The Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee invited UMD Australia Director and Global Board Member Vera Sekulovska to appear before the Committee on 6 November 2020 to speak on the Macedonian community’s response to the inquiry on “Issues facing diaspora communities in Australia.” Click HERE to download the full remarks, which were also entered into the public record.
A few excerpts from Mrs Sekulovska’s remarks include:
“Many Macedonians migrated here as their Macedonian language and identity were denied overseas.”
“There are external factors that make the Macedonian community vulnerable. It is continually defending its rights to identity, language and culture.”
“Foreign governments openly adopt policies denying the existence of the Macedonian identity and language, in attempts to stifle the rights of Macedonian minorities within their borders.”
“The Macedonian diaspora strongly opposed the signing of the Prespa Agreement between Greece and Macedonia, that changed the country’s name. Despite this opposition and the unconstitutional means by which it was effected, the government here welcomed its implementation.”
“The treatment of Macedonians does not arise from a void in current day Australia. It stems from oppressive policies in the Balkans against Macedonians.”
“The voice of the Macedonian diaspora in Australia, even though of European origin, has not been elevated sufficiently to enable full participation in Australia’s institutions.”
UMD Australia is privileged to be able to sit at the table, among other distinguished Australian entities, to advance the Macedonian perspective in Australian life and society. A full Senate report with recommendations is due before 26 November 2020. UMD is hopeful that our views will be factored, turned into policy, and implemented for the benefit of the Macedonian community in Australia.