Sada-e-Watan Sydney ™
By NSW Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello
from overseas choose to make Australia home, whether they arrive here as
migrants or are forced to flee their country as refugees, they look for
something that can help them bond to their new homeland.
There is something that can unify and unite us all – the spirit of Anzac.
In my discussions with the many multicultural communities I encounter as Minister for Citizenship and Communities I regularly hear that members of those communities are interested in opportunities to participate in commemorating our rich and proud history.
The annual commemorations of Anzac Day, where we, as a community, honour the sacrifices made by servicemen and women who fought and died for their country is an opportunity for all of us to identify as being Australian.
And the NSW Government sees the upcoming Centenary of Anzac (2014-18) commemorations as unifying events.
The Centenary of Anzac, beginning in August next year, is focused not only on the First World War, but also on the century of service that followed – including the Second World War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and our peacekeeping and current engagements.
I have appointed a NSW Centenary of Anzac Advisory Council, chaired by General Peter Cosgrove, to plan a state-wide program of events and activities to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War.
The 32 Anzac Ambassadors on the Advisory Committee will play a lead role in marking this historic milestone and ensuring the community has every opportunity to fully participate and share in the Anzac legacy.
We are committed to making Anzac commemorations open and welcoming to all NSW residents, regardless of their age or cultural background.
To support more people to learn about the Anzac spirit I introduced last year Anzac Community Grants to build awareness and engagement in the multicultural community in the lead up to the Centenary of Anzac.
Grants of up to $5,000 go towards Anzac-related projects, with a multicultural focus, such as multimedia productions, online exhibitions and local research projects conducted by schools, libraries and community groups.
The Randwick City Library, for example, is translating information about the Anzac story into four different languages – Chinese, Indonesian, Russian and Spanish – as well as hosting Anzac Day talks in these languages.
At Airds, in Sydney’s South West, the Te Kete Kahurangi Maori organisation is organising a speech competition to help preserve the history of New Zealand and Australian involvement in armed conflict.
These Anzac Community Grants will help local multicultural communities to raise public awareness of the Anzac legacy and the sacrifices made by Australians in war.
Through the Premier’s Anzac Scholars program the NSW Government also assists young people and teenagers of all backgrounds regularly participate in Anzac Day events
These students from NSW high schools – with backgrounds including Australian Muslim, Chinese and Vietnamese – regularly travel to places where our troops have fought battles and now extend the hand of friendship and mutual understanding.
Through the Anzac Community Grants program, the NSW Government is helping multicultural communities to connect with the Anzac traditions and keep the legacy alive.
For more information on the Anzac Community Grants program, visit www.veterans.nsw.gov.au
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