On Saturday 30 March 2013, the Australian Coptic Movement Association (ACM) held an inter-cultural event at the Pope Shenouda III Coptic Centre at Long Point near Macquarie Fields.
The project was sponsored by the NSW Government through the Community Relations Commission.
The event themed “Nile Valley Branches out to Long Point” aimed to establish a network between various communities with a view to promoting inter-cultural revival amongst the communities. The indigenous people of the Nile Valley have long been marginalised and gradually pushed out of their native homelands. Many of them have settled throughout Sydney, NSW. Some left their countries as refugees following war and others due to persecution and discrimination. The recent upheaval in North Africa and the Middle East may have dire consequences for many people throughout Africa and the Middle East and all the communities are impacted by civil unrest, dictatorship or persecution.
The project aimed at uniting various communities for the purposes of achieving cultural awareness and discussing the challenges facing each community. The various communities had the opportunity to learn about each other’s cultures throughout the day which officially started at 10.00am and ended at 3.00pm. There were participants from Egypt, Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Zimbabwe and elsewhere. The event was open to all and advertised publicly in the local Campbelltown papers as well as via various African networks as well as via the extensive ACM social media network.
The event included various stalls showcasing works of art, handicrafts and cultural foods and other NGO’s also participated with information stalls.
The ACM and all present from the various communities and were honoured to host the special guests from the Community Relations Commission. They included the following:
Mr Stephan Kerkyasharian AO – Chairman and CEO of The NSW Community Relations Commission (CRC) and
Dr Eman Sharobeem – Commissioner CRC, Manager Immigrant Women’s Health Service.
Both Mr. Kerkyasharian and Dr Sharobeem mingled with the various communities and discussed some of the challenges that they faced. They later joined for a special lunch which included various Egyptian and Eritrean dishes.
Presentations were performed in the ancient Egyptian Coptic language and in the Tigrinya language which is one of many languages used in Eritrea. There was also a presentation by South Sudanese children who attended the event. The children are part of the ‘CAOS’ service for African children administered by volunteers in Blacktown.
The Hon. Mr David Clarke MLC, Parliamentary Secretary for Justice was also due to attend however he missed out due to being involved in a major road incident en route to Long Point. Fortunately, Hon. Mr David Clarke escaped the incident without harm.
The event was a first for The Australian Coptic Movement Association and one of the first inter-cultural events held by the Coptic Community. We look forward to holding a larger event in the next 12 months in conjunction with the Community Relations Commission of NSW.
The event was well covered by Coptic TV channel Aghapy TV and will be aired on the Aghapy TV channel on the following days:
Tuesday 3 September 11.30pm
Wednesday 4 September 1.00pm
Thursday 5 September 5.00pm
We thank the Aghapy TV network for their great coverage of this event. This will ensure that next years event is even bigger and more successful.
Furthermore we would like to thank the women’s servants team and the entire committee of the Pope Shenouda III Coptic Centre for assisting the organisers with all their needs at this great venue.
If you would like to volunteer to assist ACM in organising our next Nile Valley event then please contact us by emailing email@example.com
The Australian Coptic Movement Association