Sibusio Maphosa – Local Businessman
The unity of the Steering Committee and great support by the African Think Tank of Melbourne University led by Dr. Berhan Ahmed and in concert with the City of Melbourne /YMCA Director Adnan Benhim helped bring this event to life.
Community Leaders and other volunteers shared comments and inspiring remarks including Yasseen Musa of the Eritrean Community in Australia, also important member of the steering committee; Tut Pal Ding- UPF Ambassador for Peace & Vice-President, Lost Boys Association of Australia; Yasir Mahmud Senior Employment Consultant Job Prospects. The closing remarks were offered by Lulir Mohamed Said, the leader of the Eritrean Opposition Party in Australia, who was passionate about his countries needs.
Githinji Mote and Ahmed Abeelrahim
Music and dancing were enjoyed by all and led by Githinji Mbote of the Pan African Community of Australia, Eritrean guitarist and singer, Ahmed Abeelrahim who spoke very well and offered a beautiful Islamic prayer for peace sung with great emotion, and to close the evening the Oromo Dance Group delighted guests and inspired us all to dance with them!
Additionally, the following organizations also helped greatly with food donations, volunteers and encouragement: Noteworthy were the, WEAVE, UPF Youth Group, The Woman’s Federation for World Peace, AFP (Australian Federal Police), Federal Agent Alan Smith, who also donated $1000 for the event; The Guide Restaurant donated food; Cooking with Miriam, Woolworths, and Eritrean Australians for Justice and Peace.
Tut Pal Ding- Vice-President, Lost Boy Association of Australia
Dr. Berhan Ahmed spoke profoundly about a number of integral points regarding the African experience and responsibility of African Australians.
Co-Chair of the Melbourne Africa Day Steering committee John Bellavance, introduced the Universal Peace Federation’s support of Africa Day internationally and the core values of the Federation.
The day’s festivities stretched from at 3 to 8 PM and welcomed local politicians who gave their encouraging and congratulatory remarks to include Dr. Cathy Oke, City Councillor representing Adam Bandt local MP (Greens), Jennifer Kanis State Member for Melbourne, Josh Presser representing Director Amanda Paxton of DIMC (Department of Immigration and Citizenship) in Victoria, also joining us was VMC (Victorian Multicultural Commission) Commissioner Jenny Matic.