In late 2015, Maitree worked in partnership with the City of Canada Bay Council and its local residents to produce the Rhodes Multimedia Project.
Through stories from thirteen local individuals and three community groups, the Project explores both the evolution of Rhodes over the years as well as the culturally rich community that it is today.
Local resident, Ian Inglis’ family have been connected with Rhodes since the early 1900s, when it was very much an industrial area, from Rhodes to all along the Parramatta River. Local resident, Carol Kendall, gives us a snapshot of what Rhodes was like in the 1960s. She explains how Rhodes was unified by the Scouts, the church and the school and how there were only single dwellings and lots of factories. Carol says that the changes are unbelievable, as Rhodes has gone from a small country town to a mini-city with multiple high-rises.
Today, one could say that Rhodes is unified by its Council and by its diversity. The Council encourages its residents to “have a say” and has made concerted efforts over the years to focus on its established residents as well as create harmony in a rapidly growing community where over 31% of its population speak a non-English language.
Community groups like the Rhodes Multicultural Community Association have formed to improve knowledge and understanding between long term residents and newly arrived migrants. This group actually developed organically because a group of Chinese-speaking women, originally called Hua Yi, recognised that the key to truly embracing multiculturalism is to get people to connect, “to know each other, to love each other”. The Association holds dance and exercise group classes, English courses as well as cultural festivals and celebrations.
You can find the full playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLS6wA_hgtjlTZNdqbUyT4fofL-HBLdvsk
The videos will be shown as a part of the launch of The Connection, the Rhodes community precinct that will provide space for the whole community to partake in activities, socialise and interact.
Maitree are proud to have been involved in this Project; a true celebration of community and diversity.