GALLERY: Harmony Day event pays tribute to NZ victims
FARZINA William's voice wavered slightly as she spoke about a family friend lost in the Christchurch massacre.
She was determined to stand strong as she spoke to more than 100 people gathered in the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre yesterday.
"I've been talking to friends of mine and while I've never experienced racism here myself they have and they are scared following the New Zealand massacre," she said.
"Everyone reacts in different ways but knowing there are people out there who support you means so much to those who are scared."
Ms William spoke as part of Hervey Bay's Harmony Day celebrations, run in conjunction with Culture Cafe.
During the event, a candle was lit and a minute's silence taken in honour of the victims of the mosque attack in New Zealand last week.
"It is a day to unite, to celebrate peace and harmony," Ms William said.
"This is a time for compassion and love, also for reaching out for communities in need of inclusion and harmony."
Attendees at the event were treated to performances by a Chinese traditional dance group and Susmita, a traditional Nepalese dance.
They also had the chance to taste international vegan food.
Community Action for Multicultural Societies' Robyn Edward said Culture Cafe bridged social gaps for isolated community members.
"If you are socially isolated or have just moved and don't know anyone here it's great to come and meet people," she said.
"It's important to promote that we are a multicultural society and acknowledge there are political issues at the moment which can be devastating."