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.
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
On Saturday I had the great privilege of attending the Keilor Historical Society's book launch of a book Keilor's Anzac Memory. This very important book has come about as a result of the previous federal Labor government's initiative to allocate $125,000 per electorate under the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program in order to help fund local projects that aim to commemorate the Anzac Centenary. The Keilor Historical Society's book and DVD, I am proud to say, are the first of the overall 10 projects that were allocated funding under this program.On Saturday I was very pleased to attend the official launch of the book. The Keilor Historical Society received $25,000 to produce this book, as well as the DVD, which was aimed at raising awareness about the names of the individuals on the World War I honour roll in Keilor. The book and the DVD were launched over two consecutive days and both, as I said, are dedicated to the memory of the soldiers and the nurses from our local Keilor community who served on active service overseas in the Great War of 1914-1918. The aim of the book reflects the individual stories and the communities that these individuals came from, set against the backdrop of the rural lifestyle of Australia in the early 20th century. This book and the DVD are a legacy and a permanent record of our local people's history. It is a symbol of the eternal spirit of a community and their participation during what was a most turbulent and difficult time—a nation-building time—in Australia's history.