The spectacular 16th International Festival of Language and Culture (IFLC) was held on Saturday 5 May 2018 at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Darling Harbour, organised by Amity College and Affinity Intercultural Foundation.
The sold out event attracted more than 2,000 guests including politicians, academics, members of the diplomatic corps, community leaders, artists, human rights activists, legal professionals and member of the multicultural community.
The audience were taken on a breathtaking multicultural journey across 19 countries, with the help of MCs Janice Petersen of SBS and legendary SBS veteran George Donikian.
The three-hour event opened with a special Aboriginal smoking ceremony and dance performance featuring students from Redfern Dance Academy. An Acknowledgement of Country was given by Serena Williams from Barker College.
Standout performances included a special drum performance from Japan, an impressive martial arts showcase from China and a heart-thumping Haka performance from New Zealand.
A song dedicated to children in custody around the world; “Let them be free” was performed by Australian students.
Representing the Premier Gladys Berejiklian; NSW Minister for Multiculturalism Ray Williams commended IFLC for its contribution to the multiculturalism.
Senator Kristina Keneally, special guest at the event, commented on the sense of hope and unity that the young performers had instilled in her, remarking on their ability to bring people together.
‘If students from 19 countries can sing and dance together, we can create peace together. Hope for peace in our world relies on young people because they have peace and respect for one another burning in their heart.” she said.
“Tonight, we are celebrating the idea that no matter who are parents are or where they were born, what the colour of our skin, whether we are male or female, we are fellow human beings.”
A lucky participant won “the door prize”, a brand new Honda Civic, provided by Suttons Homebush Honda as the Major Sponsor of IFLC.
The night concluded by the signature song and dance of IFLC – “Universal Peace,” performed by all children and the VIPs who attended the event on the ICC Sydney’s stage.
A one-hour-long special highlights video of the event will be broadcasted on SBS 1 in the upcoming weeks.
The IFLC promotes inclusion and provides an opportunity for participating students to showcase their culture and tradition with their peers from all over the world. It also gives performers the opportunity to engage in intercultural dialogue on a local and global scale.
For the length of the program, student performers collaborated with each other through participating in meaningful social, cultural and educational activities.
By giving students the social skills to collaborate with different groups of people, the Festival contributed to their personal growth and offers them the necessary skills and tools to create a better world.