Each year, Africa Day provides an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of African people and the founding of the African Union. In the true spirit of Africa, Africa Day in Australia celebrates cooperation and partnerships between diverse Australian-African communities, with a focus on networking, collaboration and developments within the social, cultural and economic arena.
This year, Africa Day in Australia saw a suite of celebrations take place across the nation, with Australia Awards – Africa scholars participating in the week-long festivities from 17 to 24 May. Australia Awards students helped lead events at their respective institutions, and had the opportunity to attend community events taking place in capital cities around the country. In Melbourne, the Australian-African community celebrated with events such as a gala dinner, festivals and markets, competitions like Africa’s Got Talent, a Women’s and Family Forum and a Youth Identify Forum. In Brisbane, an African Day Festival was held on the lawns of African House in East Brisbane, promoting African unity and vibrant African culture in Australia. African music and crafts were a feature of the festival.
Specific university events were also hosted around the country. Students at the Australian National University in Canberra held Africa Day celebrations in the University’s Union Court, showcasing African culture, history, food and agricultural development. African drumming also featured on the day, hosted by the University’s African Student Association. Evans Kyule from Kenya, Public Relations Officer of the University’s African Student Association, said that this celebration was a “chance to show the world what Africa has to offer”.
Similarly, in Newcastle, Egyptian scholar Amira Mahmoud enjoyed Africa Day celebrations with food and dance at the University of Newcastle, attending events arranged by African student clubs on campus. Amira was responsible for sending out student and community invitations, helping to make the event a success.
For the Africa Day weekend in Adelaide, students Julien Gariba from Cameroon and Regina Odhiambo from Kenya participated in colourful street processions and student awareness events. Regina shared the Africa Day spirit with members of Adelaide’s Indonesian community, introducing them to iconic African food, including chicken dishes and African cake. She also made a visit to Kardinya with fellow Australian and African Flinders University students from Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa and Uganda.”Until Australia Awards, some had never mingled with or experienced the joy and colour of so many Africans! Students from Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa and Uganda showed them that Africa is real,” said Regina about this cross-cultural experience.
With its promotion of African identity and shared cultural experience, this year’s Australia Africa Day weekend was a celebration enjoyed by all.