On 31 July 2020, the United Macedonian Diaspora Australia representing the interests of the Macedonian-Australian community, and its youth-led Generation M, a committee of young leaders who are impassioned to support Macedonian rights, lodged a submission with the Australian Senate. The submission was in response to a new inquiry about issues facing diaspora communities.
As a community with a history of over 100 years in Australia, it was considered important that a submission be presented covering issues facing the Macedonian diaspora, within the context of the inquiry’s terms of reference, including:
- More funding for Macedonian cultural, arts and community organisations and a simpler process for applying for community grants;
- Greater support for vulnerable groups such as the Macedonian elderly;
- Recognition that the Macedonian diaspora as a whole is a vulnerable group, often having to defend its identity, culture, language and history in Australia as a result of external factors, such as the pressure on Macedonia to change its name;
- Encouraging more Macedonians to participate in Australia’s democratic and social
institutions and in government roles, through programs like youth mentorships and
internships and employment diversity targets; and
- Building stronger Australian-Macedonian relations by promoting the establishment of an
Australian Embassy in Skopje, that would also benefit the great number of Macedonians that travel, live or do business in Macedonia.
The Senate will review all submissions and release a report later this year with recommendations.
UMD Australia is available to appear before the Senate Committee to elaborate on its submission.
On 1 August 2020 UMD appointed Vera Sekulovska and Filip Despotoski, both from Sydney NSW as members of the UMD Global Board of Directors as well as directors of UMD Australia