Macedonians Take Active Role in Australian Census

Release No. 06-08/06

 

Washington, D.C. — The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) calls upon all Macedonians across Australia to actively participate in the Australian census on 8 August 2006 and acknowledge their Macedonian ancestry. In past censuses, Australian Macedonians have been underrepresented due to the lack of questions regarding ancestry and language barriers among first-generation Australian Macedonians. In the 2006 census there are four specific questions that are of concern to all Australian Macedonians. These questions ask for the individuals’

Country of birth

Language spoken at home

Ancestry

Religion.

The United Macedonian Diaspora urges all ethnic Macedonians living in Australia to answer these questions correctly and to ensure that their Macedonian ancestry is duly noted. It is of vital importance to correctly record the number of ethnic Macedonians since this will translate into more informed policy decisions by the Australian Government, both domestically and internationally. Ancestry is not necessarily related to the place a person was born in, but it is related to the cultural group that a person most closely identifies with. For example, a person may be born in Australia, but have Macedonian ancestry. It is therefore vital that we declare ourselves as Macedonians and show that the large Macedonian community plays a major role in Australia with its distinct language, culture and activities.

The United Macedonian Diaspora encourages all people to answer accurately the questions and if they feel that they are Macedonian then to declare themselves as “Macedonian,” identify the spoken language at home as Macedonian, declare its ancestry as “Macedonian,” and under the “Religion” field declare the religion as “Macedonian Orthodox” rather than stating the generic term “Orthodox.”

The United Macedonian Diaspora would also like to commend the Australian Macedonian Human Rights Committee Inc. for the easy-to-follow information it has provided through various Macedonian media relating to the census and its importance for the Macedonian community in Australia. Any specific questions relating to the Australian Macedonian community and its role in the 2006 Australian Census should be directed to the Australian Macedonian Human Rights Committee at +61 3 9460 2910 or [email protected].

Founded in 2004, United Macedonian Diaspora is an international membership organization based in Washington, D.C. addressing the interests and needs of Macedonians and Macedonian communities throughout the world.

For more information about United Macedonian Diaspora the public is invited to contact the D.C. office at (202) 294-3400, or e-mail at [email protected]

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