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African Communities Council Meets

14 July 2007 at 17:59 | 330 views

By Tony Bee Conteh,Sydney, Australia.

The African Communities Council (ACC) held its general meeting in Sydney, NSW Australia recently.

Mr. Makka Krubally, Acting President of the ACC, in his opening remarks, welcomed members both old and new and thanked the organisers of the meeting for their relentless efforts in bringing Africans together.

He added, that as Acting President of ACC, he would also like to welcome everybody to the general meeting. “I first took over as the acting Treasurer of ACC after the departure of Herman who was the Treasurer. He left his position because he was called to go and serve his country in Sudan,” Mr Krubally says.

“This time I have to roll my sleeves to be able to bring the African Communities Council’s financial activities up to date. With the help of the Secretary General, Hashim and Grace we were able to spend a whole day to arrange the financial documents in chronological order for the accountant and the auditor,” he pointed out.

Krubally said at the time he took over the position of treasurer, things were not all that great as they were supposed to provide information to the Department of Immigration who funded the SSS workers. “This was a crucial time for ACC; hence we did not even have any of the signatories available to sign the cheques. The only signatory at the time was the Vice President who also resigned his position for personal reasons,” he says.

He said, he also became the Acting President from last year when President Lamaz Bah left to go and work in New Zealand. He added that it was a challenging situation for him and the Executive committee to be able to achieve so much. “Once again, I would like to thank all ACC executives, African Worker Network (AWN) and Federation of African Communities Council (FACC) for their support in the past year and I look forward to the future. ACC has accomplished a lot in the past year and now look forward to the future,” Krubally concluded.

Hashim Elhassan, Secretray General of the African Communities Council (ACC) said in the year 2007, ACC would mark 15 years of achievements, successes, challenges and areas for further improvement. He says,in 1992, members of the African Communities in NSW were a couple of hundreds while in 2007, the approximate figure of Africans will be over 30, 000.

"In this regard we would like to salute our ACC Founders for their efforts. People like Mr. James Ado, Dr. Tradewell Lukondeh, Mr. Morris Mansour, Hassan Omar, Mr. Godfrey Nakomoyi, Mr. Casmir Ugochukwu, Mr. Lamaz Bah and Mr. Makka Krubally”.

Elhassan said, he could not end his remarks without giving the due credit to African women who played and are playing an important role in the African communities and ACC as well. He mentioned Ms. Grace Iheancho, Ms. Rosemary Kariuki, Ms. Beatrice Sesay, Ms. Juliana Nkrumah, Ms. Olivia Wellesley-Cole, Ms. Amera Salah, Ms. Bintu Kamara, Sister Matshitshi Ndloou (Sister Matitu from South Africa) and many other African women who are doing a great job to keep the social fabric and families in the track of success for the better future of Afro-Australian children.

He highlighted some of the achievements made by the African Communities Council (ACC) since 30th April 2005: Advocacy agaist racism towards Africans in NSW and the other cities and suburbs. ACC Management Committee together with bright minded Australians tackled the racial issues with wisdom, care and through the legal and constitutional Australian bodies.

Attorney General’s Office, HREOC, CRC, NSW Police and African friends within the political, academics and members of the various communities and the ACC Management Committee members who played an active role in consultations, seminars, symposiums, conferences, forums and discussions where issues concerning Africans were tabled. For instance, wellbeing, health, education, safety, and security, child abuse, domestic violence, young African matters and other related issues.

Elhassan said, “in terms of networking, the ACC Management Committee has developed and maintained partnership with different organizations with the three levels of Government and within the Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs). We worked with great pleasure with these organizations to achieve better results and outcomes for Africans. One of the indicators for success and the productive partnership is the community sector, which opened its employment venues for Africans.”

“Another indicator within some government bodies is that we are witnessing some progress in “picking-up” some Africans for instance, NSW Police, Centrelink, TAFE, Schools, NSW Health, Hospital and others,” says Elhassan. He appealed to other institutions to “open up” their doors for Africans and provide them with a “Fair-Go” to be part of the solution for the shortage of skills and the ageing population.

Elhassan said that in terms of support and encouragement, ACC achieved some success in supporting the young Africans, African women, African families, in different contexts.

“We are supporting the Annual Young African Achievers-The Friends of Sierra Leone initiative and ACC also supports morally, emotionally, financially in some crisis and tragic accidents, experienced by some families. More details in this regard we will be elaborated on in the portfolio of ACC Women and Welfare, ” he added.

He said, in spite of the great achievements made by ACC, there are some challenges being faced from 1997 to date such as accountability, and meeting their obligations to funding bodies, stakeholders, partners and the small number of African community representatives in the ACC considering the large number of African communities in Australia, particularly in New South Wales (NSW).

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