RELATED: Bringing #BendigoTogether campaign launched in support of Karen community. Learn more:


We are so proud of our Karen Youth Group for producing this fantastic ‘Welcome to Bendigo’ video.

The video is the result of the group’s desire to showcase Bendigo as a wonderful multicultural destination and make Karen people feel truly welcome by introducing them to the services, opportunities, sites and attractions that make living in this community so great.

The group discussed ideas for the video and wrote the script under the guidance of Bendigo Community Health Services case worker and youth group co-ordinator Nay Chee Aung who has long held an ambition to produce such a resource.

Youth group members starred in the video and then edited the final content with the support of volunteer Cameron Smith from Voice Box Films.

The video covers a wider range of topics including:

Watch the video (English translation below):

The great news is we are finalising production on an Afghan Welcome to Bendigo video written and filmed by another of our youth groups.

Please share the video with anyone you think could benefit from the Karen welcome messages. If you would like a DVD copy of the video please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (03) 5448 1600.

The video was given a fitting premiere at the La Trobe Visual Arts Centre on Tuesday in front of special guests such as City of Greater Bendigo councilors and staff, Victoria Police members, Catherine McCauley College students and teachers, SportsFocus representatives and Karen community leaders.

Because the video has been produced in the language of the Karen community we have included a little translated script to give you an idea of the topics covered.

Welcome to Bendigo video translation

Please follow this little script as we play the video. The video is designed for Karen people and communities so you will not be able to understand what’s being said. This script will allow you to follow the themes as the video plays. Thank you for attending today’s premiere. We hope you enjoy the video.

Opening music: ‘We are Karen’ introduction.

Part 1: History of Bendigo

Bendigo is located on the traditional lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung and the Tung Wurrung of the Kulin Nation.

Bendigo became well know and developed when gold was discovered. Many people came to Bendigo to dig for gold including the Chinese people.

Part 2: Introduction of Karen people in Bendigo

History of Karen settlement – first Karen family came to Bendigo in 2007

Karen population in Bendigo increased significantly since the first arrival of the very first Karen family.

Many Karen community members around the country want to move to Bendigo

Part 3: Karen organisation and religious groups

Karen organisation of Bendigo – Sei Sei Mu is the current president of the Karen Organisation of Bendigo.

Bendigo is a city that support diversity and inclusion.

Buddhist community - supports, regular meeting and lots of events.

Christian community – churches, Karen services.

Bendigo is a city that welcome and supports Karen community.

Bendigo is a great city for everyone to live in and is a great example.

Part 4 - Karen cerebration

Karen New Year Celebration includes soccer tournament, dancing and singing.

Karen Traditional Wrist Tying Ceremony – celebrated in August each year.

Water Festival –Karen Buddhist celebration in April and welcome everyone.

Christmas celebration for Karen Christian community

Part 5 – Sport

Many young people from Karen community are involved in some form of sporting activity, particularly in soccer.

Many young people have a strong interest in soccer.

Many of them formed their own team to participate in tournaments.

We have Karen soccer tournament every year and many young people participated in this event.

This city provides a great opportunity for young people to be involved in sports. It doesn’t matter if you are new to the country or don’t know how to play soccer, everyone is welcome to get involved.

Everyone has the opportunity to feel welcome when it comes to sports

If you need help getting in to sport you can talk to your teacher at school and talk to some you know, and I know for sure they will support you.

This country provides a great opportunity and freedom for everyone to be involved in soccer, so I hope everyone works together and join the soccer team to play in soccer tournament.

Part 6 - Opportunity

Free to choose to study, work, relationship.

Freedom of speech and practice religion – nothing will happen and we are safe

Free to socialise with other people.

Free to volunteer

Safe in Australia

Free from discrimination.

Part 7 - Cultural differences

Lots to learn – learn everything you could possibly learn, life style, attitude, law, health, education, sports, Employment, driving, housing etc.

Learn more about the refugee services offered by Bendigo Community Health Services at