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Wednesday, 26 March 2014
Page: 3205


Dr STONE (Murray) (13:57): Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of attending the Shepparton Albanian Harvest Festival at Shepparton showgrounds. This week has also seen us look at some of the most recent research into multicultural resettlement programs. Concern was expressed that some of our new settlers might be a little less satisfied than those in the past. Let me assure you that the Albanian Australians in the Goulburn Valley are celebrating the fact that they retain a lot of their old cultural identity but glory in the fact that they have made Australia their home. They have been there more than 80 years. They built the first mosque in Shepparton—there are now three mosques in Shepparton. They have grown into a community where they are the captains of industry in our area. Many have established some of the most successful orchards, transport and retail businesses. They are role models for our newest arrivals. They have strong family values. They understand the importance of the rule of law, and we are proud to have our Albanian community, as numerous and as well established as they are, in the Goulburn Valley.

At the Shepparton Albanian Harvest Festival we welcomed the Albanian Ambassador to Australia and also the candidate for the upcoming Albanian elections, where they are looking for an Australian member of the Albanian diaspora to contest those elections. We also welcomed the former Albanian minister for education. They were all very welcome on a glorious day, with the children enjoying the fine food and activity of the great Australian Albanian community of the Goulburn Valley.