The Community Relations Commission for a multicultural NSW ( CRC)) Symposium which attracts community leaders from all around our State will this week discuss the impact on communities in NSW of conflicts and other humanitarian crises in other parts of the world in Parramatta today.
The Chief Executive Officer of the CRC, Mr. Hakan Harman, said: “This is a difficult time for many communities in NSW affected by overseas conflicts.
“The conflicts in Gaza, Iraq and Syria and elsewhere clearly have real implications for people with family and community connections in those parts of the world.
“There is a humanitarian crisis unfolding in many parts of the Middle East and across other parts of the World today, and our thoughts are with the innocent victims of these conflicts.
“NSW is home to people who have come from every corner of the world. Many have fled places of conflict and strive to find peace and security in this beautiful State”, he said.
Asked why Parramatta was chosen as the locaiton, Mr Harman said: “Parramatta is the geographical, commercial and cultural capital of Western Sydney and is the heart of greater Sydney.
"Parramatta represents a diverse multicultural community with 45% of its population being born overseas and over 40% from Non English Speaking Backgrounds”.
On 20 August 2014, the CRC’s annual symposium will carry the theme, The impact on communities in NSW of conflicts in other parts of the world’.
“The symposium is an opportunity for communities to come together and demonstrate ‘harmony in action’.
“We want NSW to set an example for the world, to show how people can live together in peaceful coexistence.
“The NSW Government stood by the cultural and religious communities of NSW in their united opposition to proposed changes to the federal Racial Discrimination Act.
Now it is more important than ever that we protect all communities from vilification and extremist hate.
“Whatever happens in other parts of the world, the CRC and the NSW Government will continue to work with all of the communities of NSW to uphold and protect our cohesive and harmonious multicultural society.
“We are hoping that the discussions at the symposium will produce some good ideas and some practical steps to maintain the harmony we all seek for ourselves and our families.
“We have invited a list of impressive speakers who will examine the state of community relations in NSW, in particular the impact of those overseas events.
“We expect this symposium will send some clear messages of calmness to the whole community in New South Wales.
“Issues discussed during the Symposium assist the CRC to confirm and realign priorities and to advocate for change to services and programs as appropriate”, Mr Harman concluded.
“The Symposium is also an opportunity for the Minister for Citizenship and Communities, Victor Dominello, to launch our new strategic plan, our vision, our purpose and our key the deliverables for the next three years”, Mr. Harman said.
Endorsing the CRC’s Strategic Plan, 2014-17, Mr. Dominello, said: “Our multicultural society is no longer a small segment of our community. It is a vital piece of our collective NSW identity and the time has come for us to revisit who we are and who we want to be.”
The symposium will be held all day on Wednesday 20th August at the Novotel Hotel 3350 Church Street, Parramatta.