Category Archives: Australian African Network

Seasons Greetings

Happy New Year to all our members & supporters. Here’s to 2008 – a year in which we hope AAN will contiune to flourish and consolidate.

Landmarks for 2007:

  • Incorporation as an association
  • Setting up the website
  • regular picnics in Dulwich Hill and Merrylands
  • Setting up the Say No to Racial Politics petition and presenting it to a senior advisor to the immigration minister.

Thanks to everyone who gave us support and encouragement. We look forward to a great year ahead.

Mothering Children of African Descent

AAN Co-convenor Annie Stopford, Ph.D., has recently had an article published in the Journal of Pan-African Studies. Her article, Mothering Children of African Descent: Hopes, Fears, and Strategies of White Birth Mothers, features in the latest edition of the journal, which has the theme “Africana Mothering”. Annie based her article on interviews with white mums in Sydney. Congratulations Annie!

AAN calls for political leadership against racism

Today representatives of AAN presented the Say No to Racial Politics petition to Mr Rick Brown, Senior Advisor to Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews. Jill Sergeant (AAN Treasurer) and Nicole Cunningham, (ordinary committee member), delivered a strong call for leadership by the minister and from all politicians in opposing racism.

View the photos of the petition presentation on our Moblog.

There was some discussion of the impact of racism on our communities and Mr Brown put forward the Coalition’s view on the refugee intake policy. Read the Minister’s Statement on the Refugee and Humanitarian Intake 2007 – 2008.

Our delegation offered to act as a resource for the coalition on an ongoing basis, in respect to cross-cultural issues. Jill stated that as members of mixed families we are “at the cutting edge” in building cross-cultural relationships and have considerable expertise to offer.

Mr Brown agreed to present the petition and supporting documentation to the Minister, and to utilise AAN as a resource in future consultations.

We are very happy with the outcome because it was a great opportunity to start dialogue with the Coalition about issues that deeply affect and distress our communities.

The petition gathered 1,773 signatures from all around Australia and overseas, and many signatories added comments. These comments, as we pointed out to Mr Brown, are a valuable resource as they reflect a range of opinions and experiences from the Australian public.

Thanks once again to all who supported the petition! We are very pleased and honoured to have been able to present to the Ministry your strong pro-African statement against racism and stigmatisation.

We plan to provide more detail about the meeting shortly.

We will now start negotiating for a meeting to discuss these issues with the relevant Labor MP.

Great news on the petition!

We have obtained a meeting with a senior advisor to Minister Kevin Andrews first thing Wednesday 14th November! We’ll post a report on the meeting here later this week.

After speaking with the Minister’s staff we will seek a similar meeting with the Shadow Minster and are also considering a follow up at State level.

Thanks for your support!

AAN survey

Because Australian African Network Inc. is a new association, we need to gather more information about our community, so that we can seek funding for our activities (such as parties, cultural events and resources).

Please take a few minutes to fill out our short online survey.

End of year picnic

Sadly – we had to cancel the picnic due to bad weather.

Bring your family and hang out with us at the next AAN picnic and sausage sizzle …

Merrylands Central Park, Cumberland Highway, Merrylands,

Saturday 3 November, starting at 1.30pm.

We provide sausages and breadrolls, you can bring salads to share & your own drinks.

Merrylands Central Park is a great family park. It has space for ball games and there are bike paths. There is a canteen, or you can bring your own lunch. There is plenty of parking and it’s a 15 minute walk from Merrylands station.

We will meet near the playground.

If it’s raining the picnic will be cancelled. Call Jill on 0424 853 717 if the weather is uncertain.

Hope to see you there.

Petition Update

Thanks to all who have supported our petition. We now have over 1700 signatures.

AAN is currently negotiating to present the petition to Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews by early November. We will also present it to Shadow Minister Tony Burke.

View our Letter to Mr Andrews and supporting documentation.
If you haven’t yet done so, please sign the petition now. Let’s push that number up past 2,000! Tell your friends.

View the AAN Media Release which was circulated on October 10 (PDF, small file).

For more info and statements on this issue, see AAN condemns Andrews’ statements on African migration

AAN condemns Andrews’ comments on African migration

The Australian African Network Inc. was appalled by the comments of Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews regarding the settlement of African migrants in Australia. Please sign our online petition.

We want to rally support from all Australians to challenge the racist attacks the Minister is making against Sudanese refugees. The government is playing racial politics as a desperate election stunt, but the ramifications of government-endorsed racism on individuals’ lives and communities will impact on the whole society for a long time to come.

Andrews ignores the valuable contributions Africans have already made to Australian society, such as their work in nursing services, aged care, the meat industry, and the music industry.

If the government has concerns about any migrant community’s integration into Australian society, the appropriate course of action should be consultation with that community and the provision of appropriate funding, resources and support, not racist vilification of that community during the politically sensitive pre-election period.

To AAN this is a clear example of racism being used to divide the country. We need all Australians to say NO to racial politics.

We want the government to back down from using racism as an election stunt.

For more info and comment see also:
Refugee Council Media Release.
Slamming the door on Africa – comment by Dr Andre Renzaho
Statement on decision to suspend African Refugee intake By the President of the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW, Dr Stepan Kerkyasharian AM
Back to the future
Comment from Australian Policy online

Another fun day

Thanks to those who braved the wintery blasts on Saturday to come to the sausage sizzle at Johnson Park. The sun came out and it warmed up & we had a great day, with about ten families attending.

We hope to have another picnic before the end of the year but the date has yet to be deicded. Keep an eye on this website for further details.

Celebrate with us

On August 17th, Australian African Network (AAN) became an incorporated association – we are now officially Australian African Network Inc. To celebrate, we will be having a sausage sizzle at Johnson Park on 22 September.

Incorporation is a great achievement, because now we can apply for funding to put on our events and activitities. Applying for incorporation has absorbed a lot of our attention in 2007, as we have had to develop rules to guide how we operate – now that’s done, we can focus on what we want to achieve for our diverse community. And of course, we invite you to become members of AAN so that you can contribute your ideas, passion and energies to this project. Details of how to apply for membership will be online soon, or you can ask us at the sausage sizzle.