16 Mar, 2011 Last updated: 13 Nov, 2014

VicHealth is celebrating Cultural Diversity Week by giving visitors to its new Arts About Us website the chance to win tickets to the 2011 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

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VicHealth is celebrating Cultural Diversity Week by giving visitors to its new Arts About Us website the chance to win tickets to next month’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

There are 15 double passes up for grabs to see two fantastic festival shows: Dr Game Show and Phi and Me. Entries are open from 21-30 March; simply visit www.artsaboutus.com.au (website live from 12.01am Monday 21 March) and click on the Comedy Festival logo and send your details.

Both shows are supported by VicHealth’s Arts About Us program, which uses art to celebrate cultural diversity and encourage dialogue about the harmful effects of ethnic and race-based discrimination.

In Dr Game Show, high-profile comedian Trent McCarthy is joined by Sudanese-Australian singer Ajak Kwai and 2008 Deadly Funny winner Kevin Kropinyeri. The show puts a multicultural and Indigenous spin on the game show world using side-splitting satire, comical characters and cross-cultural quandaries to tackle racism and promote cultural diversity.

Phi and Me also uses humour to highlight issues faced by second generation Vietnamese families, including stereotyping and the adversities Phi's mother faced as a refugee. From language barriers to getting through Australian customs, Phi shares funny stories about his dysfunctional relationship with his mum.

VicHealth Acting CEO Associate Professor John Fitzgerald said the shows are a great example of how the arts can provide a powerful platform for celebrating cultural diversity and strengthening cultural understanding.

“Through Arts About Us, VicHealth has funded 16 organisations to run arts-based programs, shows and exhibitions that celebrate diversity and help people understand the harmful impacts of race-based discrimination,” Assoc Prof Fitzgerald said.

“We’re working to reduce race-based discrimination because of the effects it has on people’s health: research shows it is linked to anxiety and depression and it is also linked to physical conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure and even diabetes.”

Assoc Prof Fitzgerald said most Victorians agree that it is a good thing for society to be made up of different cultures, yet there are still people in our community who experience race-based discrimination.

“It can happen at school, at work, on the sporting field and even at the supermarket,” he said.

“Through Arts About Us we’re generating discussion about attitudes and beliefs that may lead to unfair treatment of people on the basis of race, culture, ethnicity or religion.

“Our new Arts About Us website has all the latest information about the 16 projects and their activities, exhibitions and shows. With everything from photography and plays to music and film, Arts About Us has something for everyone,” Assoc Prof Fitzgerald said.

Visit www.artsaboutus.com.au between Monday 21 and Wednesday 30 March to enter the competition. Winners will be notified on Friday 1 April.