Ms O'CONNOR (Clark - Leader of the Greens) - Madam Speaker, I too, want to echo the sentiments expressed by the Attorney-General and my colleague, the member for Clark and warmly congratulate the Nigeria Community in Tasmania Inc. for their incorporation. Also, for coming together as a strong but small community, which is very regionally dispersed and coming together on Saturday for an inauguration event which was warm, welcoming, entertaining and full of love.
The theme of the day was Tasmania and Nigeria: Fruitfulness and Faithfulness. As the Attorney-General said, many messages on the day drew that similarity and connection between Tasmania and Nigeria. Mind you, the population of Nigeria is some 200 million people, which is about -
Ms Houston - It is 271 million.
Ms O'CONNOR - Thank you, Ms Houston. In the newsletter that has been put out by the Nigerian community in Tasmania, we are told that it is only 200 million. That is a lot of people to fit into an area about the size of Queensland. What I learned on Saturday was that there is an incredibly rich cultural and linguistic diversity in Nigeria and that the Nigerian diaspora has moved to all corners of the world and taken enormous talent and skill with them.
As we know, Tasmania's Nigerian community, according to the last census, sits somewhere between 130 and 140 people and there are about 45 families who make up that growing Nigerian community in Hobart. Originally, the first meeting was a social meeting in about 2011 but now members live everywhere from Kingston to Smithton, from St Helens to Wynyard. I will quote from the chairperson of the organising committee who has said:
For the last two years we have dreamed, deliberated, planned and hoped for this day to arrive and I am excited that it is finally here. Nigeria, the giant of Africa, is a diverse nation and home to several ancient and indigenous kingdoms and some of the smartest people in the world and I am blessed to be surrounded today by some of the crème de la crème of my dear country.
This was from Mrs Pavour David Onu (TBC) from the organising committee and it is important to mark this new association that I thank each of the members of the executive committee, the president Dr David Onu; vice president, Mrs Amarka Amundi (TBC); secretary Dr Ikechi Gbenimacho (TBC); assistant secretary Dr Chiche Lambagero (TBC); treasurer Mrs Ucha Agamuro (TBC); financial secretary Mr Namdi Oualacka (TBC), the youth and welfare director, Mrs Alfa Echinconwanye (TBC); public relations officer, Mr Osenwegie Aigbogun; and the Public Officer, Pharm Abraham Daniel (TBC).
The aims and objectives of this newest association are to protect, improve and uphold the good name of Nigeria by being good and law abiding citizens; to encourage the contribution and nation building; to assist individual members to smoothly settle into Tasmania and to offer them help where required; to encourage a good relationship between the Nigerian and Tasmanian leadership; to work in harmony with other organisations sharing such views; to promote unity, equal opportunity and friendship amongst all persons of Nigerian heritage or linkage without any discrimination; to promote and preserve Nigerian history, culture, languages, art, food, music and heritage. The association also aims to provide and disseminate useful information on Nigeria for the purpose of educating our host communities and to acquaint members with job opportunities.
As an elected representative, it is always a delight to see a community doing well and getting stronger. On behalf of the Tasmanian Greens, I thank the new Nigeria Community in Tasmania Inc. for a fantastic inauguration day on Saturday and wish them all the very best for the future and let them know that the Greens are always here to help.