AFTER a challenging year of Zoom meetings and COVID-19 restrictions, the Redlands Multicultural Group has met to celebrate its 17th anniversary.
Members gathered at the Alexandra Hills TAFE on Thursday morning to swap stories and enjoy food and music.
Some wore traditional dress from their country.
Group founder Shahin Master said it had been a challenging year but group members had supported each other through tough times.
"Sunflowers follow the sun, but when it is cloudy and grey, they face each other and share their energy. So did we, last year," she said.
The group's 16th anniversary celebrations were cancelled and meetings were held via Zoom during COVID-19 restrictions.
"Even during [the] pandemic we share our friendship," Ms Master said.
The world is one country and mankind its citizen.Shahin Master
People from nearly 50 countries have been part of the group during its 17-year history.
"The aims [of the group are] to promote friendship, foster understanding of Australian and other cultures and help migrants," Ms Master said.
"We celebrate New Years for different countries - in March we had Persian New Year.
"Sometimes we talk about virtues or different quotations - the point is that everybody shares something."
Members have taken part in a multicultural book club and a cooking club, with recipes from across the globe going into a group cook book.
Councillor Paul Bishop, who cut the cake at the anniversary, said it was important to respect cultural diversity amid local and global challenges.
"I think we live in a climate of change ... and those changes are what you're carrying with you, the cultures that you're from," he said.
Ms Master said unity among cultures was a key aim of the group.
"The world is one country and mankind its citizen."