Program of Diversity

» North Richmond Community Health Centre » The Politics of Life

North Richmond Community Health Centre

The Richmond housing estate is the largest of all the Victorian high rises, with an estimated 6,000 people from diverse ethnic and cultural origins. The majority are of Vietnamese background, the next largest group being East Timorese.

The nationally recognised Arts and Culture Program is located on the edge of the estate as part of the North Richmond Community Health Centre. Since the late 1980s the program has collaborated with community groups on and off the estate. It has produced a vast range of projects and initiatives in the visual arts, performance, multimedia and festivals.

The program is complex and sustained, producing not only unique and high quality art, but also offering many opportunities for artists and community members to grow in skills and leadership.

The Art Of Celebration

The annual Moon Lantern Festival takes place every September. Based on the traditional Chinese and Vietnamese celebrations, it is recognised for innovative collaborations between traditional practitioners and contemporary artists. These new works are frequently political, tackling the real issues affecting the lives of the estate's residents. As well as the beautiful lantern procession which is at the heart of the festival, Moon Lantern produces a series of multimedia installations located on the estate, and each year develops a spectacular multimedia finale. 

These new works reflect the changing currents within the community. Their themes may be personal, social or political, tackling the real issues affecting the lives of the estate's residents.

Residents also join together for the Tet Celebration, which hails the Lunar New Year and is celebrated across Asia. The Richmond celebrations are cross-cultural and open to all. They honour the older people within these communities, recreating a village atmosphere where the community garden is elaborately decorated by artists and residents.