Media Release by Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells

Celebrating African culture in Sydney

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, today attended the Africultures Festival in Auburn.

Senator Fierravanti-Wells, who has special responsibility for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services, said the event was an opportunity to celebrate and share African culture with the whole community.

“Diversity is one of Australia’s greatest strengths,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

“The Africultures Festival brings people and families from all African communities together to celebrate the diversity and richness of African culture with the broader community and helps build a deeper understanding and appreciation of African culture and heritage.”

“The theme of the Festival of this year is ‘Celebrating Nelson Mandela’. This is fitting and echoes the remarks of our Prime Minister Tony Abbott MP who in attending Mr Mandela’s funeral last year said it had more of the air of a celebration much more than the air of a funeral.”

The Prime Minister told Parliament, “While we were sorry to see him leave us, we were thrilled that he had had such a long life full of such splendid example. Nelson Mandela was not only the father of modern South Africa but also one of the giants of the 20th century.”

“The African community has made a substantial contribution to Australian society, enriching our economic, social and cultural life,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

“We are now less than one week away from Harmony Day, a significant day of the year when Australians–particularly young people–are encouraged to celebrate the cultural diversity of our country.

“Harmony Day is Australia’s largest national multicultural event.

“It is celebrated throughout Australia on 21 March, which is also the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.”