Centre for Hope explores cultural diversity and connection with Flavoursome Fridays

Centre for Hope explores cultural diversity and connection with Flavoursome Fridays

A first of its kind, local community organisation, Centre for Hope has launched a new event program to encourage the Hunter community to come together and celebrate the diversity of the region.

Each event, which will be known as Flavoursome Fridays, will be hosted every month on a Friday – open to community members and volunteers to participate and enjoy cultural delights together.

Fletcher Community Centre was the venue of choice for the very first banquet, which was hosted on Friday, 5 August 2022.

The launch event was made possible through a collaboration between Centre for Hope, The Canopy, City of Newcastle, and the Iranian Community.

Members of the community were encouraged to join and donate based on what they could pay forward – meaning donations could vary depending on each person’s circumstance. The goal, to bring people of all walks of life together with no room for discrimination.

Centre for Hope’s Manager, Shari Bonnette has had the privilege of working on many projects to bring the community together, but the launch of Flavoursome Fridays is personally special to her.

“We all know that the connection between food and the heart is strong. Therefore, we are so passionate about utilising this universal experience of sharing food to bring our community together,” Shari said.

“It’s important for us to also recognise the people that have helped us make this first event possible. We received funding from the City of Newcastle’s Community Support Grant to pull together the food for the event, and our collaborators at The Canopy and the Iranian Community of Newcastle were key to the success and organisation of our first Flavoursome Friday.”

A vast array of Persian food was featured in the first event and local resident Michelle Speek said the first event was a great way to experience the diversity of the region while connecting with people.

“It’s really good to see community events coming back together again. It’s been lacking for so long and it’s good for communities who are a bit more isolated to come together. The food was colourful, tasty and everyone I met was happy and willing to engage,” Michelle said.

Partners at The Canopy, a non-profit organisation that provides multiple services for families, children, and the community, helped coordinate the event with Community Capacity Building Manager, Kikki Tagaroulias.

“This event helps people from all demographics, ethnicities, and socio-economic backgrounds to come together and connect. Our goal here is to show our wider Newcastle community what cultures they live among without discrimination and fear – but instead with open arms,” Kikki said.

“It’s a real honour to work with Centre for Hope and the City of Newcastle to make this a priority in the region and we look forward to working on future events. So, keep your eyes peeled for further information.”

Flavoursome Fridays will continue to be held once a month on a Friday. Details about each event will be made available via their social media platforms.

Centre for Hope welcomes anyone from the wider Hunter community to come along or volunteer a hand. Enjoy a plate of delicious food and hopefully make a new connection in the multicultural community we have to offer at their next event!


IMAGE | Volunteers from The Australian Iranian Community created a beautiful Persian feast for Flavoursome Friday attendees.

Centre for Hope

Centre For Hope is all about empowering disadvantaged young people to respect themselves, to connect to the wider community and to create an inspired life.

Our team works with youth aged 6 to 18 years who are experiencing adversity through causes such as financial hardship, mental disorders, physical and learning disabilities, mental, physical and sexual abuse, substance abuse and suicidal tendencies and who, because of their circumstances, suffer a significant degree of helplessness. We work with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students to assist them to find their place in their world.

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