2024 ‘Cohesive Communities’ Category Winner

Alice Springs Town Council, NT

Diwali Night Markets

2024 ‘Cohesive Communities’ Category Winner

The Initiative

The Alice Springs Town Council’s Diwali Night Market, supported by SBS, was the first of its kind in the Alice Springs municipality. 35 local businesses and over 70 culturally and linguistically diverse community members were involved in the event, which attracted approximately 2,000 attendees.

There was plenty to see and do including decorating your Diya candle, free henna tattoos, a bhangra dance class, and, over an hour of community performances and fireworks at the end. SBS also had a stall where they educated attendees about the meaning of Diwali and the history behind the celebration. Furthermore, Indigenous and non–Indigenous residents who had not heard about Diwali witnessed the beauty of the celebration and learnt about the significance of the event that approximately 10% of their community celebrate.

The theme of the Night Market invited people who may not have engaged in the Council’s Night Markets previously, and attendees were extremely thankful to the event planners for having an inclusive event for their community. Additionally, the Chair of the board for Multicultural Community Services Central Australia and the President of the Alice Springs Malayalee Association supported the event and emailed their praises post event.

The Diwali Night Markets demonstrates to the Northern Territory the town’s inclusivity and openness to support more culturally diverse celebrations. Thus, providing more opportunities for people to share their culture with their community members and promote community cohesiveness and harmony.

About the Category

The ‘Cohesive Communities’ category recognises local government initiatives which:

  • sustain and celebrate the cultural, linguistic and religious diversity of our society;
  • foster a sense of belonging, identity and shared values and promote civic rights and responsibilities;
  • develop accessible infrastructure to encourage participation in the local community and build community harmony; and/or
  • celebrate the cultural, linguistic and religious diversity of the community and foster an inclusive and respectful community.

Successful initiatives in this award category benefit communities by:

  • creating communities that everyone can belong to, identify with and contribute to equally;
  • increasing participation in local communities and building community harmony; and/or
  • celebrating differences, talents, and fostering an inclusive and respectful community.

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