Organisation of African Communities

Message From The Former Prime Minister

I am pleased to provide this message for the Tony Abbott-official joint celebration of Africa Day and World Refugee Day.  Today is a chance to celebrate African culture, and to look forward to a more stable and prosperous  future. On this occasion, we pay tribute to the rich and diverse heritage of people of African descent around  the world, and honour their contribution to our own nation. Some 340,000 Australians were born in Africa,  and  they form an important and valued part of the Australian community. Australia is proud to be a place  where you can  live freely, celebrate your identity and determine your own destiny. On World Refugee Day,  we are also  reminded that around the world millions of people are displaced by conflict and persecution. Australia has a  proud history of providing assistance to those most in need as well as having a world-leading re-settlement  programme. The Government is increasing the number of refugees under our Humanitarian Programme to 18,750 places by 2018-19. We also contribute to international peace and security efforts in Africa. Australian peacekeepers are currently deployed in South Sudan, and we have previously been members of UN missions in Sudan, Somalia, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Western Sahara and Namibia. This work makes a real difference to the lives of African people.