2012 Cooking Pot

The Cooking Pot Project was an unique and innovative program initiated by HARDA to help the African Australian women interact and share their experiences with the wider Australian community.  A catalyst for integration and promotion of understanding, this cooking program allowed African migrant women to get together with Australian women to learn new dishes and get to know each other

The sessions were supervised by Chef Luigi De Luca who shared and guided the women during the process.

During the period of 6 weeks the women cooked not only traditional African recipes but also learnt to cook Japanese, Mexican, Italian and Egyptian cuisines. The women also visited the home of one of the participant were they learnt to cook some Egyptian and Italian food.

The Cooking Pot Project concluded with a lavish spread of food which included traditional African appetizers, main course and sweets along with other cuisines which was enjoyed by all at the Edmund Rice Center.

The project was a successful one with the women having an opportunity to learn something new and make new friends outside their own groups. The Cooking Pot Project was sponsored by Shell Clyde Refinery who supported the initiative.


Family well being day

Many families from the Horn of Africa countries came to Sydney’s Auburn Park on the last Saturday in October to celebrate their cultural diversity and join with HARDA and the NSW Transcultural Mental Health Centre to promote mental health and well being in their communities. Organisations and service providers in Western Sydney who joined with us on the day included the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS)), the Auburn Cultural Diversity Network, the Auburn youth Centre, the Hills Holroyd Parramatta MRC and Red Cross.

Information about mental health services and how to access them was distributed in several languages from information booths around the picnic ground. Our special guest was the NSW Minister for Health (Mental Health) Barbara Perry, who was thanked by HARDA’s President John Cornwall for ‘the support, commitment and wisdom which she always gives so generously to HARDA’. There was a jumping castle for the kids, hip hop, face painting, and a drumming workshop.

The big hit of the day was the soccer workshop and motivational session for the boys conducted by internationals David Zdrilic, currently coach of Sydney United, and Craig Foster, Chief Football Analyst at SBS. The free barbecue was a huge success and up to a dozen volunteers were kept busy for more than two hours serving the yummy marinated chicken kebabs, sausages, onions and sauce.

Youth Employment and Careers Expo and Mentoring Program

This joint venture with the Muslim Student Association was launched with the Expo on Saturday 24th July 2010. The Expo was an outstanding success, attended by more than 700 young people and supported by volunteers from professions, trades and numerous organisations and agencies, including TAFE, the ATO and the NSW Police service. More than fifty students and job seekers subsequently participated in an ongoing mentoring program. The project was completed with a presentation of certificates to mentees in November

Schools Cultural Exchange

The Schools Cultural Exchange Program was formulated to facilitate mutual insight, cross cultural understanding and racial & religious tolerance between young people from the Horn of Africa (HoA) communities and the broader Australia community.

The program was run in in partnership with Evans Intensive English Centre. Students from a HoA background from Evans IEC paired up with students from  Narooma High School.

In May 2010, 16 students, 9 boys and 7 girls, ranging in ages from the ages of 12 – 18 travelled to Narooma on the South Coast and were hosted by students at the Narooma High School for the week. These students had arrived in Australia over the last couple of years from different parts of the HoA, primarily coming from refugee camps. Some of the kids had only been a couple of months in the country and levels of English therefore varied accordingly. Most (if not all) had never been to rural Australia.  

They participated in the school activities, including Narooma High’s sports day, and in special excursions and events organised by the school & its community for them. The program achieved its objectives while the kids all had a wonderful time and insight into regional life in Australia. Some wonderful friendships were formed between the students of both schools and members of the Narooma community generally.

This program was kindly sponsored by Scanlon Foundation & James N Kirby Foundation.

We Have a Voice. Hear Us – The Horn of Africa Refugee Settlement Survey

In 2008 HARDA, funded by grants from the Sisters of Charity Foundation, the Lidcombe Catholic Club and the Parramatta Leagues Club, commissioned Dr Eileen Pittaway, the Director of the Centre for Refugee Research at the University of New South Wales, to lead a research team to survey members of the Horn of Africa communities in Sydney. In June 2009 following many individual and group consultations this report “We Have a Voice. Hear Us” was launched and circulated widely. It reported the views, problems, unmet needs and successes of participants. For the full report and an eleven page summary

Girls Social Justice DSR Camp

This camp was conducted over three days at Milson Island, for thirty girls from the Horn of Africa Countries living on Western Sydney. The girls were aged between fourteen and nineteen. The aims of the camp were to promote social coherence, skills, harmony and unity, to develop a sense of community, of belonging, to build leadership skills and to present an interactive program on women’s health and rights. Post camp evaluation indicated that the goals had been met and that the camp was very successful, with all the girls and wonderful volunteers much enjoying it.

This camp was sponsored by  The NSW Department of Sport and Recreation.

DIAC Boys Camp & Community project

The five day residential program was conducted at the Mangrove Mountain Camp and attended by  thirty eight 15 to 18 year old youths from the Horn of Africa countries living in Western Sydney. It was designed with specific aims and objectives for the boys such as the promotion of social coherence, harmony and security and the development of a sense of community responsibility and leadership skills.  It was followed by the community service program at the Exodus Foundation’s ‘Loaves and Fishes’ canteen. The Project was funded by a grant of $18,000 from DIAC who were provided progress and final reports and financial acquittal.

The Auburn Football Cultural Diversity Project

This program was about developing and refining soccer skills and a sense of community. Leading soccer coaches volunteered their services, uniforms and equipment were purchased and a junior soccer club identity was established. The program was funded by DIAC under the Living in Harmony program and supported by the NSW Department of Sport & Recreation and the Auburn Council.