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Last modified: 29 Jul 2020 10:20am

A dark haired woman in a black jersey stands with her hand on a tube coming out of a tap on the side of a steel drum in a workshop

At 8.30 on a Sunday morning, while many people are still enjoying a weekend sleep-in or breakfast with family, Gabi Michael is tucked away in her home brewery trying to brew the perfect beer.

Gabi moved to New Zealand in 2003 from Campo Grande, Brazil, and is the co-founder sales and marketing manager at Gladfield Malt. Her story is part of a new project by the Selwyn District Council celebrating the diversity of the district and the things we have in common as the many Faces of Selwyn.

The Faces of Selwyn project will begin with an exhibition at Lincoln Event Centre from Wednesday 2 to Wednesday 9 October showcasing 10 stories of recent arrivals to the district and those whose stories go back over a hundred years.

In the past 10 years the population of Selwyn has nearly doubled as people from around New Zealand and across the world chose to make this place home. Migration and immigration is a deep part of Selwyn’s history from the arrival of the first Polynesian explorers 700 years ago, Council Community Services Group manager Denise Kidd says. “Each person brings different stories that enrich us, but they also have many shared links. Both of these things weave together to give us such a vibrant culture and we want to celebrate that.”

For the exhibition, the council partnered with students at the University of Canterbury School of Journalism who contributed seven stories as part of their studies.

Following the exhibition the 10 stories will be used in displays at Selwyn District Libraries. Along with further stories to come they will also feature on the Council website and in other Council publications.