GALLERY: International food and laughter fill the air
SOUTHERN Downs residents from all walks of life gathered to share multicultural food and share stories from around the globe this afternoon.
The Southern Downs Refugee and Migrant Network held a Spring Friendship Picnic and about 20 people, including Warwick locals and newly arrived migrants, attended the event.
A big table was laden with international food brought by the attendees and a barbecue contributed the traditional Australian fare, sausages in bread.
Network management committee chair David Leech said four picnics were held by the group each year, acting as a welcome for new people in the area.
"A lot of the different multicultural groups offer a lot to our community as we need to acknowledge that," he said.
"It's a way of letting people know they are welcome in this community."
Cora Wallace migrated to Warwick from the Philippines five years ago and said the picnics were a great way for people to socialise and encourage interaction.
"Many migrants are going through adjustments," she said.
"It's hard to be in a new place and meet new people."
The Network also runs free English conversation sessions on Tuesdays to help newcomers brush up on the spoken English skills.
Network member Fay Evans helps out at the sessions, saying it was especially beneficial for people seeking employment.
"Most have learnt to write but not to speak," she said.
"The more I do it the more I realise it's a very difficult language.
"But I'm not only helping them, I'm learning about them too."
For more information about the Southern Downs Refugee and Migrant Network, head to the Facebook page.