Cultural diversity, ethnicity and heritage was celebrated during Harmony Week – a celebration of multiculturalism and unity which takes place annually from 20-26 March – by employees and residents at Regis Nedlands.
Regis Nedlands has a team of nurses, carers, administrators, chefs and kitchen hands who hail from more than a dozen different countries, including Africa, Bhutan, Nepal, India, Indonesia, Brazil, and the Philippines.
Two members of the Regis Nedlands care team are 27-year-old Selvi Patel who was born in the state of Gujarat in India, and 38-year-old Shirley Ferreira, who hails from Brazil.
“I originally came to Perth to study and am currently working towards my bachelor of community services,” says Selvi, who arrived in WA in February 2016 and has worked at Regis Nedlands for just over two years.
“At first I hardly knew anyone, but then I was employed by Regis Nedlands and I’ve never looked back; everyone is so welcoming and many of the residents were born overseas too, which makes our home a great multicultural community where people come from all over the world and are proud to call Australia home.”
Shirley Ferreira also left her hometown in Brazil, where she working in banking, to study English in Australia, initially for what she thought would be just six months.
“That was four years ago and I am still absolutely loving living ‘down under’,” says Shirley, who is also currently studying for a diploma in community service.
“It was a big decision for me to leave my family and my home in Brazil, but when I arrived in Australia I just thought ‘wow’, this is an amazing country, and then, after some time in Brisbane, I moved to Perth and started working for Regis Nedlands where everyone pretty much feels like they are part of one, big family.
“Our home is almost like a small United Nations and the team here loves to celebrate Harmony Week as we all know what it’s like to have our own unique culture and identity, and yet live and work in one of the most amazing places in the world – Australia.”
Regis Nedlands General Manager, Sam Waldron, says that Harmony Week is an important part of the home’s activities calendar and provides a great opportunity to celebrate cultural diversity, inclusivity, respect and a sense of belonging.
“Harmony Week offers the opportunity for all of our residents and staff to come together and learn from each other, as well as share and celebrate the richness of each other’s cultural experiences,” he says.
“The cultural diversity and religious traditions we have at Regis Nedlands are one of our greatest assets and we believe it’s important to create opportunities for both our staff and residents to experience other cultures in a fun and inclusive way.”