STATEMENT BY STATE HROMADY AND THE AFUO ON THE ROLE AN IMPORTANCE OF STATE HROMADY – ASSOCIATIONS AND COMMUNITY REPRESENTATION
Australia’s Ukrainian community prides itself with being warm and inclusive. It offers opportunity for respectful discussion and expression of ideas. The community accommodates waves of settlement and always has – From those who came post WWII at the end of 1940’s to those from Former Yugoslavia – Bosnia, Poland, and other parts of the world. Our new immigration post 1991 and from then on have enhanced our community and continue to do so. All are welcome – Some find their way to the community or the community finds them – in some situations the community and its activities are not central to people’s live – That is a choice.
The strength of the community are its community members and organised structures, who have established themselves, have members, are elected and report to its members and the community at large. A successful model that works in Australia and internationally.
In Australia’s Ukrainian community, 22 peak organisations with duly elected leadership come under the umbrella of the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations. (AFUO) The State Associations Hromady are important State representatives of the community. They are central to an organised State community. The AFUO is an active member of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC), the peak body for Ukrainian Organisations in the diaspora.
Our community structures are non-political and are secular and work in the interests of the community.
Churches – all 3 Ukrainian churches are members, youth associations, women’s association, educational structures, credit co-operatives are but some of the Organisations that make up the AFUO. For this reason, our structures on local, national and international levels have provided service to the community and have lasted the test of time. They have where required made adjustments to meet new challenges. Communities are always developing and adjusting
The AFUO is widely regarded as the voice on matters concerning relationships within the Australian-Ukrainian community, and often between Australia and Ukraine. State Hromady and peak organisations contribute to this representative role.
Over 70 years, respect for others their point of view and the community have been and are the guiding values.
In recent times individuals and unknown structures have through social media made statements, allegations and baseless comment in relation our structures and our Ukrainian community.
In Ukraine FAKE NEWS is an issue and is being exposed for what it is. In the diaspora FAKE NEWS is also on occasion creeping into communities by groups or individuals purporting to be representing the community and spreading disinformation.
Recently, an unknown group named the “Australian Ukrainian Congress” appeared on Facebook often making statements such as the Ukrainian community will … Ukrainian community demands implying they speak on behalf of the organized community. It does not.
This structure is definitely not associated nor affiliated with our State Associations (Hromady), the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO) or the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC).
It is the democratic right for individuals to form groups and encourage activity. Positive activity is welcomed by all as is vibrant, respectful dialogue. Disrespectful and demeaning dialogue – whether verbal or via social media should not be tolerated and judged accordingly.
Groups or individuals do not have the license to speak on behalf of an organized community. Those involved in dialogue should take responsibility for providing facts and not make baseless insinuations.
We encourage all users of social media and those involved in community discussion and dialogue to be honest, respectful, transparent and community minded.
As to those who do not apply these standards – They should be judged accordingly.
Signed for and behalf of:
|Stefan Romaniw OAM
Chairman, Australia Federation of
President, Ukrainian Community of
Deputy Chair, AFUO
President, Association of Ukrainians in
President, Association of Ukrainians in
President, Association of Ukrainians in Tasmania