Fijian Community Association Victoria Inc

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Fijian Community Association Victoria Fundraising Dinner

Presidents Speech

PHOTO: (From left to Right) Reverend Tepola Raicebe, Ratu Ifereimi Raicebe, Tanya (Rep from Club London) and Mr Driu (President - FCAV)


Ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to the Fijian Community Association Victoria’s 1st fundraising dinner and a big “vinaka vakalevu” to you all for your support in attending this gala dinner. We the Committee are truly grateful for your presence here tonight as our guests, as this fundraising dinner would not have been possible if it wasn’t for your support, so I thank you all again for coming.

The Fijian Community Victoria Association Incorporation is a registered not-for profit organisation that was recently formed by a group of committed volunteers who were inspired to form an organisation that will one day unite all Fijians living in Victoria through Unity, Trust and Ambition. We envision a world where all Fijian Victorian’s will achieve our full human potential and earn a reputation as a welcoming, caring and united community through education, income stability and healthy living.

While many of us Fijians have prospered since arriving to Australia, across the country is a shockingly number of our youths that end up in the Australian justice system. In Victoria for instance, the state with the second-largest population, Pacific Islanders make up just .01 % of the population, but of that .01%, 8.5 % of young people end up in detention centres. It will be interesting to find out how many Fijians make up the 8.5%.  The latest Census in 2011 recorded 56 979 Fiji-born Australians, an increase of 18.4 per cent from the 2006 Census of which 9714 reside in Victoria.

There is a saying that “Unless you know where you have come from, you will not know where you are going.” As an important part of refreshing our organisation’s narrative, one of the objectives in this new journey is that we will seek to reconnect with our culture, tradition and values with a mission to deliver a brighter future for our Fijian Community in Victoria through learning and community support programmes.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a challenging task.  It requires organization, planning and coordination. It also requires Trust, Loyalty and the passion to give back to the community. However, we the Committee are ready to take on this task and we need your support in moving forward.

Our theme tonight is “Acceptable differences within the community”.  We believe that when we accept differences within the community, ie accept our different beliefs, religion, race and colour, we will build a strong and unified community.

Talk about acceptable differences, this year 2014 has been a challenging and rewarding year for me as well. I have been privileged to have been invited to other charities and not for profit organisations such as the YWAM, Rugby Plus, Melbourne Fijian Rugby and the Reach 4 Your Future Foundation to name a few. I was very humbled to learn of the enormous work that these organizations have done to the Fijian community and I salute them for a job well done.

There is so much that I would like to share with you tonight but due to limited time allocated, I would like to invite you all to have a browse through our website as it has all the necessary information that you want to know about the association. We also have a facebook page called Fijian AssociationVic.

Ladies and gentlemen, to date, we have more than 100 supporters and followers, and 24 financial members. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our supporters from all over Victoria, in particular, friends and families from Robinvale and Cobram who send in donations even though they were unable to attend. I encourage you all to become members of this association and let us work together in building a better Fijian Community in Victoria. New membership fees are $25.00 and membership forms are available at the back.

In closing, I wish to thank all of you for coming tonight. I would also like to acknowledge our hard working committee members who worked hard to ensure that tonight’s event was a success. Max and Yisrael, vinaka vakalevu for your support and commitment to this newly born association. Our sponsors, in particular, Club London who has catered several Fijian functions this year, donors for your donations, and guests for attending this dinner.

Thank you all for joining us and supporting our beginnings and I hope you enjoy the wonderful dinner and entertainments that follow.

Vinaka and God bless you all!