The inaugural Corporal Cameron Baird VC MG Memorial Awards were held in my electorate on 22 April. The awards were hosted and established by the Hume City Council to recognise the legacy of Corporal Cameron Baird, an Australian national hero who was killed in action in 2013. Cameron Baird was a student at my local school, Gladstone Park Secondary College before he joined the army and was on his fourth tour of Afghanistan in 2013, when he was killed defending and protecting his comrades. His bravery and sacrifice earned him the first posthumous Victoria Cross to be awarded in Australia. Just a few weeks ago, I was part of the delegation that visited the Al Minhad Military Base in the UAE, where the Australian headquarters of the Joint Task Force is named after Corporal Baird. This is a show of the respect, admiration and high esteem that his mates continue to, and forever will, hold him in. It is the same respect and admiration that our local community holds Corporal Baird in. As a result, Hume City Council established the Cameron Baird Memorial Awards in order to encourage young people to be like him—to strive to be the best they can be in the service of others. Present at the inaugural dinner with Cameron's parents, Doug and Kaye Baird.
A $1.5 million investment by the previous Labor Government towards the construction of the Islamic Museum of Australia is helping to foster greater understanding between the Muslim community and the wider Australian community.
Shadow Minister for Citizenship and Multiculturalism, Michelle Rowland today joined Member for Batman, David Feeney and Member for Calwell and Co-convenor of the Parliamentary Friends of Multiculturalism, Maria Vamvakinou to tour the facility.
This museum is an essential part of Australia’s rich multiculturalism and serves as a reminder of the great contribution that Muslims have made to Australia since the arrival of the Afghan cameleers 150 years ago.
Labor believes multiculturalism has enhanced Australia’s economic prosperity and cultural diversity and we want to ensure all Australians, regardless of background, have a stake in the future of our nation. #ICV
As the Federal Member for Calwell, Maria Vamvakinou MP has the great pleasure of hosting a memorial lecture for her electorate’s namesake, Arthur A. Calwell. The lecture was held on Thursday evening at the Keilor Bowls Club with keynote speaker, the Hon Tanya Plibersek, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development.The lecture is held in honour of Arthur Calwell, Australia’s first Minister for Immigration. Ms Vamvakinou explained the importance of commemorating Arthur Calwell, “Calwell was responsible for expanding Australia’s immigration policy to include new migrants from southern and eastern Europe. It was this wave of post-WW II migration that laid the foundations for Australia’s successful multiculturalism policy.”Tanya Plibersek MP, Deputy Leader of the Opposition, delivered the lecture. In her speech, Ms Plibersek commended Calwell for establishing a policy of multiculturalism in Australia and referred to her own family’s immigration history. Ms Plibersek also took the time to answer questions from the crowd with questions relating to immigration and foreign affairs. Ms Plibersek stated that the Australian government “cannot ask other countries to be accountable to internationally agreed human rights instruments while refusing to be accountable ourselves.” This is the fourth Arthur Calwell Memorial Lecture Ms Vamvakinou has hosted. Previous speakers have included Lindsay Tanner, Kevin Rudd and Chris Bowen. The lecture is seen as an opportunity for leaders and future leaders of the ALP to speak about their vision for Australia and the visionary reform work of previous leaders such as Arthur Calwell.“Having the Tanya Plibersek, the keynote speaker is an opportunity to reflect on the people that Calwell’s reforms touched and provides an opportunity for a current leader of the ALP to share her vision with the local electorate,” Ms Vamvakinou said.