‘Acknowledging Queensland’s New Afghan Resident’ Event 19 August 2022

‘Acknowledging Queensland’s New Afghan Resident’ Event 19 August 2022

Women Empowerment and Leadership (WEL) association founder and director Ms. Rita Anwari Sultani and State Member for Toohey, Mr. Peter Russo MP – Toohey Peace for Asia had the privilege of hosting the ‘Acknowledging Queensland’s new Afghan Resident’ event in at the Parliament House on 18 August 2022. This event was Moderated by Mahsa Nabizada, Presenter at the local ABC Radio.

The event started with the acknowledgment of the country, following which the co-hosts Mr. Peter Russo and Ms. Rita Anwari gave their keynote speeches. Paying tribute to the Australian men and women in uniform who lost their lives and were wounded while serving in Afghanistan, Ms. Rita Anwari acknowledged the sacrifices made in the past year since the collapse of the government in Afghanistan. She narrated stories from the first days of the collapse and events that followed. Explaining the low points in her emotional journey to the high points where vulnerable women and children were saved from the crisis were the highlights of her speech. She concluded by acknowledging the significant role the Australian authorities, particularly the office of Senator Paul Scarr, Peter Russo MP, Lord Mayor Adrain Schrinner, Lance McCallum MP, Shayne Neumann, and Jason Scanes played in the past twelve months in the provision of humanitarian support to those in danger in Afghanistan and those who fled Afghanistan and settled in Australia. Mr. Peter Russo MP emphasized on the collaborative approach and the moral responsibility all human beings have for each other. He explained the history of the Parliament House and its role in the provision of timely assistance to those in crisis. He also welcomed the participants to the event and concluded by paying tribute to those Australian men and women of uniform who lost their lives or were wounded on duty.
Following the opening speeches, Mr. Paul Scarr, Senator for Queensland, Mr. Lance McCallum, State Member for Bundamba, and Jason Scanes, Founder of the Forsaken Fighters Australia gave their respective speeches. Acknowledging that the newly arrived Afghan Residents in Queensland faced tremendous challenges while being in Afghanistan during the collapse and the events following that, they are now in a safe place and can take part in making a better community in Queensland. The speakers also elaborated on the importance of collaboration during the time of crisis and on the morale responsibility, each and every member of the team felt while working hard to provide assistance to the most vulnerable groups. The current situation in Afghanistan has also highlighted as well as the need for humanitarian support and assistance to prevent millions of people from hunger and poverty. The speakers acknowledged how important the Australian mission was during the past 20 years, and the role the locally engaged personnel played in making this mission successful. The speakers also reiterated that that locally engaged personnel assisted the Australian forces to complete their mission and it was now time for Australia to assist them in saving their lives. The speakers concluded by ensuring their commitment to continue supporting those in need of humanitarian assistance.
The event was closed following a panel discussion where all the previous speakers attended and responded to a few specific questions to review the assistance provided in the past twelve months and how it can improve in the future. Once again, the organizers and speakers welcomed Queensland’s new residents from Afghanistan to make this new environment their home and reiterated Australia’s commitment to making their settlement conveince.

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