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Sylvia Liu

Sylvia Liu founded the volunteer group Fusion Culture in 2011 to bring people together and bridge cultures. Her students call her Teacher Little Frog. This is her story.

In 2011, she started with two learning programs and a platform for cultural exchange:

  • Fusion Tai Chi (多元太極) for English speaking people to learn something about the Chinese culture through the ancient Chinese philosophy of yin/yang (陰陽) meaning balance and harmony.
  • English Friendship Club for non-English speaking Chinese seniors to learn some survival English, Australian culture and Western etiquette.

I strongly believe that cultural harmony is a learning process, and all learning must be fun to be effective.

They also run workshops, including laughter for health, theatre magic, gestures explorations and music making to connect people and cultures without words.

I have found my passion…to be performing on stage, motivating people to be confident, be themselves and feel happy. 

Fusion Group’s work is  supported by a City of Sydney grant. Sylvia says the City of Sydney’s support has helped her realise her dream and provided her with the opportunity to live her passion.

Her biggest success is not personal, but a collective success of all the people she has been working with.  The best reward for Sylvia is witnessing their transformation from shy and reserved individuals into confident and happy team players –  by courageously stepping out of their comfort zone to break the language, social and cultural barriers and becoming a contributing member of the community.

I am grateful to Ultimo Community Centre and Uniting Harris Centre for providing us weekly meeting spaces which gives us a sense of belonging and security. 

Fusion Culture Group has developed its community art based process over a number of years with a range of community groups. The process enables people from different cultures and backgrounds to move beyond their stereotypes and pre-conceived ideas of each other and discover, through their natural genuine curiosity, a new place of empathy and understanding.

This year, they are taking part in the Living in Harmony Festival organized by the City of Sydney and in celebration of the United Nation’s ‘World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.’  The theme of our proposal is ‘You are Different, ‘ which will be showcased at Customs House on 19 May 2018.

The goal of “You Are Different” is to help bridge the gap between cultures and create a space of connection and being.

We can all be a bit more caring and accepting of others who are different, and try to see the best in others. 

Sylvia has lived in Hong Kong, New York, Taiwan and Australia, and worked in customers service, human resources and training, office and finance management sectors in the finance, medical and education-related, real estate investment, and technology industries in several Asian countries and the U.S.A.

My favourite thing about living in Australia is the quality of life and the opportunity to be who I want to be.