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Case studies

Libraries and community organisations across Australia are working with their multicultural communities to promote literacy, digital inclusion, cultural maintenance, and community participation. Find out what others are doing, make connections – and submit your own program as a case study!

Rockdale City Bangla Festival

Organisation

Rockdale City Library, NSW

Project description and objectives

This project directly targeted the new emerging Bengali speaking community group in Rockdale LGA which is the local council with the 3rd highest Bengali speaking population after Canterbury and Campbelltown.

The Rockdale City Bangla Festival was an event to:

  • launch the newly established library collection in Bengali language which includes books, CDs, DVDs both for adults and children at Rockdale City Library;
  • introduce the new emerging Bangladeshi community to the Rockdale City Library services and programs;
  • welcome this emerging and fast growing Bangladeshi community to the whole community of Rockdale LGA;
  • celebrate and share the rich traditions and cultures of Bangladeshi community with the whole community of Rockdale LGA via singing and dancing; enchance cultural diversity and harmony in Rockdale LGA.

Staffing and volunteers

CALD Services Specialist

Partners

We worked with Australian Bengali Library Inc. to acquire material (books, CDs & DVDs) to establish the Bengali collection; We also worked with St George Migrant Resource Centre to compile the settlement services information; We formed a working committee from local Bangladeshi community representatives to plan and organise this event--Rockdale City Bangla Festival; We had meetings with Rockdale Early Childhood Health Centre to work together to form a Bengali Mothers Group and Baby Rhyme Time program for these mothers and their babies.

Time frame

June 2011

Funding sources

Total project budget is $4961.37 which was added up for poster & flyer, event program booket, performances, decorations of event venue, banner, event name tags and appreciation certificates.

Consultation strategy

Census data which shows the rapid growth of the Bengali speaking population in Rockdale LGA; About 300 requests for Bulk Loans in Bengali language from the State Library of NSW from July 2009 to June 2010; High new memberships; High birth rate from Bangali speaking community group (data from St George Hospital)

Resources used

The following media has been used for this project: 1000 copies of the Program Booklet were printed and distributed to the Bengali speaking community; Event poster & flyer (widely advertised on Bengali magazines (printed and online), radios and community TV channel); Event news widely promoted via emails to all multicultural networks; Widely promoted on Council's web site and monthly community newsletter.

Promotion

Rockdale City Bangla Festival program booklet: This program booklet was financially sponsored by local Bangladeshi businesses; It was widely advertised on Bengali magazines (printed and online), radios and community TV channel; Information on settelment services was compiled in the booklet which provides valuable information to the new arrivals/migrants of Bangladeshi community; It was widely promoted to the St George & Sutherland multicultural network; The program booklet has been and is still being distributed to the new clients of settlement services provided by St George Migrant Resource Centre, and the 6 branches of Rockdale City Library services.

bengali babyrhymetime dl.pdf

Outcomes

Results from this marketing project:

  • High turnover rate for loan figure of new Bengali collection (total stock 548 items, loan figure 1069 from 11 June to 30 September 2011);
  • Increase of library memberships from Bengali speaking group;
  • Establishment of St George Bengali Reference Group is in progress (partnership with St George Migrant Resource Centre).
  • Since the event, we have also started the Bengali Baby Rhyme Time program with the Bengali speaking mothers and their babies.
  • One of the Rockdale Bangla Festival working committee members has been enlisted as nominee to the Board of Management of St George Migrant Resource Centre.

This project has helped to link the Bangladesh community with service providers and organisations, and to encourage the Bangladesh
community members to participate in community development.

Contact Name

Ms Stephanie Lee

Position

Project Coordinator

Email

slee@rockdale.nsw.gov.au

Useful tips

The High Commissioner for Bangladesh, His Excellency Lieutenant General Masud Uddie Chowdhury took the time to come all the way from Canberra to support Rockdale City's celebration of Bangladeshi culture. In his speech, The High Commissioner for Bangladesh praised Rockdale City Council as the first local council to celebrate Bangladeshi cultures which he attended. Beedesh Bangla tv filmed the whole event and broadcast on their channel in the following few weeks. This project started with the following: To involve the Bangladeshi community in the planning process of the event; To get input from the Bangladeshi community in the development of the Bengali collection; Sponsorship for the Program Booklet from Bangladesh businesses; This project recognised the needs of social development of Bangladeshi community; Rockdale City Council has built trust and working relationship with the local Bangladeshi community; After the Rockdale City Bangla Festival, Rockdale City Council, in partnership with St George Migrant Resource Centre, is in the process of forming a Bengali Reference Group to further help the community development, social inclusion & harmony, substainability of the Bangladesh community in St George areas. New library target group & new programs and activities for Bengai Mothers Group