Dance for peace

Ensemble: International Women's Group Dancers in cultural costumes with Latrobe City Mayor Kellie O'Callaghan (sixth from left).


“LET our differences be a source of enrichment rather than division. Let our leaders choose diplomacy over conflict and cooperation over competition.”

More than 100 people celebrated the International Day of Peace commemorative event that was organised by The International Women’s Group on Saturday, September 30 at the Greek Hall, Elgin Street, Morwell.

The celebration was opened by Latrobe City Mayor, Kellie O’Callaghan, who spoke about the many benefits that cultural diversity has brought to Latrobe City and the relative peace and harmony in which the community is able to live. Cr O’Callaghan also spoke of the need for such multicultural events to continue to bring people together from all backgrounds in an atmosphere of friendship and harmony.

Councillor Sharon Gibson, who also attended, joined in the dancing and helped to serve the luncheon.

This year, the International Women’s Group received a grant from Australia Post to run activities that were designed to promote mental health and well-being. One of those activities was a 12-week program of social dance classes conducted by Delia D’Amico, a long-term member of the group and dance instructor.

The Dance for Peace event was not only an expression of a prayer for world peace in these tumultuous times, but also an exuberant demonstration by the International Women’s Group Dance class of the dances they had learnt and the fun that they had learning the dances.

Jill Page, from Quantum Morwell, spoke of the beauty of dance as an expression of peace, and encouraged all present to the time to reflect on the importance of being at peace with yourself as well as with your neighbours.

Catering was provided by the Indonesian and Malaysian ladies of the International Women’s Group Itha Zsamsudin, Anne Douglas, Hartini Mihan and Jothi Jassal. The food was delicious and there was plenty of it. What a wonderful job they did to cater to so many people and they received a huge round of applause from the appreciative crowd.

Grateful thanks to those business who provided prizes for the raffles: Moe Fruit Market, Quantum Morwell and Gippsland Multicultural Services.

The International Women’s Group was formed on International Women’s Day, March 8, 1996, and is made up of women from at least 20 different cultural backgrounds who enjoy getting together to socialise and to share their experiences and their individual cultures.

The International Women’s Group is a volunteer-run community group that operates as a social and support network for all women in Latrobe. It provides a safe forum for women to discuss issues and to learn where to get appropriate support.

President, Soula Kanellopoulos would like to thank all of the volunteer committee who made the day run so smoothly.

“Members not only donated their time and enthusiasm, but also brought raffle prizes and food to share. This is what makes us so strong as a group. So many members are willing to help out,” she said.

The International Women’s Group would like to take the opportunity to thank their sponsors of this event: Latrobe City Council and the Victorian Multicultural Commission.

If you would like more information about the International Women’s Group or if you would like to join, phone Soula Kanellopoulos on 0408 378 713 or email

Welcomed: Chefs Hartini Mihan, Jothi Jassal, Itha Szamsudin and Anne Douglas provided a great spread.

Team: International Women’s Group member Mercy Heily, secretary Elizabeth Davidson and dance teacher Delia D’Amico at the International Day of Peace event in Morwell.

Ensemble: International Women’s Group Dancers in cultural costumes with Latrobe City Mayor Kellie O’Callaghan (sixth from left).