Celebrations: Spirit of Communities

People have migrated to Australia from all over the world and brought with them their familiar celebrations to mark important public and private occasions. Mostly these are stages in human life that all of us go through: birth, puberty, adulthood, marriage, death.

But in between these milestones fall other events: each village, town and city creates its own celebrations that announce to each other and to visitors: ‘This occasion is what makes us unique’.

Many communities in Wollongong have made celebrations. They have brought them from other places and changed them to fit with a new place, new seasons, new neighbours. Other celebrations have been born right here, to make a special time and place for people to come together and say: ‘This is also us. We have changed, but we are still unique.’

In September 2003, the Migration Heritage Project (MHP) put together the Celebrations: Spirit of Communities Exhibition at the Wollongong City Gallery, which was made possible by funding from The IMB Community Foundation, a grant from Community and Cultural Services Wollongong City Council and a grant from Viva La Gong.

The Exhibition was also made possible with in-kind support from Wollongong City Gallery, Downstairs Graphic Design, Community and Cultural Services Wollongong City Council, Multicultural Services Wollongong City Council, Faculty of Creative Arts University of Wollongong, Carnivale and Powerhouse Museum Regional Services Unit. The exhibition was curated by Linda Raymond, Museum Consultant & Interpretation Specialist.

The exhibition development was managed by the Migration Heritage Project Officer and members of the Migration Heritage Project. The exhibition installation was by Linda Raymond, Wollongong City Gallery staff, Ken Hamilton, cultural groups and members of the Migration Heritage Project and Kath Walters.

The design of the exhibition panels was developed and produced by Downstairs Graphic Design. The exhibition design was developed by masters’ student, Delphi Dib-Milston and Joshua Beggs under the supervision of Gregor Cullen at the Faculty of Creative Arts University of Wollongong. Their design service was provided through their business Downstairs Graphic Design.

The Migration Heritage Project gratefully acknowledges the support and commitment of the community, community organisations and individuals who had generously contributed their expertise, time, stories and objects for the exhibition.

Communities make celebrations and celebrations make communities

The Exhibition featured five Wollongong Communities: Vietnamese, Greek, Italian, Portuguese and Macedonian.