THE FSCAQ is pleased to announce that we have a building at 24 Arnwood Place, Annerley. After over four years of negotiation with Brisbane City Council and providing them with our past experience in working with the communities and ability to successfully run the facility, we finally got the licence to operate this building from Brisbane City Council on 7th March, 2017. There are costs involved in running this community facility and conditions are also laid down by the council for running the centre which has a hall that is available for hire and can accommodate 130 people.

Through this centre, our aim is to bring communities together and make them feel this is their home. We will work towards making this community facility a Multicultural Hub. So far we have seven community organisations working with us.

We have set up a board room at the centre and all community organisations are welcome to have their committee meetings there. We will be working with the Government and other agencies towards domestic violence, Pacific Islanders problems, homelessness, crime, etc. In future we would like to establish counselling services and for that we need Governments’ assistance.

The President, Surendra Prasad said that the FSCAQ organised the first fundraising dinner at the centre on 8th April to raise fund for the victims of flood in Logan. We raised $2500 and donated to Water Ford and South Mclean area. About 130 people attended and supported the event.

The Fiji Senior Citizens Association of Qld organised the Girmit Remembrance Day on 13th May, 2017 at the venue to remember, appreciate and celebrate their sacrifices and achievements which they made towards building a bright future for their generations and at the same time working with the local and other communities in building Fiji a Multicultural Society. About 150 people including Mr Brij Lal AM, a well-known personality (Chief Guest speaker), Hon Mark Bailey, Minister for Mains Road, Safety and Port, Minister for Energy and Water Supply, Mr Ian Walker, Shadow Minister for Attorney General and other dignitaries. About 60,000 Indian men and women were brought to Fiji as indentured labourers between 1879 – 1916.  On arrival in Fiji they signed 5 years contract (Girmit) with CSR an Australian Company to work on their sugar cane farm.

Despite many hardships and atrocities committed on the Girmitiyas by oversees of CSR company and lack of education and other facilities, they made great sacrifices, and with hard work , they made significant contributions towards education and maintaining our culture and tradition, building schools, temples, mosque, etc. for their future generations.

The teachings by the Girmitiyas that we should respect one another regardless of culture, racial or religious differences and understanding the rights and responsibilities we share as part of that society and sense of belonging for everyone by helping communities and work towards the spirit of inclusiveness and share identities. These teachings have continued amongst today’s generation and also it helps us to integrate with other societies, enabling us to live in peace and harmony with other races.

Let’s we forget

Surendra Prasad OAM

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