The Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Tony Abbott MP, attended The Australian Coptic Movement Association Ltd’s (ACM) Coptic New Year Dinner held in his honour at the Novotel Hotel, Brighton Beach, Sydney on 4 October 2014.
Mr Abbott’s attendance to the Coptic New Year gala dinner made the celebration of this important cultural event a truly historic occasion for the Australian Egyptian community. His attendance marked the first time that an Australian Prime Minister has ever attended an event hosted by the Australian Egyptian community. The Australian Coptic Movement Association Ltd was deeply honoured and delighted that Mrs Margie Abbott joined the Prime Minister at this special event.
In his keynote speech, the Prime Minister acknowledged that the Coptic Christian community in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is a community under pressure. He extended his support to, and solidarity with, people in the MENA region who desire freedom, equality and justice. He also referred to the continued humanitarian crisis plaguing Northern Iraq and Syria and Australia’s commitment to combating the barbaric ISIL movement. He stated that ‘it is in the interests of civilisation that this [ISIL] movement be disrupted, degraded and defeated.’ He concluded with uplifting words of hope saying that ‘in the end the things that unite us are more important than anything that divides us.”
The Australian Coptic Movement was delighted that special dignitaries from Federal and State Parliament attended this historic occasion. Senator Deborah O’Neill delivered a speech on behalf of the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Bill Shorten MP, and acknowledged the outstanding contribution that the Australian Coptic community has made to Australian society. Also in attendance were the following elected representatives: Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services; Mr Craig Kelly MP, Federal Member for Hughes; Mr Nickolas Varvaris MP, Federal Member for Barton; the Hon Victor Dominello MP, Minister for Citizenship and Communities; the Hon Greg Donnelly MLC representing Mr John Robertson MP, Leader of the State Opposition; Reverend the Hon Fred Nile MLC, leader of the Christian Democratic Party; the Hon Paul Green MLC; and the Hon Marie Ficarra MLC.
The Australian Coptic Movement Association Ltd also expresses their gratitude to church leaders, community leaders and associations, and distinguished members of the Coptic community who joined us to celebrate this memorable occasion, which include:
- His Grace Bishop Daniel, Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Sydney and Affiliated Regions.
- His Eminence Mor Malatius Malki Malki, Metropolitan Archbishop for Australia and New Zealand of the Syrian Orthodox Church;
- Very Reverend Shenouda Mansour, General Secretary of the NSW Ecumenical Council;
- Deputy Commissoner Nick Kaldas – NSW Police Force;
- Dr. Eman Sharobeem (Psy.D), CEO, Immigrant Women’s Health Service;
- Dr Farag Ghoubran – President of Saint Maurice Aged Care;
- Mr Zakaria Yassa – President of the Australian Sudanese Coptic Welfare Association;
- Dr Ramsis Gayed and Mrs Amani Gayed from Set My People Free;
- Mr Lyle Shelton – Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby;
- Ms Karen Bos – Vice President of Christian Faith and Freedom;
- Mr Wally Wehbe – President of Australian Lebanese Christian Federation; and
- Mr Hermiz Shaheen – General Secretary of Assyrian Universal Alliance.
The Australian Coptic Movement Association Ltd is an independent community organization with two important focuses. The first is as an organization which advocates for the observance and protection of fundamental and inalienable rights in the Middle East and North Africa. The second is the promotion of Coptic identity and celebration of Coptic culture. The Australian Coptic Movement Association Ltd expresses their sincere gratitude to the Prime Minister and Mrs Margie Abbott for attending this significant cultural occasion for Australian Copts. Their attendance has made the celebration of the Coptic New Year an historic and memorable one for Australian Copts and the Coptic Church, which was represented by His Grace Bishop Daniel, Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Sydney and Affiliated Regions. We also thank the Prime Minister for expressing his support for our cause by extending his support to, and solidarity with, those who work to promote greater justice, freedom and liberty in the Middle East and North Africa.
The Australian Coptic Movement Association Ltd thanks all those who sponsored and attended the inaugural Coptic New Year gala dinner. We hope that this event will be the first of many by our organization celebrating Coptic culture.
For enquiries please email email@example.com or call 0418 331 213
The Australian Coptic Movement Association
The Australian Coptic New Year Dinner 2014 (1731AM) was proudly sponsored by our Major Sponsors
JC Holidays and True Masterpiece Photography and Image Concepts
We also acknowledge our Minor Sponsors Michael Video and Coptic Orphans for their great support.