The Bhutanese Australian Association of SA (BAASA) hosted the ‘9th Annual Settlement Day Celebration.’ The association is a non-for profit and inclusive organisation, aiming to assist the Bhutanese community to resettle in the state. The association was established in 2009 with the purpose of supporting community members to build valuable connections with the broader Australian community and providing them with an array of services. Settlement Day has become a vital component of the Bhutanese community, which has allowed the broader Australian community to learn about their significant role in fostering multiculturalism by sharing their culture, customs and skills with fellow South Australians, and promoting the traditional Bhutanese language.
The event, held at Victory Church in Pooraka, was officially launched by the Honourable Zoe Bettison MP, Minister for Communities and Social Inclusion representing on behalf of the Premier. Contributing to the major success of the event and making this the best one yet were the diverse group performances presented by the Zomi Community (Myanmar), the Irish Dance School, RatPack Dance Academy, Impact Generation Grace Church, Bhutanese Kirat Association SA, Bhutanese Ethnic School, Bhutanese Kirat Religious SA, Nepali Language School, Baptist Church, Durban College (Adelaide), Gurung Samaj and Didi Bahini dance group. Spectacular solo performances were also delivered by Ashika Rai and Sameer Rai.
Chairperson of the BAASA, Mr Kamal Dahal, addressed attendees, shedding light on the relationship the Bhutanese community has forged with the South Australian Government, different settlement agencies and the Australian community to better assist new arrival members of the community with their resettlement and transition process to self-sufficiency, employment and civic participation. Mr Dahal was also awarded the Premier’s Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service by the Hon Bettison.
Chief Executive Officer of the AMRC, Ms Eugenia Tsoulis OAM, also presented at the event, discussing the outstanding work of the Bhutanese community, including the citizenship ceremony they arranged for new arrivals, raising funds for charity and supporting young people through positive leadership. Ms Tsoulis also noted the work the settlement agency has conducted with the Bhutanese client cohort by assisting them to understand, adjust and become accustomed to life in a new country, to ensure they are able to actively participate and contribute to the South Australian community.