Linah Mountford, who originally hails from Papua New Guinea, made the move to Bundaberg in the late '90s.
She is well known for her work with the CAMS Program – Community Action for a Multicultural Society – at the Bundaberg Neighbourhood Centre, as well as the Ol Meri Wantok Bundaberg Inc organisation.
Linah takes pride in providing support to people from all cultures by helping them integrate into Australian society through networking, sharing information and connecting.
Her work and passion has been highlighted as part of Bundaberg Regional Council's Our People Our Stories initiative which celebrates people in the local community.
After growing up in PNG, Linah finished school and became a trained customer service officer for the National Airline Service.
In 1998 she came to Australia and landed in Bundaberg after getting married.
Linah was 25 years old when she moved to the country and said it came with its own challenges.
It was a new life away from family and something that she could never be fully prepared for.
“Everything was new, completely different,” she said.
“I had an idea, but I didn’t realise how difficult it was going to be.”
Linah said she felt isolated and lonely in her new world, but housework kept her busy and then kids came along.
It took seven years before she would build the confidence to drive on Australian roads, which made the 40-minute walk to and from Alexandra Park with her children a long journey.
Nowadays Linah has settled in beautifully to Australia, which she now calls home, and volunteers to promote PNG and other Pacific Island events and programs through her role as secretary at Ol Meri Wantok Bundaberg Inc.
She is involved in NAIDOC celebrations, the Moore Park Beach Arts Festival, Cultural Connections, Harmony Day and Milbi Festival, just to name a few.
Linah said what she loved most was teaching children about culture.
“It helps for people to identify themselves and how they can contribute by knowing who they are,” she said.
“If they don’t know who they are, they aren’t able to see themselves as value to the community unless they have some form of identity.
“Knowing the importance of their culture and their background helps make the person.”