By Joe Snell | Photos contributed
Victoria, Australia– The Assyrian Australian Social Development Club Inc. (AASDC) hosted their first annual Assyrian Graduation Ceremony on Sunday, Jan. 13. The program recognized over 25 student graduates from several schools and universities in the area.
The program, held at Mona Lisa Reception, included an awards presentation, speeches, poetry, and musical performances by members and friends of the Assyrian community in Victoria.
The ceremony was welcomed by AASDC members Khoshaba Youkhanna and Sidory Younan. Local government representatives also said a few words, including Victoria Multicultural Commissioner Sam Almaliki and Cr Joseph Haweil of the Hume City Council.
“In my remarks on the night, I referred to Nelson Mandela’s powerful words: ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’, encouraging the graduates to pursue their dreams and make great contributions to Australia and the world,” Haweil wrote in a post after the event.
AASDC Management Board member and Community Support Worker Kinda Haroun spoke to those in attendance about the importance of creative and meaningful events in the community and a particular need in our Assyrian Australian community for projects that support education and give students every chance to succeed in their future.
A monodrama titled ‘The Survivors’ was created for the event by AASDC youth group members in recognition of the plight of many of the graduates or their family members who overcame challenges to arrive to Australia. In a note after the event, the youth group thanked Assyrian writer Abdel Abdel for writing the monodrama’s final message.
A number of local Assyrian organizations supported the event including the Australian Assyrian Art and Literature Foundation, the Assyrian Council of Victoria, Assyrian Levies, Beth Nahrain Cultural Club, Agha Petrus Association, Victorian Assyrian Community, Abnaa Al-Nahrain Party, Assyrian Church of the East, Assyrian Democratic Party, Assyrian Democratic Organisation, Assyrian Democratic Movement, Moreland United Soccer Club, and the Assyrian General Conference.
AASDC is a non-profit established in 2012 that works to empower and provide ongoing support and skills development to members of the Assyrian community in Victoria, Australia. The organization has put on a number of programs and events for the community including Christmas and Martyr’s Day celebrations.
Learn more about the Assyrian Australian Social Development Club Inc. by visiting them on Facebook.