AUSTRALIA – UKRAINE PARLIAMENTARY GROUP – A REALITY
The Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO) welcomes the reactivation of the Australia – Ukraine Parliamentary Group (AUPG) and looks forward to working with the group and its leaders Chris Crewther MP as Chair and Senator Catryna Bilyk as Deputy Chair.
The AFUO has been encouraging Members of the Federal Parliament to formalise the Group in the life of the 45th Parliament. The AFUO considers the AUPG as a major vehicle in promoting a strong and positive working relationship between the Australia and Ukraine.
30 Members of Parliament have joined the group with others indicating they intend to join. Chair Chris Crewther MP and his office have been very active in having the group formed.
“This is a great opportunity to strengthen ties between Australia and Ukraine”, Mr Crewther said.
“Plans for cooperation and establishing a strategic plan have been discussed in meetings with the Chair and Deputy Chair.”
The AFUO is now working with the leadership group and the office of the Minister for Foreign Affairs to officially launch the current AUPG at Parliament House in the near future.
“The Group starts it work at a very opportune time. The news of its formation is certainly a shot in the arm for Australia – Ukraine relations and the strengthening of bilateral relations,” AFUO Chairman Stefan Romaniw OAM said today.
“Its formation is seen as another bow to Australia’s support for Ukraine in its reform process and in protecting the integrity of its borders”.
The appointing of Australia’s Ambassador – designate to Ukraine Ms Melissa O’Rourke, who will take up her post in September, and the formation of the AUPG gives impetus for an increased level of activity,” Mr Romaniw said.
In a meeting earlier this week with Speaker of the House the Hon. Tony Smith MP, who is a member of the Group, the Speaker highlighted the importance Parliamentary Groups and offered his support in working with the AUPG.
The AFUO in cooperation with the Embassy of Ukraine hopes to hold a briefing session for members of the Group to provide an update on the situation in Ukraine and outline proposals for ongoing work.
AFUO’s Chairman will be travelling to Ukraine next week and will meet with the leadership of the Ukraine –Australia Parliamentary Group (UAPG) to discuss how the two groups can work in partnership.
The AFUO has initiated discussions with leaders of similar Parliamentary Groups in other Commonwealth countries to form loose alliances between groups. This will assist in the sharing of information and possibly lead to a more strategic approach in supporting Ukraine.
Last, what can you do as members of the Ukrainian community?! Please contact your local Member of the Federal Parliament /Senator, inform them of the AUPG and encourage them to join!
The Australia Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO) is the peak body for Ukrainians in Australia representing 22 Peak Ukrainian Organisations, and is a member of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC).
Further information contact – Stefan Romaniw 0419 531 255