Category Archives: UNIC Canberra Events

International Women’s Day in Goulburn: Global, Urban and Rural Partnerships.

The United Nations Information Centre Canberra, the International Organization for Migration and the Goulburn Multicultural Centre came together on Friday, 9 March to celebrate International Women’s Day which consisted of a Zumba class, presentations followed by a light lunch and refreshments.

IOM opened the presentations with a short video and explanation on International Women’s Day and the Together Campaign.

The theme this year was “Time Is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives” which was a perfect fit for Canberra based Multicultural Community Activist Ms Diana Abdel-Rahman OAM, the keynote speaker whose address was appreciated by the many rural migrant women of Goulburn attending.

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Gender Equality and the Sustainable Development Goals

The International Women’s Club invited the UNIC Director to address them as their keynote speaker on the Sustainable Development Goals.

The presentation described the importance of the SDGs and the impact they have on everyday life.  With International Women’s Day a week away, the presentation focused Goal 5: Gender Equality to help explain how the Goals worked.

To demonstrate how they are all interconnected, the audience were asked to hold up a card for a specific goal that had been placed on their seat, and then to connect with someone who had a goal that was linked to theirs.  There was a lively Q&A session after the presentation, with a variety of questions ranging from climate change and abolishing plastics, to reducing weapons and upholding peace.

Learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals

The UNIC/Canberra Institute of Technology Photography Competition

Wednesday 26 July, Canberra. UNIC Canberra had the privilege of organising the official launch of the joint UNIC/CIT Photography competition, a program which is also supported by CIT, the CSIRO, the National Gallery of Australia and the Guardian Australia Newspaper.

This is the eighth year of the Competition and we were pleased to see the contenders’ enthusiasm only growing as the years go on.

This year’s theme is the Together Campaign, a global initiative that aims to change negative perceptions and attitudes towards refugees and migrants, and to strengthen the social bond between host countries and communities, and refugees and migrants. It encourages refugees and migrants, and the communities that have benefited from their inclusion to share their stories, and to use their voices to make the world a better place.

Photo ( L-R) Ms Fiona Dace-Lynn, CIT, Ms Lydia Downe, Mr Christopher Woodthorpe, UNIC Canberra, Mr Julian Stevenson, CIT

Nelson Mandela Day in Canberra

On 18 July 2017, the United Nations Information Centre and the South African High Commission joined together to celebrate Nelson Mandela Day and devote 67 minutes of community service to the Baptist Aged Care Facility in Red Hill, Canberra.

The event was opened by UNIC Director, Mr Christopher Woodthorpe, who explained the significance of the 67 minutes – one minute for every year of Mr Mandela’s public service. This was followed by the reading of a message from the UN Secretary-General and then a film about the life of Nelson Mandela.

Mr Christopher Woodthorpe (left), High Commissioner Ms Beryl Sisulu (centre), with colleagues from the South African High Commission

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Our Stories – Our Lives – Our Hopes

We worked with the Queanbeyan Multicultural/Multilingual Centre and their wonderful english students – you know who you are – you are in the film!!!

This project was about the students in their english lessons writing about themselves and we filmed them as part of the UN’s Global #Together Campaign which brings us all together in respect and friendship. Thank you so much to everyone for working with us and congratulations.

For more about the #Together Campaign please go to: https://together.un.org/

UNIC Canberra and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade join together for Sustainable Development Education

On Friday 28 of April, the Director of the United Nations Information Centre, Mr Christopher Woodthorpe, gave a presentation to students from Bomaderry High School at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The presentation focused on the history of the United Nations and the Sustainable Development Goals. The event was organised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade who also spoke about the SDGs and how the Australian government is contributing to their achievements.

UN’s Coming Together Campaign in Canberra – In the Lead Up to International Women’s Day

On March 1, in the lead up to International Women’s Day, the United Nations Information Centre Canberra, International Organization for Migration, the Canberra Multicultural Community Forum and the Canberra Multicultural Women Forum held a community event to promote the ‘Together, Safety and Dignity for All Initiative’ . It was also an opportunity to promote the recent establishment of the Canberra Multicultural Women’s Forum. The rest of the story is here also on our website.

UN’s Coming Together Campaign in Canberra – In the Lead Up to International Women’s Day

On March 1, in the lead up to International Women’s Day, the United Nations Information Centre Canberra, International Organization for Migration, the Canberra Multicultural Community Forum and the Canberra Multicultural Women Forum held a community event to promote the ‘Together, Safety and Dignity for All Initiative’ . It was also an opportunity to promote the recent establishment of the Canberra Multicultural Women’s Forum (the Women’s Forum).

Opening the event the Chair of the Women’s Forum, Ms Laura Aoun noted that many of the people in the audience were living proof that those from migrant and refugee backgrounds have enriched Canberra and Australia more broadly in ‘more ways than we realize’.

The Director of the UNIC Canberra, Mr Christopher Woodthorpe, noted the similarities between the Women’s forum – which bases it work on equal participation of women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds – and the UN’s Together Initiative – which seeks to promote the importance of such work. In closing he invited everyone to celebrate women, rejoice in diversity and to come together.

Chief of Mission for IOM, Mr Jo Appiah, in his speech said that “on International Women’s Day the International Organization for Migration (IOM) embraces the official United Nations theme, Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030, by honoring migrant women and girls and called for us all to take a moment to recognize not just their specific contributions but also their challenges”.

Inter-dispersed between speeches the over one hundred strong audience was privy to two fine performances – firstly by the local ACT Chinese Australian Association Ladies Dance Group followed by the pace of some very colorful Colombians.

The keynote speech of the night was given by Her Excellency the High Commissioner of Pakistan, Naela Chohan during which she said that “today there is a growing number of women in conflict situation compelled to become refugees and migrants. It is indeed among the most urgent humanitarian challenges of our times. Much of this displacement has neither been voluntary nor orderly. People particularly women and children have been fleeing from desperate conditions of conflict, war or poverty. These helpless women and children on the move, deserve compassion and humane treatment”.

International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

29 January 2017
Sydney Jewish Museum

UNIC Canberra joined the Sydney Jewish Museum and the Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and descendants at a moving yet inspirational ceremony in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.  Australia has a strong connection to the Holocaust as it has more survivors per capita than any other country and many of them were in attendance to listen to a wide range of speakers spanning the generations.

The attendees were also able to appreciate the exhibit “The State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda” which was on display in the auditorium.

In his introduction, Professor Gus Lehrer, President of the Museum, stressed the importance of the preservation of memory and education and how we must not just recall the events, but also the experiences they caused.  Noting how the horrors of those days led to the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, he announced the Museum would be creating a new section which would deal with the issue of the Holocaust and Human Rights.

There followed a solemn lighting of candles by survivors present, followed by Olga Horak, OAM who eloquently gave her testimony, describing her experience in the camps as “the bottom of hell, where the only music was that of intolerable heartache and sorrow and … living was worse than dying”.

                        

The Courage and Resilience of Migrants and Refugees

As part of the UN’s “Together, Respect Safety and Dignity for All” Campaign Belinda Mason Director of the film ‘Constance on the Edge” talks to UNIC Canberra’s Julia Dean about the strength and resilience of migrants – what they have to offer their new communities and how a chat and a hot ‘cup of tea’ may be all that is needed to create new friendships.

The film Constance on the Edge, filmed over 10 years, is an unflinchingly honest portrayal of one refugee family’s resettlement story in Australia. Brave, lion-hearted, charismatic Constance, mother of six, confronts her painful past in war torn Sudan, and risks everything in Australia so her family can thrive.