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Guest speaker for citizenship convention



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FOR RELEASE AS FOLLOWS; .

PRESS - MORNING PAPERS OF THURSDAY 31/12/59.

RADIO AND TV. ~ 7 PM. WEDNESDAY 30/12/59

66/59

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PRESS STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION " Τ ΤΗΕ HON. A. R. DOWNER, M.P,)

GUEST SPEAKER FOR CITIZENSHIP CONVENTION

The Minister for Immigration, Mr. Downer, has

invited the distinguished son of a distinguished father to

be guest speaker at the eleventh annual Australian Citizenship

Convention in Canberra.

Ho is Mr. Odd Nansen, son of the famous Norwegian

explorer and humanitarian, Professor Fridtjof Nansen.

Announcing this today, Mr. Downer said Mr, Nansen

was ideally suited for the role. The theme of the convention

was World Refugee Year, and Mr. Nansen had been prominent in

world refugee activities throughout Europe.

He was chairman of the Norwegian national World Refugee

Year committee and was guest speaker at the inauguration

of World Refugee Year in Vienna last October.

Mr. Nansen, who is an architect by profession, was

helping refugees as early as 1936, when he established the

Nansen Help Voluntary Organisation. He speaks on refugee

problems vitr; a personal knowledge of their background, as

ho was himself in a German concentration camp during the war.

Mr. Downer said the Prime Minister, Mr. Menzies,

would open, the three-day convention at the Albert Hall,

Canberra on February 9.

At the opening Mr, Downer will make a statement on

immigration policy, and the Leader of the Opposition or his

represendative will deliver an address.

More than 250 delegates from all over Australia

will attend the convention, which the Immigration Department

holds every .year to enable both new and old Australians to

discuss immigration problems. They include representatives

of industry and commerce, trade unions, church and other

voluntary organisations, and the Good Neighbour Movement

which helps in the assimilation of migrants. They will base

their discussions on four, papers;

. "Management's role in assimilating migrants in

industry", by Mr. J.N. Kirby, a leading figure

in Australian industry. He is chairman of the

recently appointed Manufacturing Industries

Advisory Council which was set up to advise the

Government on a wide range of matters affecting

Australian manufacturing industries;

. "Some aspects of Australia's future development",

by Sir William Hudson, Commissioner for the Snowy

Mountains Authority; .

. "Progress and assimilation of migrant children in

Australia", prepared by a sub-committee of the

Immigration Advisory Council and presented by

Mr. Justice Dovey; and

. "Understanding - the key to assimilation", by

George and Rachelina Masero. Mr. Masero, a

doctor of foreign languages and literature of

the University of Genoa, teaches migrants English

in South Australia. His wife, Rachelina, also

a doctor of foreign languages and literature

of the University of Genoa, is a High School

teacher in Adelaide.

3.

Views emerging from the discussions )n these

papers will be considered by the Immigration Planning and

Advisory Councils when they frame recommendations to the

Commonwealth Government.

Other features of the Convention will include -* Screening of four special films with immigration

themes. One will be produced by Yul Brynner,

the Hollywood actor, who has offered his services

as his personal contribution to World Refugee Year.

His film is "Yul Brynner reports on his mission to

no-man's land", showing the plight of refugees

still living in the camps of Europe today.

Another film will be "The Camp", with Ingrid

Bergman giving the commentary and with music

specially written and played by Larry Adler.

* A migrant pageant "We, the People", showing the

cultural and industrial contribution migrants

are making towards Australia's development.

* A reception at Parliament House, where Mr. and

Mrs. Downer will welcome •■Pficial guests and

delegates on the opening day.

* Presentation of the third annual Gertrude Kumm

award to a migrant who has shown outstanding

qualities of citizenship. The winner will be

named at the Convention.

For the first time, the new dome-shaped moat-surrounded

Academy of Science building will be the scene of some of the

convention activities - the discussions and film showings.

30th December, 1959.