Migrant’s story a celebration of Kwinana’s rich diversity

Jane Li.
Jane Li.

MOVING from one of the world’s largest cities – with the population almost as big as Australia’s – to Kwinana has been a huge cultural change for new resident Jane Li.

Ms Li moved to the City from Yokine last June so her husband could be closer to his job in Naval Base.

The couple arrived in Australia in June 2014 after leaving the sprawling metropolis of Beijing where she had worked as an interpreter.

“It’s a totally different life here – in Beijing, there were crowds everywhere, but it is quiet here,” she said.

Ms Li said she enjoyed the quieter Kwinana lifestyle and the local parks and environment.

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She has taken part in the City of Kwinana’s Celebrate Our Stories project which will be unveiled as part of Harmony Week celebrations next week.

The project is a collection of 11 short autobiographical videos, each one telling the story of a local Kwinana resident who migrated to Australia.

Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams said the City was among the most culturally and linguistically diverse municipalities in the Perth metropolitan area, with one in three residents born overseas.

“Celebrate Our Stories illustrates the strong community spirit and vibrancy that attracts so many people to live here,” she said.

“The result is a beautiful, eclectic collection illustrating the luck of the modern community.”

Ms Li said although she learnt to speak English while living in China, it was still difficult at times trying to understand what Australians say.

Ms Li enjoys art, particularly watercolours and Chinese painting, and is also a volunteer tour guide at Kings Park.

The project will be unveiled at the launch of the City’s inaugural Multicultural Action Plan at 5.30pm next Tuesday at the Darius Wells Centre.

Cr Adams said Harmony Week was an important celebration for Kwinana because it had a strong representation of overseas-born residents.

“We are a city proud of its rich cultural diversity and I encourage all Kwinana residents to enjoy one or more of the free events on offer for Harmony Week.”

For more information, visit the City of Kwinana’s Facebook page.