Marking Independence Day of the Republic of Macedonia on the 8th of September, Macedonians across the country celebrated statehood as an independent nation.
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA – September 9, 2009 – Yesterday, in Parliament House, Canberra, the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD), alongside the Australian Macedonian Human Rights Committee (AMHRC) and the Macedonian National Council (MNC), hosted an Australia-Macedonia Relations forum with a number of Australian Federal Members of Parliament (MP) from the Australia-Macedonia Parliamentary Friendship Group.
The forum culminated with the presentation of a twelve (12) point plan for improving bilateral relations between Australia and Macedonia, with particular focus on strengthening the cultural, economic, educational and diplomatic ties.
The forum also provided a platform for the Macedonian Community to raise awareness and educate Australian Government Ministers, Shadow Ministers and Federal MP’s on some of the issues of concern for the Australian Macedonian Community, including the offensive and outdated use of “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” for the manner in which Australia recognises the Republic of Macedonia, as well as the still-in-place discriminatory and offensive nomenclature directive of the Federal Government whereby the nationality of the Macedonian people was renamed to that of “Slav Macedonian.”
Following the very productive forum, lunch was served at the Members’ Dining Hall at Parliament House, allowing for informal, yet very informative, discussion between a number of Federal MP’s and the Macedonian community delegation.
The United Macedonian Diaspora would like to extend a special thanks to speaker of the forum, Professor Peter Hill from Australian National University as well as a special thanks to the offices of the Honourable Member for Corangamite, Mr. Darren Cheeseman, and the Honourable Member for Cowan, Mr. Luke Simpkins who have played a pivotal role in the establishment and work of the Australia-Macedonia Parliamentary Friendship Group.
Founded in 2004, United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD), headquartered in Washington, D.C., is the leading international non-governmental organization addressing the interests and needs of Macedonians and Macedonian communities throughout the world. UMD’s operations in Australia are run out of our Melbourne office.
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