Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk was greeted by dancers Leah Beaton and Failelei Fokilelei of the Tongan community in Bundaberg.
Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk was greeted by dancers Leah Beaton and Failelei Fokilelei of the Tongan community in Bundaberg. ROB BARICH

Multicultural festivals get a hand

THE Childers Festival of Cultures picked up $5000 funding when multicultural affairs minister Annastacia Palaszczuk visited Bundaberg yesterday, after being shunned for state government funding in 2009.

But festival director Nancy Calder said the funding fell short of the money needed to pull off the 15th festival in July.

“We were very grateful for the funding, but it was a long way short of what we applied for. We understand, though. There are a number of other events which need funding and there is only so much to go around,” she said.

Ms Calder said the grant would help provide entertainment during the festival.

The Childers Festival of Culture is the largest of its kind in Queensland — and the only event that closes the Bruce Highway.

The event was not the only festival to receive funding, with the Bundaberg Multicultural Festival awarded $10,000 and the Taste of Burnett Celebration of Cultures awarded $3000.

Don Robinson, Rotary Club of Bundaberg Sunrise’s multicultural festival co-ordinator, said the grant would cover almost a third of the cost of the Bundaberg festival.

“This year we are looking to bring in gospel groups to perform — as many multicultural gospels groups as we can,” he said.

Mr Robinson said entertainment was one of the biggest expenses for the festival, so every cent helped.

Mundubbera Community Development Association chairperson Loris Doessel said the $3000 for the Tastes of Burnett Festival was welcome.

“Receipt of this grant will help considerably with organising the event, which will include local and regional entertainment and food sampling opportunities,” she said.

This year will mark the second year of the Tastes of Burnett and marks a move from the first weekend in August to July 17.

Ms Palaszczuk said the funding for the Childers Festival of Cultures was not in place of the grants missed last year.

“This is new funding for the Childers festival. We want to bring our communities together to celebrate the many cultures that make up Queensland,” she said.



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