PM Tony Abbott pays tribute to the contribution of the Australian Lebanese community
2013 ALCC Annual Function of Business Awards
22 November 2013
(Translation of this article appears in Arabic section)
Sydney - M. E Times Int'l: The Australian Lebanese Chamber of Commerce (ALCC) on Friday, November 22/November 2013, celebrates its annual function for Business Awards, which was held at the "Dalton House" in Sydney.
A number of people spoke at the function including The Chamber Chairman Joe Khattar, Deputy National Party leader Barnaby Joyce represents the the Hon. Tony Abbott MP.
Also the ceremony attended by The Lebanese Ambassador Jean Daniel, Hon. Philip Ruddock MP, Hon. John Ajaka MLC, the Minister for Disability, Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane MLC, The Managing Director of the Arab Bank Australia Joseph Rizk, as well as members of the municipalities, heads of associations, politicians, religious leaders and representatives of charitable institutions, non-governmental organizations, business people and media.
During the ceremony a documantry film was screened of the recent's trade delegation visit of the chamber to Lebanon.
Amongst the winners was H.E the Lebanese Ambassador John Daniel, who received a certificate of appreciation on his great achievements during his service over the past seven years in Canberra.
The master of ceremonie was John Mangos, who welcomed the attendees and the official figures, and then presented the chamber's President Joe Khattar, who delivered a speech in which he said:
Excerpts from the speech of Joe Khattar, the President of the Australian Lebanese Chamber of Commerce:
"It’s an honour and a privilege to welcome you to this year’s Annual Awards, where we once again take enormous pride in presenting the Chamber’s Annual Awards to this year’s worthy winners …
This is an event that we value immensely, and it’s your presence that makes it so special …
I’m delighted to inform you that the recent Trade Mission to Lebanon was a great success due to several factors, primarily the renewal of confidence by both the Australian and the Lebanese sides, regarding trade and investment opportunities, which will remain the main focus of our Chamber and all the Chambers in Lebanon …
Follow up committees are now in place to pursue all the business matters discussed at the Chambers in Beirut, Tripoli, Saida and Zahle …
We had very successful meetings with leaders from the business community, and we are expecting large delegations of prominent businessmen to visit Australia as of early next year …
The Arab Bank organized a function for the ALCC delegation which was attended by business leaders from Lebanon and the Arab world …
BankMed also organized a business luncheon to discuss bank matters of concern to Lebanon and Australia .
At all times we promoted Australia as a very safe haven for investments. There will be a brief presentation tonight about the six day visit …
Australia’s Ambassador to Lebanon, Lex Bartlem, worked very closely with the delegation throughout the visit, and we will continue to work together for the benefit of this great country of ours, Australia ...
Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, I do wish you a very pleasant and enjoyable evening."
Excerpts from the speech of Deputy National Party leader Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP represents the Hon. Tony Abbott MP, the Prime Minister of Australia:
"There is a great future for our nation now in our ability, especially in agricultural trade, in the Middle East. We have a great future and we have a great capacity for commercial gain if our attention is firm in place, to be pragmatic in opening up the markets and making sure that we drive forth. Because I heard so much about–and it’s important–our imports from the Middle East and that’s going to be a vast important thing for the advancement of people in the Middle East, but we in this room have a great opportunity for the export of product from our great nation into that part of the world. Whether it’s a live sheep trade or a live cattle trade, and might I say how great an advantage we have with a wide range, especially wheat, something the Venetians and everybody since knows has been the source of so much wealth. If we can dominate that trade, if we can be in the centre of that trade, if we can be in control for our nation of the key components of that trade then we have the capacity to drive real wealth back into the city, back into this town and back into community that is before you tonight.
And I have one other great connection in the Lebanese community and that is a marriage one. I can also say that my children, they’re intrinsically part of what’s in this room tonight. So it gives me a sense of connection, a sense of pride, because I see our nation as a great nation as we combine all the attributes that bring us together, and hopefully my children are so much like the children of this room who go on to be part of a nation that will be a focus of the trade between this area and Lebanon and the Middle East. A focus of delivering back those things that are great about this nation Australia, our collegiate atmosphere, our sense of everybody as equal, our sense that we are happily engaged with one another, we live in a harmonious world, and we contribute that back as well.
Ladies and gentlemen, in closing, when the first Lebanese people back in the 1870s made their way to this nation, they actually thought they were going to America and they landed in south Australia. When they landed in south Australia they thought they’d arrived in hell. I don’t think anybody would deny the great blessing that we’ve all had being part of this nation, and the great future we all have being part of this nation, and I’d like to commend the Lebanese community for the great work that they’ve done in our nation. Better represented by outstanding people like Marie Bashir, these are the sort of people our nation are proud of, these are the sort of people and those are the sort of people our nation will need. Goodnight and God bless."
Tony Abbott's message's,
“I send my warm congratulations to the finalists of the Australian Lebanese Chamber of Commerce 2013 Annual Awards. I congratulate the finalists for their outstanding work in the business community. These awards also provide an opportunity to celebrate the strong ties between Australia and Lebanon. There are over 200,000 Australians of Lebanese origin and I pay tribute to the valuable contribution they make to our nation. Since 1788 Australia has been an immigrant society, successive waves of newcomers, eager for a better life, have enriched our culture and added dimension to our national story. I congratulate the award nominees and send my best wishes to all attending the dinner.
Prime Minister of Australia.”
Ambassador Jean Daniel with wife Mirelle, Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP and Mike Rizk
while receives his award
Joe Rizk with Geoff Wild of Arab Bank Australia and other guests
David Fitzharris (Brickworks) and his wife
Anwar Harb, Fayad Fayad, Joe Khattar, Ray Fayad, Camil Shalala
and Joe Khoury
Ambassador Daniel,wife Mirelle, Joe Khattar, Chad Khattar and Maureene Rizk
Hon. Philip Ruddock MP , Mrs Rizk and other guest
Joe Khattar, Luisa Pastrello and Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP
Ray Fayad, his wife and Allan King
James Wakim, his wife Lola and other guests
Anthony Sukkari, his wife and other guests
Fayad Fayad with his fiancée and other guests
Ray Fayad, his wife and Steven Shalala