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Celebrating diversity at South Metropolitan TAFE during Harmony Week 2024

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

15 March 2024

South Metropolitan TAFE (SM TAFE) acknowledges its rich diversity within our workforce and student base, contributing to a holistic and inclusive training environment where everyone belongs and is supported. We proudly celebrate this during Harmony Week, this year running from 15 until 21 March.

"Australia is a multicultural country; I love WA so much and learning English is making life easier - I’m learning new vocabulary every day."

Eva Cross - 'English as an Additional Language' (EAL) student at SM TAFE

At SM TAFE our workforce is made up of nearly 20% of culturally and linguistically diverse people. We also proudly provide a multicultural hub of learning for local and international students, many of whom come from all over the world to study in Western Australia through TAFE International Western Australia (TIWA).

Amongst our students, over 160 languages are spoken, students hailing from more than 150 countries around the globe.

One such multicultural student is Eva Cross, who is studying English as an Additional Language (EAL) through the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP). Eva is in her third year of studies and is currently undertaking the 22485VIC Certificate II in EAL (Access).

A talented artist and musician, Eva is originally from China and moved to Australia in 2011, living in Exmouth before settling in Perth.

With a string of art accomplishments, Eva has most recently been selected as one of ten finalists in ‘Project Elevation,’ a program that aims to uplift and provide platforms to emerging and young artists by curating their artworks for Government publications.

Eva’s artwork ‘Whaleshark and Mermaid’ will feature in an upcoming exhibition alongside the release of the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries Multicultural plan.

Eva has a passion for art and music as they provide a sense of connection for all members of our community; she feels Harmony Week is important because it’s all about different cultures coming together.

“Art and music is like another language which is good for connection to the people; art and music are also good for our mental health. Australia is a multicultural country; I love WA so much and learning English is making life easier - I’m learning new vocabulary every day,” Eva said.

Eva’s SM TAFE lecturer, Anna Thomson, says she has people from all over the world in her classroom.

“The students have such different and interesting stories to share and I love enabling them to share their stories. For some students their goal may be to learn English to talk to other Mums in the playground and help their kids make friends, for others the language provides a skill they need to work here. Some students are entrepreneurial and set up their own business.

“I feel Harmony Week enables everyone to reach their potential and makes our community stronger,” Anna said.

Eva previously won the Shire of Exmouth art competition ‘Showcase in Pixels 2022’ and her winning artwork which was a ‘snorkelling emu’ featured on the iconic digital tower in the heart of Yagan Square in the city of Perth. She also plays the Chinese musical instrument, the guzheng, and performs in an orchestra.

To hear more from Eva about her studies and Harmony Week, watch the full video.