Nepalese Community in Darwin
Settlement of people from Nepalese origin in Darwin started in mid-nineties as few professionals migrated from interstate, especially to work with NT government agencies. Only few of these professionals permanently stayed in NT, making presence of Nepalese People in Darwin (NT) insignificant until 2004/05. 2005 July onwards, students from Nepal started to come to study in Charles Darwin University (CDU). Number started to grow gradually with substantial flow of student in CDU from Nepal during the years of 2006/07/08. Realisation of starting a Nepalese community organisation in Darwin was started and initiation was taken around March 2008, though community get-togethers on various Nepalese cultural and social calendar dates were evident by this time. Since early 2008, there has been substantial growth in numbers of people from Nepalese origin especially due to continuous flow of students in CDU and people migrating from interstates in search of better employment and permanent residency status. These numbers have been significantly increasing with the continuous flow of interstate migrant in search of permanent settlement in Australia as well as better employment prospect; also contributing factor is increased numbers of Nepalese student pursuing their studies in CDU.
Organisational Development and Activities
First step was development of group email account, ConnectNepal, which really helped in effective communication with most of the community members regarding any social, cultural events. Committee of 11 people to act as an executive community of Nepalese Association of the NT (NANT) was selected in one of the social gatherings in early 2008. NANT was purely involved in organising social and cultural get-togethers and executive committee of NANT was purely involved in successful operation, co-ordination and completion of such functions by then. Formal registration of NANT was realised and in mid 2008 and we approached Multicultural Council of NT (MCNT). April 2009, first Annual General Meeting of NANT was held and new executive committee was selected. Constitution for NANT was developed and registration process with Northern Territory Government (NTG), Department of Justice was completed. The process itself resulted in a milestone in NANT’s history making it an only incorporated organisation in NT of its kind. After its successful incorporation, NANT has excelled through the public recognition and relation in various multicultural forums in NT especially in Darwin area such as MCNT, NTG agencies. NANT delegates are regular invitees on various multicultural forums around Darwin these days. In fact, Nepalese community members have and are currently serving in capacity as Vice-President of MCNT, an umbrella organisation of various multicultural organisations in NT, for second term.
Having organised first ever Nepalese Cultural Program in one of the residential backyard, NANT has come a long way in organising quite a few of such cultural and recreational activities in more organised and professional way. As the community members have increased, so as the resources, enthusiasm and expectations. NANT has been trying to make it a responsible organisation not only for its community members but also for its external stakeholders. Few initiatives are underway such as: website development, membership card distribution, increased social and cultural activities whereas few are under pipeline and initiation. NANT is always open to creative ideas and initiations. Together we can make a difference.