The title “Unity from Diversity” sounds like a clash on paper but a match made in heaven, if followed through in action.
The event was organized by Affinity Intercultural Foundation, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, Catholic Diocese of Parramatta and the Uniting Church Synod of NSW and ACT. The evening opened with MP for Auburn Hon. Barbara Perry giving the welcoming address. This was followed by readings from the Torah, Bible and Quran, touching on the themes about unity.
Dr Szoke gave a remarkable speech that touched the spirit, heart and mind. Her stories of three women who have gone through extraordinary circumstances touched everyone, as their stories were intrepid, exceptional and inspirational. She also reflected on her recent trip to Turkey, on how she was inspired by women taking the lead in addressing various social challenges. She was also encouraged with the significant changes in the areas of education promoting mutual respect amongst the diverse ethnicities.
Talking about her role as the Race Discrimination Commissioner, made us think about our attitudes towards racism in Australia. A most suited keynote for the night, Dr Szoke truly touched on the theme of the night adding her ‘role is to identify race as a thing that is different but that is common’. She emphasised the role we as women can play in tackling issues of racism in Australia.
The keynote address was followed by 3 beautiful performances – two singers Dahlia Dior and Bronwyn Thompson and a poetry recitation by Mahsheed and Tahmina Ansari. Following the vote of thanks, given by Mary Pearson, the ladies got a chance to kick up their heels, unwind and be jolly. Dahlia Dior entertained the audience with her soul style, rhythmic songs.