1st Media Release 22nd November 2010
The African Communities of Tasmania would like to announce the formation of the first ever African Communities Council of Tasmania (ACCT). The Council was formed at meetings on the 15th & 22nd of November with founding members representing a diverse range of national and ethnic groups from Botswana; Democratic Republic of Congo; Ethiopia; Liberia; Sierra Leone; with Somalia formerly admitted as member on the second day; Sudan; and Zimbabwe.
African migrants have been coming to Australia since 1804, under forced migration arrangements from England. The late 1990’s and 2000’s have seen a significant increase in African migration to Australia, including humanitarian, economic migrants and students. There are now an estimated 3789 people of African birth proudly living in Tasmania, largely in Hobart and Launceston.African Tasmanians are a diverse group – hailing from the length and breadth of Africa, with a multitude of different languages & cultures. Many have experienced challenges settling in Tasmania due to culture shock, language differences, climate, loss of identity, family breakdowns, unemployment, and poverty and welfare dependency. In order to address these issues a constitution of the Council drafted by a steering committee for the ACCT came up with the following specific aims; i) To provide representation for member communities in Tasmaniaii) Advocate for the wellbeing and positive settlement of members in areas of employment, health, education, housing and other key outcomes iii) support member organizations develop strong associations iv) promote cultural diversity, peace and harmony by providing opportunities for members and the wider community to celebrate their diverse cultures; v) assist the social and cultural settlement of families and individuals of member communities in Tasmania. In order to carry out the aims of the Council an executive of the ACCT was elected and the members are Dr Jonathan Thabano as Chair (Botswana), Mr John Kamara as Vice-Chair (Sierra Leone), Mr Alain Mpoyi Tshamala as Treasurer (Congo), Mr Mark Odwogo as Secretary (Agola Kapuk, Sudan), Dr Crispen Marunda as Deputy Secretary (Zimbabwe), and Mr Mahmoud Kamara (Sierra-Leone) and Mr Alphose-Toussant Tshitenga Mulumba (Congo) as committee members. In order to provide better representation for the large African community other countries are encouraged to contact the Secretary for procedures on how to join the Council.
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