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NSW Governor Marie Bashir is greeted by students.
the spring fair 2004
Puppets help build bridges

NSW Governor Marie Bashir said there had been many times in her life when she had felt proud.
But on Thursday Dr Bashir told those gathered for the Multicultural Spring Fair at the Beverly Hills Intensive English Centre that she had never felt more proud than she felt at that moment.

‘Nothing prepared me for something as beautiful and inspiring as this,” Dr Bashir said.

“The world coming to Beverly Hills knowing that we are all Australians together . . . Thank you for your beautiful welcome and bless you.”

Dr Bashir spoke after a warm welcome from students who attend the IEC.
This was the second year the Beverly Hills IEC had held a multicultural spring fair, and the first time the Governor had attended.

The fair included information stalls from the various community groups which help ease the students’ settlement in Australia, an exhibition of art by students, a concert, and a parade of students in traditional national costume.

Dr Bashir also signed a brick to form part of a paved area bearing messages written by students in a variety of languages.

IEC head teacher Michael Harmey told the gathering that the bricks would serve as a reminder of the sacrifices and contributions many people had made, and offer messages of welcome and friendship to other students.

“Students in the future will always see these messages,” he said.

Student Dimo Akol, aged 18, on behalf of all the students, presented Dr Bashir with a beaded necklace she had made.

The Beverly Hills IEC teaches English to high school-aged students who have recently arrived in Australia, before they go on to other high schools in the area
It currently serves about 150 students of more than 30 nationalities.

Nick Bloukos