Chin Tan

The chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission

Message from The chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission

An-nyong ha-se-yo
Hwan-yong ham-ni-da

I am honoured to be able to acknowledge at this inaugural Korea Festival the presence of the following very important distinguished guests:

1. HE Mr Alex Chernov, AC, QC, the Governor of Victoria
2. HE Mr Jung Sung-sub, Consul General of the republic of Korea
3. Ms Hyeon-Joo Newman, President of the Korea Festival Committee
4. Distingushed members of the Korea Festival Committee
5. The Hon Bruce Atkinson, President of the Legislative Council
6. The Hon Heidi Victoria, Minister for the Arts, Misnister for Women's Affairs and Minsiter for Consumer Affairs
7. Mr John Richardson, State Director of the Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade
8. Distinguished members of the Melbourne Consular Corp
9. Distinguished leaders and members of the Korean community
10. Other distinguished guests
11. Volunteers and participants of the Festival
12. Ladies and gentlemen

I wish to commence by offering the deepest condolences from the multicultural community of Victoria to the victims and their families of the ferry Sewol that sunk off the West Sea of South Korea. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have suffered and who have lost loved ones.

When the Consul General Mr Jung approached me several months ago and expressed a keen desire to celebrate the Korean culture and engage the Korean community in Victoria through a major festival, the Victorian Multicultural Commission had no hesitation to offer our enthusiastic support for this wonderful initiative.

I am immensely proud to stand here in the midst of this wonderful celebration and to acknowledge the fine efforts and contributions made by Mr Jung, the Korea Festival committee and the Korean community, in just a short period, to organize such a splendid and sophisticated cultural event as we are now privileged to experience, the Korea Festival.

The Victorian Multicultural Commission and the State of Victoria have provided support to more than 14 Korean community organizations in the past and in the period between 1991 and 2014 have provided almost $100,000 in total funding to Korean community organizations. This engagement and support will, no doubt, continue to grow.

I am equally proud to be able to stand here and to be able to acknowledge and affirm the benefits and strength of our multicultural society. It is because of our commitment and belief in a multicultural way of life that Victorians form all cultural, linguistic and religious communities are able to freely and fully express themselves and in so doing help collectively to build, enrich, benefit and strengthen our society as a whole.

Victoria's and Australia's engagement and relationship with the Republic of Korea is based on a mutual, genuine, warm, generous, productive and beneficial affair that has benefited and will continue to enrich and benefit our respective communities.

The Korea Festival will continue to play a major role to enhance the strong bond that exist between the people of the Republic of Korea and Victoria and between the Korean community here and the larger multicultural community in Victoria. This Festival offers, not only, to showcase Korean culture but will also contribute to the fostering of harmony, inclusion and understanding within our rich and vibrant Victorian multicultural community.

I offer my sincerest compliments and congratulations to Mr, Jung, the Korea Festival committee and the Korean community for successfully putting on this wonderful festival for all Victorian's benefit and enjoyment. For those of us who are here today, at the festival, I wish you all an exciting, memorable and enriching experience as you enjoy and embrace the Korea Festival.

Kam-sa ham-ni-da
An-nyong-hee gye se yo.