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Africultures Festival 2022 - Speech by the Hon. Mark Coure MP

I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Wangal people.

I also acknowledge:

Our hosts:

  • Ms Fatma Mohamed, President, Somali Welfare and Cultural Association, and her fantastic team, who include the representatives of the many other African community groups who have helped organise today’s event.

Distinguished guests, who include:

  • Uncle Greg Simms
  • Cr Donna Davis, Lord Mayor of Parramatta
  • Mr Leon Walker, CEO, Sydney Olympic Park Authority
  • Mr Bernie Ibini and Mr Adama Traore, players with the Western Sydney Wanderers
  • And, of course, ladies and gentlemen.

It is a great pleasure to be with you all today at the Africultures 2022 Festival!

Today, we come together to celebrate the rich heritage and diversity of African culture. We showcase the best of African music and drumming, arts, crafts, dance and food. Our interaction here today bridges cultures and communities from all across NSW to unite as one and celebrate.

Indeed, the NSW Government is proud to support the Africultures Festival. We know that festivals such as Africultures are not only a great opportunity for African people in NSW to promote and preserve their vibrant cultures. But they attract those right across New South Wales to share in your wonderful heritage.

More than 100,000 people from Africa have chosen to settle here in our great State. And each of you have brought us new languages, food, music and culture to add to our wonderful diversity. This makes us a more successful and harmonious society. It’s not easy to build new lives in a new homeland but the NSW Government is always ready to go above and beyond to give new arrivals from Africa a helping hand.

I know I speak on behalf of our state when I say we are incredibly grateful that you’re here. We are grateful for your contributions to our society, public life, businesses and education system. And today, you illustrate the vital role that African migrants have played in shaping New South Wales.

You’ve done this through your determination to succeed, to contribute and to give back. While the community here has typified those strong values, they are shared by all in our great multicultural society. This is what makes New South Wales such an attractive place for people all around the world to live, work and study.

I would also like to say a few words about the incredible volunteers here today who have worked tirelessly to put on today’s festivities. Many of you are all at the heart of what makes our local communities great. Your giving spirit and charitable nature has left an indelible mark on our community here in New South Wales.

You give our diverse communities a voice. You pass on your culture and traditions to the younger generations, and you share these traditions the rest of us through festivals and other events – such as Africultures today. Your generosity and compassion will gift a lifelong legacy that strengthens our state for the better. Thank you for your leadership and your resilience.

I cannot understate how important it is that you continue to preserve and promote your culture, traditions and language here in New South Wales.

Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you all enjoy today’s Africultures Festival.

Thank you.