CONNECTIONS: Telaar Maciek with his mum Mary Maluk from Sudan, Luz Press from the Philippines, Neroli Porykali from Papua New Guinea and Agnes Tierney and Finette Tyson from the Philippines.
CONNECTIONS: Telaar Maciek with his mum Mary Maluk from Sudan, Luz Press from the Philippines, Neroli Porykali from Papua New Guinea and Agnes Tierney and Finette Tyson from the Philippines. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Rainbow club helps people to connect

WITH today being Harmony Day, it's a good time to think about friendship, specifically, friendship between cultures.

Some women who know what international friendship is all about are members of the International Rainbow Club.

Neroli Porykali from Papua New Guinea, Mary Maluk from Sudan, and Luz Press, Finette Tyson, and Agnes Tierney, all from the Philippines, have been gathering once a month to chat and get to know each other, forming a support network of local women from various backgrounds and cultures.

The women have all come to know each other quite well and said there are so many positive outcomes to being mates with people from a different culture.

"You get to know them as a person, you love them, and you learn about their cultures," Mrs Porykali said.

Ms Press said she'd found a great support system for the culturally diverse in Lismore and that it was important for people like her, who moved to Australia from another country, to integrate into the Australian community, where they will have the opportunity to "learn more, and contribute more to the community".

Having all lived here for long periods of time (7-28 years), all the women now consider Lismore their home, but still hold their own culture close on a daily basis.

Mrs Tyson said one great thing about becoming friends with someone from different cultures is that you get exposed to new things, such as the food, costumes and their traditional beliefs.

"We learn more and they learn from us," Mrs Tyson said.

Lismore Neighbourhood Centre and the International Rainbow Club will hold a Harmony Day event today at Lismore City Bowling Club between 10.30am-1.30pm.

Bring a plate of food to share.



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