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Issue #1602      July 17, 2013

Acknowledged achievements

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) has acknowledged the achievements, history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples this NAIDOC week.

“In this nation of immigrants, it’s important to acknowledge the history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” said Acting FECCA Chair Dr Sundram Sivamalai. “FECCA, as the peak body representing immigrants to Australia, respects the unique and long-standing culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the traditional owners of the land that is now home to people from around the globe.

“While the circumstances of immigrants and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are very different, there are some areas of opportunity with respect to pursuing common interests.

Both immigrants and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people may be subject to racism and discrimination in the community and the workplace. FECCA is proud to participate on the National Anti-Racism Partnership alongside the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples (Congress), to work towards our common goal of eliminating racism and discrimination in Australia.”

FECCA is proud to have been the first organisation to sign an Accord with the Congress recognising Australia’s First Peoples. “Following the Accord, FECCA’s Executive Board voted to insert an acknowledgement of Australia’s First Peoples in FECCA’s own Constitution,” commented Dr Sivamalai. “FECCA stands behind the Congress in seeking recognition of Australia’s First Peoples in the Australian Constitution.”

He added, “FECCA looks forward to further discussions about multiculturalism and reconciliation at a dedicated Panel session at FECCA’s 2013 Conference at the Gold Coast”.

Dr Sivamalai concluded, “NAIDOC week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn more about the distinct cultural identities of Australia’s First Peoples and, in the context of our multicultural society, celebrate the incredibly cultural diversity that shapes our communities”.   

Next article – Obituary – Bernie Dwyer, journalist, Cuban Five supporter

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