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June 2019
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Africa Day

Africa Day 2014 Celebrated in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane

Africa Day 2014 was celebrated in Australia with a week of festivities in Melbourne including a women's forum, street festival, sports festival, youth forum, talent competition, cultural events and business symposium, as well as programs in Sydney and Brisbane. These celebrations are now a permanent part of the social calendar in Melbourne and Sydney.

Africa Day in Australia is an opportunity to bring together in unity the diverse African cultures represented here in Australia for the purpose of celebrating the economic, spiritual, moral, social and cultural contributions and successes of Australians from African descent. It is also an opportunity to highlight the benefits African/Australians bring to Australia and the importance of Africa to Australia and the world.

Africa Day Melbourne Week-Long Celebrations

African Women's Forum - “African Women and Families Community Day”- This year the Women’s Forum for Africa Day was focused around a ‘community day’ for families and held in Clayton. The hard working committee members comprised the staff of the city of Monash: Amara Hamid, Reagan Holsinger and Colin Bostock, plus representatives from community organizations, Sylvia Daravong, Divya from SEAAC and Kapambwe Mumba from New Hope Foundation; and Theresa Sengaagaa Ssali, who worked tirelessly as the chairperson for the Africa Committee with the co-chair Anne Bellavance. The morning session began with service providers and local African businesses setting up stalls to display their services for the community participants. In the theatrette, a panel comprising of an array of service providers, a teacher, lawyer and the local police briefly presented their community service or their experience working with African community groups to the audience. This event was organized by the Africa Day Australia African Women’s Committee in partnership with the African Women’s Network South East, New Hope Foundation, Women’s Federation for World Peace, City of Monash, Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria (ECCV) and Southern Ethnic Advisory and Advocacy Council (SEAAC).

Emerge Street Festival - The festival took place in collaboration with Multicultural Arts Victoria. This African Street Party showcased local musicians, artisans and traders.

Africa Day Sports Festival: “Living Healthy Active Lives” - In partnership with the North Melbourne Football Club and the Huddle, City of Melbourne (Active Melbourne), and YMCA at JJ Holland Park. There were more than 150 participants at this year's Africa Day Sports Festival. The International Cricket Council brought the world cup to promote the 2015 World Cup.

African World Cup Soccer in Melbourne: A preliminary play-off of eight teams determined to the top two teams to play in the finals. Ghana and Sierra Leone locked horns in the final. Ghana was crowned champions winning on penalty shoot-out.

Netball: Four teams took part in the netball tournament. Vic Police were crowned champions. Melbourne Vixens player Elissa McLeod gave a powerful inspirational talk to the ladies and tips on the game.

Australian Rules: It was the grand finale between Pakistan Shaheen and Eagles. It was quite an exciting match with Shaheen winning it by 52points.

Basketball: Three teams took part in the tournament - Vic Police, Sparks and Zim Stars. Sparks retained the championship from 2013 after defeating the other two teams.

Athletics- A fun run was also hand around the premises 5km, it was good to see people from diverse background joining in.

African Australia Youth Forum at Melbourne University: “Identity and Mental Well-being" -This forum sought to address the question “How does racial identity and related self-esteem issues affect the mental well-being of youth of African background in the African Australian context?”

Africa’s Got Talent - This youth talent quest unleashed African Australian creative talents. Africa’s Got Talent is the performing arts competition part of Africa Day. It is open to young emerging African Australian artists to showcase their talent to the wider Australian community, enabling the bridging of the gap. This was the culmination of methodical auditions held across 11 municipalities. The final 10 artists from the pre-selections competed for the top prize.

Cultural Events - Events included an art exhibition, short films by African filmmakers, and theatrical performance

Africa Day Gala Dinner - The gala dinner featured the best of African performing arts, fashion and food. This event was an opportunity to celebrate and recognize successful Australian Africans. The Gala Dinner, which was attended by 300 guests including members of the African Diplomatic Corps, members of all three major political parties, academics, business and community leaders. It was a great night of pomp and ceremony, culminating the week-long activities celebrating Africa Day in Melbourne.

