More than 80 children, parents and families from Molonglo and Woden Valley came along to a community picnic at Stromlo Cottage on Tuesday 16 April in recognition of ANZAC Day.
The special event was an opportunity for local families to remember the Anzacs and for more recent migrants to Australia to learn about the history of ANZAC Day.
The picnic, hosted by Woden Community Service (WCS), was part of the program for the Molonglo Playgroup that regularly meets at the Charles Weston School and brings together local families every week.
Event organiser and playgroup coordinator for WCS Muataza Alwali spoke at the picnic describing the importance of the day for Australians. Muataza, a Muslim woman originally from Sudan, also reflected on the Turkish side of the story.
“In harmony and peace we have an opportunity to meet together, talk and enjoy the beautiful weather, and reflect on the history of ANZAC Day and learn more about it,” said Muataza at the picnic.
Muataza shared with everyone the famous words of Mustafa Kemal Aturk from 1934 which recognised the sacrifice of the Australians on the shores of Gallipoli: “after having lost their lives on the land they have become our sons as well.”
Information, pictures and details about ANZAC Day were on display and a minute’s silence was observed by everyone as a sign of respect. Questions were discussed, and Anzac biscuits were shared.
The event included drawing and painting pictures of soldiers and nurses in uniform and other games and activities that were age-appropriate for the children and the morning ended with an Easter Egg Hunt.
Many of the families present are regular attendees of the Molonglo Playgroup that meet each week during school term. The group includes every demographic including recent migrants to Australia.
Harpreet Saini and her 16-month-old daughter Kainaat joined the playgroup last year, where she met and has become good friends with Navjot Kaur and her 16-month-old son Yaadvir.
“Kainaat really enjoys playing with the other kids and I have made friends as well, it is good for me as well,” said Harpreet Saini.
“We came to Australia three years ago for a better quality of life,” explained Harpreet. “Playgroup is where I have made friends with people that live in the same area.”
Navjot Kaur started attending playgroup sessions in August last year after her midwife suggested it.
“We go to the playgroup held at Charles Weston School every Tuesday and Friday,” explained Navjot.
“Yaadvir really likes coming to playgroup. I have made friends through playgroup and so has Yaadvir,” she said.
WCS hosts a number of playgroups throughout Weston Creek, Molonglo and Woden Valley. Run by the Child, Youth and Family Services team, they are an important community resource that brings young families together building friendships and support for new families.
To find out more about the playgroups please contact Muataza Alwali on 0475 970 974.