City of Casey Councillors were joined by community members in Cranbourne East on Saturday morning to celebrate 10 years since the establishment of the Wall of Global Friendships (WOGF).
The local icon acknowledges Casey’s rich cultural diversity and features a collection of inscribed plaques from local community groups that are committed to promoting mutual respect, friendship and goodwill.
The wall, which is located at the Balla Balla Community Centre, now has 23 community plaques following the addition of three more at the celebration on the weekend.
City of Casey Mayor Cr Amanda Stapledon was thrilled to celebrate the occasion following the establishment of the wall in 2009, and acknowledged the late Salah Parker, who was integral in the fruition of this project.
“Casey’s Global Friendships Committee came up with the idea of establishing a Wall of Global Friendships back in 2007,” she said.
“Over the next two years, a working group of enthusiastic community volunteers, including members of the Balla Balla Centre Steering Committee and Council’s Access and Inclusions Advisory Committee, met regularly with Council officers and then in December 2009 the WOGF was officially opened with three community plaques.
“Every year since then, new plaques have been added and I am thrilled to welcome three new groups to the wall today.”
On Saturday, the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation, the Southern Migrant and Refugee Centre and the South Sudanese-Australian Academic Society each had a plaque added.
• Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation
The Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation is a Traditional Owner organisation that represents the Bunurong people of the South-Eastern Kulin Nation. It protects the sacred lands and waterways, traditional cultural practices, and stories.
• The Southern Migrant and Refugee Centre
The Southern Migrant and Refugee Centre has provided settlement and migration support services to refugees and migrants in the southern region of Melbourne for over 25 years. Some of the important activities and support currently provided include pathways to education and employment, youth services, aged care support and community inclusion programs.
• The South Sudanese-Australian Academic Society
The South Sudanese Australian Academic Society was founded in November 2014. It represents the South Sudanese Australian community in Victoria, particularly the professionals, graduates and students coming from this community. The organisation undertakes activities to support their employment and education.
Cr Stapledon added that the WOGF is demonstrative of the diverse community that Casey is.
“The WOGF represents our community’s ability to work together to build a cohesive, harmonious and welcoming community, and I am extremely proud of this local asset,” she said.