L-R Andrew Gatt, MCCV Secretary , Fr. Edwin Agius MSSP, Antoinette Ciantar MCCV Treasurer, Marlene Ebejer MCCV President, High Commissioner Charles Muscat, Antonia Camilleri MCCV Assistant Secretary, Mario Farrugia Borg, Malta Consul General and Victor Borg MCCV Vice President
High Commissioner Charles Muscat visited Victoria from 11-15 March 2019.
The High Commissioner visited the Consulate General of Malta in Melbourne and met our new Consul General Mario Farrugia Borg and renewed acquaintances with members of the consular staff in Melbourne.
The High Commissioner and Consul General Farrugia Borg were also interviewed by Mr. Joe Axiaq, of the SBS Maltese Broadcast in Australia, which was aired nationally on Maltese radio on Tuesday and Friday.
Accompanied by Consul General Farrugia Borg, the High Commissioner visited the Maltese Community Centre in Parkville where he met the new President, Ms. Marlene Ebejer, and the other newly appointed members of the executive committee of the Maltese Community Council of Victoria (MCCV). Assurances were exchanged of continued cooperation and collaboration between Malta’s Mission in Australia and the MCCV.
On his 3rd day, the High Commissioner, accompanied by Consul General Farrugia Borg, visited the Maltese Community in La Trobe Valley, Morwell, led by Honorary Consul for Malta, Mr. Mario Sammut. Present at the reception were Mr. Russell North, Local Member of Parliament, Melina Bath, State Member of Parliament, Councillor Dale Herryman, representing the Mayor, Mr. Laurie Patton, representing the La Trobe Valley Authority, and Dr. Christian Lee, Chairperson Gippsland Ethnic Council.
Former Federal Member of Parliament, Mr. Robert Sercombe, introduced the High Commissioner to the Hon. Richard Wynne MP, Minister for Multicultural Affairs. The High Commissioner mentioned and aired his concerns over Census reports that showed a decline in the number of Malta born people living in Australia and the possible adverse effect that this information would have in the allocation of local services to the Maltese as an ethnic group, i.e. Maltese language being taught in public schools to preserve and promote the language in Australia, translation services for non-English speaking Maltese in Australia, access to federal, state and non-government grants awarded to ethnic groups and how it is affecting the Maltese programmes on SBS and other ethnic media. The High Commissioner brought to the attention of the Minister other issues relating to the Maltese diaspora. The Minister and his Secretary have taken note.
The High Commissioner also visited with Consul General Mario Farrugia Borg, the Maltese Cultural Centre of Victoria in Albion, where he was welcomed warmly by the President, Mr. Peter Paul Portelli and other members. The local Ghanejja group performed a number of Ghana (spirtu pront) and the Malta Own Philharmonic Band performed the Maltese and Australian National Anthem. The lacemakers gave an excellent show of their work on the trajbu and pillows. It was an excellent cultural show and welcoming reception in honor of the High Commissioner and Consul General Mario Farrugia Borg.
This visit demonstrated the High Commissioner’s sincere desire to assure the different Maltese Communities in Victoria of his unequivocal support and to encourage them unite as one people with common interests and goals.