A Day in April in Adelaide… “The Adelaide Estonian Forum”

RICHARD SEMENOV 23. mail 2012

April in Adelaide is a time to reflect. Mad March is over and autumn is upon us and we have to start to prepare for our long winter months.

Our pool covers need to go on, the relentless raking of leaves has started and most importantly the final details of that summer trip to Eesti for the Northern summer has to be finalised! We here in Adelaide have made all sorts of small changes over the last 4-5 years and the Adelaide Eesti Selts recently arranged a date for the community to reflect by providing an opportunity to provide their thoughts on the future direction of our small but energetic Estonian community here in Adelaide at 'Kalev on Jeffcott'.


The Adelaide Eesti Selts sent out multiple Emails and set up a Facebook event to invite people from all ages to attend a first ever Adelaide Estonian Forum! We wanted to hear what the Adelaide people wanted from us and how we could attract people back who had previously been involved and find out from those who were new to our city how to make the most of our our fabulous venue and our vibrant community here in North Adelaide.


Our committee was very impressed with the response and the attendance. The over 75 group was well represented and the Baby Boomers which has been possibly the "lost group" here in Adelaide was certainly well represented. The group (which yours truly is a part of - those verbose X's) had lots to say as usual. The Y generation, mainly represented by the new Estonians brought innovation and fresh ideas. The Z's (Under 12's) were sitting quietly playing with their iPads...


What were the issues discussed? Everybody had the opportunity to voice his or her opinion. Out of the 30 or so people attending everybody contributed. A secure database of Adelaide Estonians coordinated by a dedicated volunteer so that people can be informed about events was considered to be integral. Other ideas were to look at social functions relevant to age demographics and have a closer alignment of functions following a "Rahvuskalender" e.g. Vastlapäev, Jüriöö... Our very successful Esto Pub Nights should also follow a more traditional theme with Estonian food and culture. A Facebook page giving people an informal opportunity to see what is happening in Adelaide was suggested and is already happening. Holding a reunion for "Täiendus Kool"and or "Spordikool "as a way of getting people to participate and return to the community possibly as a part of the Esto Pub Night format.


Film Days with modern Estonian films was a successful way of bringing the community together in the past could be revitalised here in Adelaide. The Estonian language classes have also commenced here in Adelaide after an absence of almost 18 months and have had a very enthusiastic response already.


The idea of a subgroup looking at history and genealogy was suggested and was enthusiastically received. Listening to the few war veterans left and older community members was considered essential and so was keeping in touch with our Baltic friends from the Latvian and Lithuanian communities. The final few points discussed were a very important future discussion paper looking at our direction and possibly the implementation of a gradual three year plan to ensure that those that attended are not overwhelmed with too many new ideas.


For those that attended, your ideas were appreciated and we all look forward to another "Forum" in three to four months time. In the interim an invitation was extended to the next Adelaide Estonian Esto Pub Night "The Estovision Night" on Friday the 25th of May 2012. This will be an opportunity to see the Estonian performance at Eurovision and a chance to informally discuss your ideas with the community.

Remember the EPN ethos, drop in for 10 minutes, stay for 2 hours and meet friendly Estonians...no pressure, no bookings needed.