African Australian Business Council Africa Day Symposium - Speakers included Santilla Chingaipe from SBS, Herbie Rosenberg from Africa Reps and the Executive Director (Education) of Holmesglen Institute and Mr. Max Newton.

Advancing the African Australian Agenda in partnership with La Trobe University’s Centre for Dialogue - Following last year’s inaugural Australia-Africa Dialogue lecture by former Prime Minister the Hon. Kevin Rudd, a symposium on “Advancing the African-Australian Agenda” was organized on June 28 at La Trobe University. The symposium focused on two core themes:

  • The multifaceted relations and interactions between Africa and Australia
  • Challenges and prospects for the African-Australian diaspora

The keynote speaker was Amb. Jacqueline Zwambila, former Zimbabwean ambassador to Australia. John Bellavance, vice president of Africa Day Australia and UPF-Australia, addressed a panel on the role of civil society in good governance in Africa. Organizers of the symposium included three Ambassadors for Peace: Appollo Nsubuga-Kyobe, La Trobe University, Chair of the African Symposium committee; Sisay Dinku, national executive & Victoria coordinator, Celebration of African Australians; and Stephen Sibanda, president of Africa Day Australia.

Sydney Celebrations

Based on the successful model of Africa Day events held elsewhere in Australia efforts were made to inspire the celebration of Africa Day 2014 in Sydney. Meetings facilitated by UPF were initially held at the Oceania Peace Embassy in late 2013, bringing together community leaders of the African community. The Africa Day Council NSW executive committee organized the Africa Day Blacktown City Street Parade on May 31, with UPF contributing strong support

It is envisaged that celebration of Africa Day at the national level can become a reality as the Africa Day celebrations, that highlight the richness and diversity of the African cultures and the contributions of the African communities, expand to all Australian states.

Queensland Celebrations

It was a brilliantly sunny day when Africa Day in Queensland was celebrated by thousands of participants on Sunday 25 May at African House in East Brisbane. For the first time, UPF and the Women's Federation for World Peace (WFWP) were invited to partner with Queensland African Communities Council in this annual event. This came about from close relationships with a former president of the council, Sharon Orapeleng, who is an Ambassador for Peace.

The program was very colorful with talented performances, speeches and many stalls for cultural foods, items and lessons. WFWP sponsored the segment called Fashion on the Field with prize money. Mrs. Mamiko Rattley, chair of WFWP-Queensland and secretary of UPF-Queensland, was one of three judges.

At the end of this segment she thanked the Queensland African Communities Council for including WFWP and UPF in this event and explained that UPF is supporting Africa Day throughout world. Then Elijah Buol, president of the council, expressed their gratitude to WFWP and UPF and presented Mrs. Rattley with a beautiful flower arrangement.

There was a display of WFWP and UPF promotional material in one of the stalls.

There were many federal, state and local politicians and community leaders. It was a wonderful opportunity to get to know them and particularly leaders of the African community. It was an excellent beginning to working together with the large and ever growing African community in and around Brisbane.

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A central aim of the Africa Day organizing committee is to foster cooperation and partnerships between diverse Australian African communities, NGOs, the broader Australian community and the international community. This network focuses on peacebuilding, collaboration and development within the social, cultural and economic arena. An additional aim promotes fulfillment of the human potential by fostering individual empowerment, loving families and the public good.

The Africa Day celebrations began in Melbourne in 2012, and Africa Day Australia, Inc., was incorporated in 2013. The committee is made of politicians, professors, teachers, business and performing arts people, IT and health professionals, community and student leaders from various African Australian community and non-governmental organizations. Many of them are Ambassadors for Peace.

In 2014 Africa Day Australia expanded the scope of the celebrations from Melbourne to Sydney and Brisbane. The Africa Day Australia events were made possible through the financial and in-kind support from many African Australian community organizations, governmental and non-governmental organizations, politicians, business, and the partnerships between various community organizations and the UPF network of Ambassadors for Peace.

For photos and more details see: http://www.africadayaustralia.org

 

Africa Day 2014 events from Universal Peace Federation International

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