Letter from the Chair

by Esther Lozano - Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Renovated ECC Members’ Auditorium

I am also pleased to advise that our newly renovated member’s auditorium will be formerly re opened by the Minister for Multiculturalism, the Hon. Ray Williams at a date in late September. In addition to being a meeting place we envisage that our auditorium will become a hub for showcasing multicultural art work which we hope to be able to share following the Minister’s visit. If you know of any local CALD artists or painters that would be willing to have their artwork displayed in the ECC auditorium, please get in contact with the office. 
This month also marks a dark turn in Australian and world politics. The events in Barcelona, Spain and in Charlottesville USA, show the challenges caused by ongoing extremism.  The global reaction to such occurrences cannot be ignored. Our political leadership, particularly mainstream leadership now more than ever is being looked upon for guidance and stability. Unfortunately, the United States has shown us how quickly high office can be commandeered and manipulated. 
At home, the stunt pulled by Senator Pauline Hanson to enter the Australian Senate wearing an burqa, shows not only the level that she will descend to but also the desperation of their argument! It raises the importance of confidence that should we rightly placing in mainstream Australian politics.
The Attorney General, George Brandis’ reaction to Pauline Hanson’s burka stunt in our Federal Parliament his finest moment. ECCNSW congratulates the unequivocal stance taken by government, the opposition and most parliamentarians against this display of outright bigotry. While there is an ongoing debate about religious garb, the question of the burqa can be handled in a civil and culturally sensitive manner. Clearly mocking religious garments in anyway is unacceptable, un-Australian, and un-multicultural. The Ethnic Communities’ Council of NSW stands in support of religious freedom, together with the Muslim community of Australia, to help promote its full inclusion and respect granted to every other group. 

Upcoming AGM
As we approach the end of this ECC year I would like to draw your attention to the upcoming AGM on Sunday 29th of October, and to our Annual Review book for 2016-17 which we will soon be publishing. 
I encourage all our members to renew their membership if they haven’t already. Everyone is welcome to attend the AGM to contribute to the conversation, and have your say. Our work at the ECC is based on the ongoing involvement of our members, and we welcome new leadership to take ECCNSW into the future. 
I am available if anyone wishes to contact me at my email address chair@eccnsw.org.au 
Yours in Multiculturalism,
Peter Doukas