The Story of Festival
The begining of Queensland Taiwan Festival 2012. 昆士蘭台灣嘉年華計畫源起。

T
he story of the Taiwanese community in Brisbane started just over 20 years ago, with the first wave of the business migrants and their families arriving to start a new life here in Australia. They were not refugees running away from famine; they were not asylum seekers escaping a dictatorial regime; they were not desperate, they were not under any threat from their native Taiwan. They simply felt that relocating to ‘the land down under’ 7500 kms away would in fact provide a better start for their children. A simple reason granted, but for most of these affluent Taiwanese’ settlers, their children are held in the highest regards and seen as the future and they did (and still do) believe that their children will have a better start in life in this luckier country. In many cases, fathers in these immigrating families have chosen to make a personal sacrifice by continuing on in their employment in Taiwan so as to provide financially for newly settled the family opting to fly back and forth to spend time with them when able. Mothers have also made sacrifices by way living in these long distance relationships in order to look after all the affairs of the family that included tending to the children’s educational needs and assimilating the family into the new Brisbane life. Families have generally taken advantage of school holiday periods to fly back to Taiwan to be reunited with their fathers and other relatives again.

For elder Taiwanese citizens including retirees, Brisbane has been the choice of residence chiefly because of its fine weather all year round. These individuals free from work obligations have been able to stay here for most of the year until the warmer months when they have been in the fortunate position of being able to travel back to Taiwan for a mild Taiwanese winter. This sector of the Brisbane Taiwanese has been able to pick the best of both countries, and they are thankful to Brisbane as their second home. They call Australia home, and they also call Taiwan home.

This backwards and forwards activity of the Taiwanese community has changed somewhat over the last 10 or so years. The children who are the second generation has now completed world class education in Brisbane and has joined the mass workforce. Many of Taiwan’s immigrant children, now grown are represented throughout the community as accomplished professionals in medicine, law, accounting, nursing, teaching and so on. Budding entrepreneurs too have positioned themselves in almost all industries. A few of these businesses have gone on earning recognition from the wider community, building recognizable, award winning businesses to serve all people of Brisbane.

This group of people now has a deep and meaningful relationship with this land. The 2011 Queensland flood saw many Taiwanese migrants join the clean up effort in Brisbane. Shoveling mud, removing rubbish for neighbours . All Taiwanese interest groups united to raise funds and collectively raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. Tzu Chi and other Taiwanese religious groups also mobilised their members to assist anybody they saw in need during this difficult time.

The Australia Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce Inc (Qld) has decided to lead the way in organising for the first Taiwanese Festival in 2012 along with. The Chamber thinks this year is good timing to broadcast the Brisbane-Taiwanese story. This is not a mere promotion for the Taiwanese culture, it is rather a declaration of a multi-cultural success story in this prosperous land. The celebration of Irish, German, Thai, Greek, French, Indian and Vietnamese festivals have occupied various months of the year. The Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce has chosen the eve of the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival, 22nd & 23rd September, 2012 as the first day of the first Taiwanese Festival 2012.

David Lin B.E.(Hon), MBA, LL.B., Grad.Dip.Leg.Prac., LL.M., M.eLaw

President,
Australia Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce Inc (Qld)
Top

士蘭台灣嘉年華計畫源起一個長期觀察台灣移民變遷史的社會觀察家是這樣描述台灣移民的變化。二十多年前,以商業移民背景為主,大批台灣第一代移民湧入澳洲,青壯期的新貴家庭,為了讓孩子接受「更人性」的教育,帶著錢財移民澳洲培育第二代,通常「女人」留在澳洲照顧小孩,「男人」則回到台灣繼續打拼事業。孩子上課時期,「女人」與孩子待在澳洲,學校放長假,全家又回台灣團圓;已經退休的老移民,則選擇來澳洲養老,澳洲的夏天,天氣炎熱,他們回到台灣避暑;好像候鳥一般,分飛於台灣、澳洲兩地,保有對台灣故鄉的依賴,也享受澳洲完善的社會福利,是一個飄浮的台灣族群,澳洲不是他們的家,台灣也不是他們想要綿延子孫或終老的沃土。

但是,近十年來,整個台灣人的移民生態有了很大的變化。台灣移民的第二代在澳洲接受完整的教育,他們不少選擇在澳洲就業,有成功的專業人士(包括醫生、護士、律師、會計師等)在其專業領域表現傑出,更有不少中小企業老闆及苦幹實幹的年輕一輩,深耕澳洲,成為社會骨幹的藍領階層。
現在,台灣移民漸漸對「澳洲」產生忠誠的情感,當澳洲國難降臨時,他們與澳洲人民共體時艱,有人饑己饑的親膚之痛。2011 年昆省慘遭水患,台灣移民捲起袖子參與救災活動,各台僑社團發起捐款,募款金額超過數百萬澳幣;慈濟志工、佛光山中天寺的信徒,承擔起號召志工參與救援的使命。「台裔澳洲人」出錢出力,因為他們已經漸漸淡化客居的心態。

在這個時候,澳洲昆士蘭台灣商會首度在昆士蘭州發起「昆士蘭台灣嘉年華」活動,結合所有台僑社團,齊心擦亮『台裔澳洲人』這塊招牌,這已經不是台灣人自己關起門來,玩自己族群遊戲的「鎖國」活動,而是一個台灣移民真正在澳洲生根發芽的宣告;也不是一個台灣人尋根的活動,而是一個主張:澳洲近年來多元文化的新興社會型態已蔚然成熟,這個社會型態由一群群來自世界各地的移民形成,以效忠澳洲為中心,真正融入主流社會,在澳洲的工作崗位上孜孜不倦,在各個行業中出類拔萃。所以,當昆士蘭每年三月有愛爾蘭節、德國啤酒節;每年四月有泰國潑水節;每年五月有希臘節;每年七月有法國節、每年九月有印度節、越南節,而台僑社團的昆士蘭客家會已經成功地連續三年於森林湖舉辦盛大的龍舟競賽,將傳統中華文化的極端午精神引進澳洲;世界宗教團體中以台灣人為主幹的佛光山中天寺,每年五月的浴佛節,舉辦至今也有15年的歷史,是昆省最具宗教特色的活動,也是每年布里斯本市的重要節慶之一。

這些具有民族或宗教特色的活動,活潑了澳洲多元文化色彩,這時,我們期望有一個以介紹台灣文化和美食的節日,來彰顯『台裔澳洲人』的特色,這就是昆州台僑社團將於2012 年華人農曆三大節慶中的中秋節前夕,發起「昆士蘭台灣日嘉年華」的動機。
第一屆「昆士蘭台灣嘉年華」將於 2012 年9月22日,揭開歷史性的序幕!

澳洲昆士蘭台灣商會 會長

林俊宏

暨2012年昆士蘭台灣嘉年華籌備委員會