Iraqi community leader and the president of Iraqi Renaissance Mr. Ghassan Alassadi organized a grand welcome party for newly elected federal member for Parramatta, Hon. Andrew Charlton on 25 June at the Turkish Welfare Association and Cultural Centre Auburn.
The MC of the event Ms. Awatef Bidewy announced the arrival of the Hon. Andrew Charlton along with Mr. Ghassan Alassadi, Ms. Carmen Lazar Assyrian community leader and Fairfield City councilor and other community leaders accompanied by band music and a cheering crowd of Iraqi Australians. State member for Auburn Hon. Lynda Woltz joined thecelebratory atmosphere a little later.
The program started with Australian national anthem followed by Ghassan Alassadi welcoming the guests. Aframed historical photo of the Parliament House was presented to the chief guest Hon. Andrew Charlton.
Dr. Nora Mosa who arrived as a visitor to Australia then applied for refugee status and later became an Australian citizen, spoke of her journey through various stages to become a qualified dentist and today runs a successful dental practice in the community. Her personal story touched the hearts of the audience and she thanked the Australian community expressed hope that the new Labor government would do more to accommodate refugees who are just vulnerable human beings in need of support.
The chief guest Andrew Charlton addressed the audience thanking the Iraqi community for their support during the recent federal election and votingLabor into power. Andrew promised to reciprocate by serving the community in return. He further said that the new Labor government recognized the importance and support of Muslim Australians by including two Muslim ministers in the cabinet for the first time and ahijab–wearing female senator.
The third speaker was Hon Lynda Woltz she congratulated both Iraqi Australian community and Labor party upon forming a new government. Shepromised that the Labor government would continue to support Australia’s diverse communities.
The last speaker for the event was Sydney-based practicing psychologist Ms. Hawra Alzergani. She highlighted her story of coming to Australia as a refugee with her parents and siblings to now serving the community. She emphasized that people who come as refugees need empathy and empowerment. She hoped the new government would take care of the refugees who are still uncertain about their future in Australia.
Iraqi Renaissance recognized other community leaders for their rich and inspiring contributions to community by presenting them with awards for their services. Ahmed Dib, Mousa Marhi, Kasim Chalabi and Hanif Bismi received awards from Andrew Charlton. Delicious Iraqi cuisine was served and program ended with photo–sessions and guests intermingling.