manager at Unison Housing was absolutely delighted. “It is obvious the Kensington community has embraced this Festival wholeheartedly and it was terrific to see Kensington locals, neighbours and visitors all come together to enjoy this great family day.”
Unison manages the mixed tenure redevelopment of the former Kensington Public Housing Estate and has coordinated the Festival for its 10 years. The Festival started life as a small event originally initiated by the Kensington public housing tenants as part of the State Government’s Housing Week. The purpose of the Festival has always been to celebrate, engage and showcase the local community with activities that foster a spirit of togetherness, fun, wellbeing, inclusiveness and cultural exchange. And the Festival has achieved this in spades!
Community and local business stalls were an integral part of the day as were live performances by local musicians, roving performance artists and come and try workshops. Local services including The Venny, the Kensington Neighbourhood House, the Kensington Community Recreation Centre, Cohealth and the City of Melbourne Libraries all ran interactive children’s activities throughout the day as part of the ever popular Child Activity Passport, with the lucky winners drawn throughout the day.
The fabulous Kensington Sustainable Living Expo was back again with loads of information, education, activities and interactive displays on sustainable initiatives.
The Unity Cup, co-hosted by event partners, AFL Victoria Multicultural Program and the Australian Federal Police along with seven AFL football clubs, brought together 12 male and 8 female youth AFL9s touch football teams including over 200 young people from culturally diverse communities, to compete for the coveted Unity Cup and participation awards such as the Play Fair and Play with Passion awards.
Deb Wilson stressed the hugely successful Festival wouldn’t have been possible without the generous financial and in kind support from all participating community agencies, business and corporate sponsors.
She thanked government sponsors City of Melbourne and the Victorian Multicultural Commission, Business sponsors and Festival partners Becs iT, Bradrod Building Services, MSS Security, React Property Maintenance, Engie Services ANZ, School of Living Music and Unison Housing. She particularly thanked the fabulous community partners many of whom have been part of the Festival for 10 years – in particular the Kensington Neighbourhood House, the Venny, Kensington Community Recreation Centre, cohealth, Kensington Community Children’s Cooperative, Melbourne Community Toy Library, Somali Women’s Development Association, Victoria Police, Hotham Mission, the Australian Federal Police and AFL Victoria Multicultural Program.