Friday, May 3, 2013

Army Lane WOW wall.

The WOW club is growing. Here we are at Cafe Thipatiy again, preparing our words for the next phase of Writing on the Wall.

That's so great, Shauna, what a fantastic thumbs up for Horsham! This needs to be put to music. Let's talk next Tuesday about this.
I love watching this collaboration develop each week. All members of Horsham's wider community are invited to come down to Army lane next Tuesday, 7th May, to watch the work in progress. It's a great opportunity for you to have a conversation with the WOW members while they write and draw, ask them about their stories, their cultures, their hopes and dreams for themselves in Horsham. We have thought a lot about these things in our writing sessions held at the Mibus Centre. You will be surprised at what you can learn in one little conversation with any of the WOW writers while they work on the wall. . .
Our latest WOW members: Bernad on the left, and Harrison on the right. Bernad has come here to Australia from Burundi, a country next to Tanzania in Africa. Harrison is Karen, he has come to Australia from Thailand. Harrison is P'Leah's brother. I'm stoked that they have joined the club. Harrison had to leave for his guitar lesson halfway through, but Bernad took over where Harrison left off. 

A member of Horsham's shopping community showed great interest in the action happening in Army Lane. She quizzed both Bernad and Yaren about the project, and told us her stories about travelling overseas. She really liked Yaren's written line: "I love my mum's food." I heard her tell Yaren she had never heard a child say that before. She also asked Yaren, "What is your  favourite meal that your mother would cook for you?"  and Yaren answered "Spaghetti!"

 Madhu, P'Leah and Bernad work overtime to complete Bernad's flag. 
Thumbs Up alright!
 What an awesome message, written up by both Harrison and Bernad. These WOW writers are really helping us all to appreciate what we have here in Horsham. I'm really happy that Horsham has been the place that these WOW writers and their families have decided to settle. 
Soe Son Di, last week with Larissa Romensky, ABC Open

Tonight, following our Thursday WOW session in the Mibus Centre, I was lucky enough to be invited into Soe Son Di's house to meet her family and friends and have a cuppa. I learnt so much about Karen history tonight, and about living in Thai refugee camps, about trying to survive in countries which will not allow the Karen people their own homeland, nor recognise them as belonging anywhere at all. These are amazing people who have survived such indescribable hardships in their lives, and now have found new life in Horsham. 

And here we have another powerful observation from Yasmin Harradine, who joined us again at Army Lane last Tuesday. Yasmine is the only member of the WOW club who can claim Australia as the original homeland of her family and their ancestors. It's so great to have her statements and the colours of the Australian Aboriginal flag on this wall. Check out the hands of Hozaira in the photo below, after helping Abraham work on Yasmine's Australian flag colours. I love the way everyone is ending up working on each other's flag colours, it really shows how all cultures can be good friends in Horsham and Australia.

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