Professor Manuel Aroney talks on the great things that the Ethnic Communities' Council has done.
26 July 2002
Interview for Making Multicultural Australia, 1994.
PROFESSOR MANUEL ARONEY Former member of the Executive, Ethnic Communitiesí Council of New South Wales
One of the great things that the ECC (Ethnic Communities' Council) did - both in NSW and in other states - was to somehow or other get these groups together to say - now look, we know you've got problems between you, but we're in Australia, let's bury those problems for the time being, keep them to yourselves. There are other problems here dealing with the general Australian society. And we've got common problems of cultural heritage, of recognition, of language - all sorts of problems here which we're neglecting. If we work together, we could really do something.Interview for Making Multicultural Australia, 1994.
CONTINUATION OF INTERVIEW AS TEXT
Even in the formative times of the NSW Ethnic Communities' Council, there were pessimists who said: How can you get the Serbs and the Croats to sit under the one roof and agree on anything? How can you get the Greeks and the Turks to sit under the one roof and agree on anything after Cyprus? How can you get so many other groups, that were really at loggerheads back in Europe, to sit down together and talk to each other. There was a lot of hatred by these groups, which remained isolated in many cases. And I don't want to overstate the case, but there was certainly suspicion and lack of trust.