Commonwealth Day 2014Presentation Welcome to a special presentation for students to understand more about the Commonwealth of Nations Commonwealth Day Monday 10 March 2014
The Commonwealth Established in 1949 by the London Declaration Voluntary organisation made up of sovereign states Committed to development, cooperation and democratic development of nations Managed by the Commonwealth Secretariat (political) and Commonwealth Foundation (funding) with Head Office in London Commonwealth Secretariat established since 1965 The Queen is the ceremonial head of the Commonwealth Day to day operations managed by a General Secretary with the support of 267 staff across the globe Second largest international grouping of nations after the United Nations.
Just the Facts There are 53 nations in the Commonwealth Nearly 2 billion people live in the Commonwealth Over 50% of the Commonwealth is under 25 years of age Every two years the Commonwealth Heads of Government meet to discuss issues (CHOGM) Last meeting in Australia was held in Perth, October 2011 Chairman rotated between hosts of CHOGM These meetings provide a unique forum for consultation at the highest level of government.
Current Issues in the Commonwealth • Nations have differing views on issues depending on their stage of development and political climate • How to combat terrorism through international cooperation • Health issues focusing on contagious diseases • Especially in African nations • Availability of inexpensive treatments • Climate change and environmental protection • Greenhouse effect • Development vs pollution • Where the Commonwealth is heading and why it exists • Issues of Tolerance, Mutual Respect and Understanding • Religious differences • Civil wars • Child abuse • Discrimination - Racial, Gender etc.
Major Commonwealth Programs • The Commonwealth is active in a number of areas including development, democracy, debt management and trade. • The programs cover areas such as: • Sustainability • Education • Health • Youth • Human rights • Sport For more information go to www.thecommonwealth.org www.commday.org.au
Commonwealth Day • Celebrates the achievements and people of the Commonwealth • Held on the second Monday in March each year • Marked by events all over the world • Largest celebration held in Westminster Abbey and attended by the Queen as Head of the Commonwealth • 2012 celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty - 60 years as the UK Monarch and 60 years as Head of the Commonwealth and 2013 celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation Commonwealth Mace is carried during the service
Theme Each year a theme is set for Commonwealth Day. The theme for 2014 is: ‘ ‘Team Commonwealth’ The theme reflects the spirit of friendship and the drive towards achieving shared goals and values that exist between the Commonwealth’s member countries. Team spirit brings the enormous strength of solidarity, unity and of collective striving for greater achievement. Share your ideas and stories on the Commonwealth theme https://www.facebook.com/CommonwealthDay More information and resources are available from www.commonwealththeme.org
Young People • Young people make up half of the 2 billion population of the Commonwealth • Young citizens of the Commonwealth can make positive contributions to society by being agents of social change • Young people will lead the Commonwealth into the future in their role as leaders and responsible citizens • The Commonwealth will continue to promote democracy, good governance, justice, development and growth so that a new generation of its citizens can enjoy lives of dignity, peace and prosperity.
Young People cont’d. • The Commonwealth works to instil in young people the spirit of peace, social cohesion and harmony, multiculturalism, commitment for human rights, respect and understanding, freedom, equality and moral values.
Purpose • The Commonwealth Day Council of NSW was established by Donald Ramsey and Tom Harvey in 1984 to promote and celebrate Commonwealth Day • The purpose of the Commonwealth Day Council of NSW is to: • Promote the benefits of the Commonwealth and its countries • Support the Australia Youth Trust which provides scholarships for education, arts and medical assistance to young people • The Patron of the Commonwealth Day Council is Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Marie Bashir AC CVO, Governor of New South Wales.
Purpose cont’d. • The Co-Hosts of the Commonwealth Day is the President of the Legislative Council, the Hon. Don Harwin, MLC and the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, the Hon. Shelley Hancock MP. • A number of high profile people sit on the Council • Commonwealth and State Government representatives • Diplomats and Consuls General • Business leaders • Leaders in Education and the Arts.
Main Event • NSW Governor attends the lunch held at NSW Parliament House • Events have also been held at a • Service in St Andrew’s Cathedral with Her Majesty • Reception at Admiralty House then Sydney based Hotel. • Approximately 250 guests attend the luncheon from a wide cross section of the community: • Corporate Companies, Associations, ethnic communities, Royal Overseas League, Royal Commonwealth Society, Members of Parliament (State/Federal) and distinguished guests. • Over 100 school students perform at the event • A guest speaker is invited to give the occasional address.
Key Speakers and Guests • Key speakers and guests in past years have included: • Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth • The late Diana, Princess of Wales • Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Marie Bashir AC CVO, Governor of New South Wales • Mr Mick Keelty APM, Former Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police • The Hon Justice Michael Kirby AC CMG, Former Justice of the High Court of Australia • General Peter Cosgrove AC MC, Former Chief of the Australian Defence Forces • Professor Ian Plimer B.Sc.(Hons), Ph.D. • Sir Ian Turbott, AO CVO CMG, Hon Consul, Cook Islands • Mr Robyn Williams AM • Mr Edmund Capon AM OBE Former Director, Art Gallery of NSW • Mr Nick McInnes British Consul-General
Special Guest Speaker Special Guest Speaker for 2014 Mr David Murray AO Former CEO Commonwealth Bank and Future Fund Chairman. David has an outstanding career in the business financial sector transforming the Commonwealth Bank from a partly privatised bank to a $49 billion integrated financial services company are amongst some of his many achievements.
Australia Youth Trust Australia Youth Trust The Australia Youth Trust is a company limited by guarantee established to provide the following: • Financial support to commonwealth and other agencies providing relief programs to young people suffering from poverty, illness, exploitation and abuse in developing countries • Provide better opportunities for young people and their families including literacy, education, employment and training programs • Provide funding for students to travel, study and work in a developing commonwealth country. • The Australia Youth Trust was launched in October 1996 at a special event held with the late Diana, Princess of Wales as Guest of Honour. • The Chairman of the Trust is the Hon Max Willis RFD ED CSI. Tom Harvey Award for Citizenship • This is one of the key Awards as granted by the Australia Youth Trust. The Awards is open to Australian citizens, aged between 15 and 30 years and to those who have made an outstanding contribution to the community.
Special Debate • Held on Commonwealth Day in March • Students participate in NSW Parliament House in the Legislative Assembly Chamber • NSW Public Schools Team verses Other School Group Teams • Topic of debate related to theme for Commonwealth Day ‘that the Commonwealth Games should include Cricket’ • Winning team announced at the luncheon • Cash prizes for all teams • All welcome to come and hear the debate commencing at 9.45am on Commonwealth Day 10 March 2014.
A new network • The Commonwealth Day Council is the Australian Chapter of the Friends of the Commonwealth Country Chapters • We welcome you to become a Friend of the Commonwealth – a forum for learning, discussion and participation in the work of the Commonwealth. Go to www.commonwealthfriends.org or • Join us on Facebook www.commday.org.au Photography by Ian Bird Photography