Homelands Tour - an inaugural 7-date, collaborative live music tour across NSW & QLD

Presented by SSI, Access and BEMAC, the inaugural Homelands tour will showcase the artistic talents of three musicians from refugee backgrounds.

Showcasing the artistic talents of musicians from refugee backgrounds, Homelands aims to build social cohesion and a deeper understanding of cultural diversity within different communities through the sharing of stories, rhythm and melody, and settlement experiences.

This debut collaboration will feature renowned world musicians Tenzin Choegyal (Tibetan, Dranyen), Kween G (Ugandan, Vocals), Yasmin Ibrahim Mohamed (Sudanese, Vocals), as well as Brisbane-based artists Marcello Milani (Guitar) Shen Flindell (Tabla).

Shohrat Tursun

You will be mesmerised by the soaring vocals and rhythmic tunes of world-renowned Uyghur musician Shohrat Tursun.

Shohrat has travelled the world performing the hidden treasures of his culture and sharing the musical abilities inherited from his father.

Take this once in a lifetime opportunity to hear Shohrat singing and playing the ‘dutar’ - a two-stringed, long-neck lute at the SSI New Beginnings Winter Festival.

Find out more about Shohrat:


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Spoken word poet: roje ndayambaje

Spoken word poet Roje Ndayambaje writes and performs his poetry to share the story of his people, and encourage others to discover their own.

Born in Congo and raised in Uganda in a Rwandan family, Roje’s writing style is influenced by his cultural heritage and his poetry marked by a deep love of Africa.

Roje is an experienced performer, having appeared at numerous events including the Australian Poetry Slam Newcastle Heats, Poetic Justice, Art Bender Newcastle, Soul Lounge (Adelaide) and SpeakUP Gosford. He has supported slam poet Luka Lesson and collaborated with Will Small and Manal Younus.

Roje’s storytelling abilities and soulful prose will leave you reflecting inwards and looking outwards at this year’s SSI New Beginnings Winter Festival.

The Australian Arabic Band

Led by renowned Assyrian singer and Oud player, George Karam, and supported by up and coming artists Ebba and Emil, this unique performance of the Australian Arabic band brings together the originals and classics from the Arabic world.

With a career spanning 30 years, lead of the Australian Arabic band, George Karam aka the “Assyrian King”, has performed in Syria, Lebanon, UAE, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Now in Australia, George shares his knowledge as an Oud guitar and keyboard teacher. He has taken talented teenage musicians Ebba, on violin, and Emil, on the Keyboard, under his wing to create the mesmerising performance that is the Australian Arabic band.

Join us at the SSI New Beginnings Winter Festival and experience the merging of traditional and contemporary musical flavours from the Middle East.

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Event MC - Sara Mansour

Sara Mansour is the co-founder and director of Bankstown Poetry Slam. As a practising lawyer and also a performing poet, she uses her practise and her art to shed light on issues of political and social importance. Sara has been recognised for her achievements, winning the Young Citizen of the year in the Canterbury- Bankstown region and also Outstanding Youth Leader at the ZEST Awards in 2017.

In 2018, she was selected to be a mentor for the Sydney Writers Festival Youth Curators program, and also delivered a TEDx Talk in Parramatta on the inception of the Bankstown Poetry Slam. In that same year, she was selected to partake in the Youtube Creators for Change project, alongside other members of the Bankstown Poetry Slam group.

In 2019, she was selected as a writer for the upcoming ABC iView show Halal Gurls, and was nominated for the Young Woman of the West Award.