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Posted August 27, 2012


The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, the Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Senator Kate Lundy, Member for Parramatta, Julie Owens MP, and Senator for Queensland, Mark Furner, today announced the inaugural members of the African Ministerial Consultative Committee.

“There was a tremendous response from the African community, with many people from across Australia expressing their interest in being a member of the committee,” Mr Bowen said.

“I’d like to thank all those who applied and extend my congratulations to the African community leaders who have been chosen to be part of the African Ministerial Consultative Committee.”

Senator Lundy said the committee would play a valuable role in informing the Government of the views of African Australians.

“Generations of African Australians have made a positive contribution to the success, prosperity and cultural richness of our nation,” Senator Lundy said. 

“The new consultative committee will ensure leaders in the African community can provide important advice to government and continue to shape our national story.”

Ms Owens and Senator Furner said they were pleased to co-chair the committee.

“These appointees will provide an important new channel through which the Government can continue to work closely with the African community across the country,” Ms Owens said.

“It was a difficult exercise for all of us to shortlist from all the talented applications to appoint these committee members. Having seen their backgrounds and achievements, they will all make strong contributions to the discussions and objectives of the committee,” Senator Furner said.

The Ministerial Consultative Committee is comprised of 14 members drawn from African community leaders around Australia:

Theophile Elongo (NSW):  President of the Federation of the Congolese Council of Australia; Vice-President of the Congolese Community of Australia; Director-General of the Africa Great Lakes Agency for Peace and Development; and Executive Committee Member for the Ethnic Communities Councils of New South Wales

Ebenezer Banful (ACT): Founder of the African Australian Association of the Australian Capital Territory; former Chairman of Companion House; former member of the Multicultural Advisory Council; and Founder of the Ghana Australia Association.

Tabitha Chepkwony (NSW): Secretary of the Sydney Africa Forum; Member of African Professionals Association; Co-Chair of Parramatta District Sydney Alliance; Member of Kenyans Down Under; Coordinator of Sydney African Forum; Member of African Women Dance; and Member of ‘Club 50’.

Dr Vincent Ogu (NSW): President of the Igbo Community of Australia; Deputy Chair of the Liverpool Migrant Resource Centre; Commissioner at the Community Relations Commission; Member of the African Workers Network; and Convenor of the Western Sydney Area Assistance Scheme.

Dr Yusuf Sheikh Omar (VIC): President of the Somali Australian Friendship Association; Member of the North Eastern Somali Community; Founder of the Australian Somali Youth Association; Member of the Austin Hospital Community Advisory Committee; Member of the La Trobe Refugee Research Centre; Member of the Centre for Dialogue at La Trobe University; and Member of the African Think Tank.

Diing Atem Bior Bul (NSW): Commissioner with the Community Relations Commission; National Director of the Sudanese Australians National Youth Council; Founder of the African Youth Welfare Association; Member of the African Communities Council; Member of the Human Rights Committee of Young Lawyers; and Member of the African Learning Circle.

Santino Rang Yuot (NSW): Chairman of the Dinka Literacy Association of New South Wales; Member of the Auburn Small Community Organisation Network; Member of the Holroyd-Parramatta Migrant Resource Council; Member of the New South Wales Federation of Community Languages; and Member of the Auburn Community Development Network.

Robert Mukombozi (QLD): Vice-President of the Rwandan Association of Queensland; Social Affairs Coordinator for the Queensland African Communities Council; President of the Queensland African Communities Council Logan; Secretary of Global United Ethnics Incorporated; Member of the African Assembly of Leaders; Member of the Queensland Police Advisory Group; and Community Development Officer for Access Community Services Limited.

John Okello-Okanya (QLD): President of African Seniors Club Australia; Board Member of African Savings Community Foundation; Member of the Queensland African Communities Council; Member of the Assembly of African Community Leaders; Member of the Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland; and Patron of the African Australian Artists Alliance Queensland.

Juliana Nkrumah (NSW): African Women Australia; Australian National Committee on Refugee Women; Consultant to African community groups; Coordinator of Multicultural Community Liaison Officers for New South Wales Police; Member of the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia’s Women's Subcommittee; and former Vice-President of the Ghana Association of New South Wales

Haileluel Gebre-selassie (VIC): Executive Director of African Think Tank; Chairperson of the African Australian Leadership Program; President of the African Australian Association; Board Member of the Footscray Community Arts Centre; and Member of Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria.

Dr Joseph Masika (SA): Chairperson of the African Communities Council of South Australia; Executive Committee Member of the African Heritage Association of South Australia; Vice-President of the Australian-Tanzanian Services Foundation; Commissioner for South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission; Member of Migrant Resource Centre; and former Director of the African Festival of South Australia.

Edward D. Solo (NT): Program Manager of African Settlement and Integration Services; President of the African Community Council of the Northern Territory;  Member of the Refugee Support Network; Executive Committee Member of the Northern Territory Refugee Association Darwin; Executive Member of the Federation of African Communities Council; Member of the Northern Territory Council of Social Services; Member of the Northern Territory Settlement Planning Committee; Member of the Settlement Council of Australia; and Member of the Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia.

Dr Ms Casta Tungaraza (WA): President of the African Women’s Council of Australia; Executive Member of the Federation of African Communities Council; Member of the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia’s New and Emerging Communities Advisory Committee; Member of the Multicultural Advisory Group of Western Australia; Patron of the Tanzania-Australia Business Council; and Director of Australian Academy of Race Relations at Murdoch University.

The committee will meet regularly with the co-chairs and at least twice a year with Ministers Bowen and Lundy. The Government will also hold an annual forum for the committee to facilitate access to the Prime Minister and other senior Government ministers.

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Comment Grace Nicholas (August 29 2012, 2:54 PM)
Only 3 /14 of the committee members are women. Hope that women's rights issues will receive the attention they need.
Comment Akoi Guong (August 29 2012, 7:41 PM)
This away forward and an honor of recoginition by the government of Australian to aknowledge that there is a need to established African Consultative that advised the government contempoarily issues face by the Afrcian people in their settlment in the country. Regards Akoi Manyiel Guong

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