The Faces of Ipswich project celebrates the cultural diversity of Ipswich and aims to promote inclusion and belonging for all people in our city. The 2021 national theme of Harmony Day is Everyone Belongs.
Our cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths and forms the heart of who we are. It makes Australia a great place to live. People who migrate to Australia bring with them some of their own cultural and religious traditions, as well as taking on many new traditions. By participating in Harmony Day activities, we learn and understand how all Australians from diverse backgrounds equally belong to and enrich this nation.
We asked people who live in Ipswich to take a picture of themselves and write a short statement - What does belonging mean to me?
A selection of photos and stories are now displaced in the Nicholas Street Precinct and below.
Belonging means to me is feeling seen, valued and connected. More connections with community and people. Feeling accepted and welcomed by others. Can express my own beliefs and values to community without any barriers.
A Boodle fight is the Filipino’s Kamayan Culture (‘eating with bare hands’) with food placed on top of banana leaves. Due to Covid, we had to deviate from the normal style of boodle fighting. Nevertheless, food is the window to other cultures. What a better way for my non Filipino mates, Dan and Roger to learn about the Filipino culture but to prepare the boodle and eat it too.
Joining Ipswich Softball association to make life long friendships.
To be nice to everyone and help anyone you can, I love my family my friends and my baby rats. I work at the Endeavour Foundation - I love it.
I love Ipswich and I love the community spirit and our running community which we have a sense of belonging as we were welcomed into it with open arms. Ipswich Parkrun is a regular for myself and my husband and also our children.
I feel a strong connection to the land, the culture and the people in Ipswich. I have a strong desire to contribute to the health of our local environment and community, through my music and art, and also through sustainable living and community involvement.
We love belonging to such a diverse community, where we have the opportunity to not only share and celebrate our own culture, but are able to learn about and celebrate many other cultures.
Australia gives us a strong sense of belonging with all the many different cultures becoming one in harmony. Here we are on a family day out exploring White Rock in Ipswich. Me and my mother.
Alishia, New Zealander
Belonging to me means ‘The Beginning’. Pictured is my late mother Laumoli Toeleiu and my father Faleolo Toeleiu. On June 20 1979 my parents brought my four sisters and I to Australia for a new beginning. Australia has been our home for the past 42 years. My parents are the beginning and the end to our story, our celebration of life here on this beautiful land we now call Home.
To me belonging means a place where you call your safe haven. A place where I am confident enough to share my culture, traditions, views and ways of life without any objections. I am blessed to call Ipswich my home. Whether you come from the North Pole or the South Pole, there will always be something here in Ipswich that will give you a sense of belonging and connecting you with others.
After being a carer for my son for so many years, I enrolled in a course at Tafe Ipswich to become a Chef. I have found harmony with like minded people, from all walks of life, who share a passion for food. The sense of belonging is so powerful, as for years I have experienced isolation as my caring role has prevented me from socialising as often as I would like.
Belonging to me means being part of an inclusive and welcoming community. It means feeling safe to go out to the shops, to the park and to events knowing that I can be myself and feel like I’m part of the Ipswich family.
Belonging to me means, embracing the positiveness of being a part of something unique and personal.
Belonging means embracing Australian values with acceptance of good multicultural traditions. I continuously teach my daughters of gratitude living here in Australia and not forgetting my native tradition that I aim to pass on for generation, to my children and those who willing to know our culture, clothing and scrumptious Filipino dishes.
We love Deaf culture and use Auslan to varying degrees in the group. Some hear, while some have a hearing loss. Belonging provides knowledge, connection, fun, support and freedom to be ourselves. Belonging is being able to express ourselves and be heard. Isolation makes life much harder. We are not designed to be alone.
Belonging to me is a feeling that is made up of a bunch of different elements. It’s a connection that is free of judgement. The people in this photo are all different ages, boys and girls and from different parts of the world. They don’t care, to them it’s just basketball or handball or soccer. Its play, they all know each others names and they meet once a week to just play.
What belonging means to me is connecting to country. From my mum I have learnt about my Celtic heritage, and celebrations in the seasons of the year. My dad has taught me about Polish family and I know how to cook pierogis on special occasions. Aunty Ruby has taught me to respect Elders and nature and connecting to country, and that’s good for all of us to belong.
Belonging is the support and love I get from my family and their traditions.
Belonging is being a member of a team that lives community. Wesbro Services is a NDIS registered Aboriginal Service Provider working with all people. Our Services are named after traditional WIRADJURI language:
The photo shows our Wesbro Central Team at the launch of our North Ipswich Office and celebration of our third birthday. The new location features a large Aboriginal mural which shows connection to the land. Visitors will know that they and we belong.
We as a team all belong at Sunrise Kids Ipswich. We are valued, respected and connected. Our Curriculum states “Experiencing belonging - knowing where and with whom you belong - is integral to human existence.” We are respected for our similarities and differences, our lifestyles and traditions and work as a team to assist the children to feel like they belong to our centre. Team at Sunrise Kids Ipswich, Aboriginal, Australian.
Chinese and Maori
Being able to attend a music event in the park with people from other countries and cultures and to know all are there for the same reason … music makes the world go round.
Wendy, New Zealander
Belonging comes from being myself and being seen and that can happen anywhere, even with people who are totally different from me, even with people who want different things and believe different things. Belonging is acceptance and connectedness. The acknowledgement and acceptance of our similarities and differences create a connectedness that leads to belonging.
To me, ‘belonging’ means a safe space to be curious. Curiosity that leads to a discovery of both our differences that ought to be celebrated, as well as our common humanity and the aspects we share. When I belong somewhere I know that all of me is welcome there.
Katharine, South African
Being part of Ipswich community gives me so much joy. Knowing that I have met people that will support, guide and help you through tough times makes life easier to bear. Feeling like you belong is important to our mental and physical health. I cannot express how much being part of the Ipswich art scene means to me. It gives me a reason to get up and face the world everyday.
I feel a strong bond with my husband and family. So belonging to me means being loyal and loving and kind to my loved ones. Coming from a very close family myself I feel that family gives me a feeling of belonging and my life is balanced with harmony. I could not imagine my life without my husband and family.
Belonging gives me an affinity for a sense of place. A feeling of belonging describes this sense of truly fitting, especially with friends, family and other people. It’s the human emotional need to be accepted, a desire to feel like an important part of something greater than myself.