Press Release (ePRNews.com) - MELBOURNE, Australia - Dec 22, 2016 - Christmas Day can be a lonely occasion if you are a long way away from family and friends.
Even if you do not normally celebrate this religious occasion, it is still nice to have ‘something to do’ on Christmas Day as plenty of people will ask you ‘and what are you doing for Christmas?’
The tradition of the Bring Your Own (BYO) Picnic Lunch on Christmas Day was suggested in 2006 by Lise Saugeres, a French migrant who had moved to Melbourne to Sue Ellson, the Founder and Director of Newcomers Network an independent social enterprise providing information, events and advocacy for newcomers since 2001.
Ms Ellson had moved from Adelaide to Melbourne in 1994 so she knew what it was like not to have family around on Christmas Day. On 25 December 2006, Ms Ellson and Ms Saugeres hosted the very first Christmas Day BYO Picnic Lunch in Catani Gardens, St Kilda (Victoria) and in 2007, the group moved to the Queen Victoria Gardens next to St Kilda Road and opposite the National Gallery of Victoria.
In 2016, Sue Ellson will be hosting the 11th Christmas Day BYO Picnic Lunch in Melbourne. Ms Ellson has also coordinated annual events in Sydney since 2010, Perth since 2010, Brisbane since 2011 and Adelaide since 2013.
The confirmed events for Christmas Day, Sunday 25 December 2016 across Australia are listed at https://newcomersnetwork.eventbrite.com.au
These events are open to everyone, but are specifically designed for people who have moved to the city, international students, tourists and anyone who is a Christmas Orphan and is away from their family or friends on Christmas Day.
In the past, the events have also welcomed local people including single parents and their children, older singles, young singles, couples looking for something different to do, carers of people with a disability, people with dogs on a lead, people whose parents have passed away, homeless people who do not want to be at a charity venue and people who have not received an invitation to join a celebration with anyone they know.
Interestingly, the events have also attracted people who do not celebrate Christmas as a religious occasion (Muslim, Hindus, Buddhists etc) but would like to do something different in their local city.
This event is free to attend and anyone who would like to join is welcome. Guests need to bring their own refreshments (food and drink) that they can either have themselves or share with other guests. They are also encouraged to wear their own name tag (any type will do – even just paper and a pin), be sun smart (hat, sunscreen, shirt) and bring a football, frisbee, cricket bat and ball or any other outdoor activities as well.
Everyone mixes and mingles and in 2009, two single people met, in 2010 they spent Christmas together holidaying in the Grampians, in 2012 they announced their engagement and they were married in 2014. In 2016, they will be attending the Melbourne picnic with their one year old daughter. In some cities, there is a small group of regulars who now come every year.
Guests are encouraged to register online to see the map details – even if it rains, the event will still be on (just bring an umbrella or a raincoat!).
Sue Ellson (pronouned Sue “Ell – son” – no letter ‘i’ in the middle)
Founder and Director of Newcomers Network
+61 402 243 271
sueellson [at] newcomersnetwork.com
Newcomers Network is an independent, social enterprise funded by consulting services provided by Sue Ellson in Melbourne with volunteer representatives in Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide, Australia providing information, events and advocacy for newcomers to Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide since 2001.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbOHENost6w Source :