Representatives of the Russian and Ukrainian communities in New South Wales have agreed to hold a combined service to pray for peace in their homelands.
More than 20 representatives of the two communities met last night at a meeting convened by the NSW Community Relations Commission.
Chairing the meeting, Commission Chair Vic Alhadeff praised the maturity of the two communities, which he said “came together as fellow Australians to ensure that events happening in Crimea and Ukraine do not impact on community harmony in New South Wales. We had an open and honest discussion about the crisis in Ukraine, resulted in a unanimous decision to bring the respective communities together to pray for peace.
“This prayer gathering will send a powerful message to the NSW community and to the rest of the world that all people can live in peace whatever their backgrounds or whatever political events are occurring elsewhere. It was particularly heartening to hear both communities condemn irresponsible comments which are hurtful to fellow Australians and which have been employed during public demonstrations”, he said.
The meeting made a further commitment to ongoing dialogue and to consider a joint commemoration of the contribution of ANZACs of Ukrainian and Russian backgrounds.
“Last night’s meeting was a wonderful example of multiculturalism in action and a strong endorsement of the role of the Community Relations Commission in leading the quest to promote, maintain and safeguard community harmony in this State”, Alhadeff added.
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