Minister attends Victorian Plenum

August 8, 2012 by Michelle Coleman
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Nicholas Kotsiras, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, last night attended the Plenum of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) at Beth Weizmann Community Centre. 

Nicholas Kotsiras

The Minister addressed delegates of the JCCV’s affiliated organisations, which span the mosaic of Jewish religious, political, cultural, welfare, educational and social associations operating in Victoria.

Mr Kotsiras commended the Jewish Community on being able to speak “with one voice” and commented on how difficult it was for him to fulfil his role when approached by multiple representatives of other communities rather than a united body like the JCCV.

Mr Kotsiras also congratulated both the JCCV and the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission for uniting to apply for a grant from the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship to co-locate into new offices in Beth Weizmann, which the Minister opened officially earlier that evening. Mr Kotsiras then shared with the Plenum several observations from his first trip to Israel in July of this year. “This visit reconfirmed my belief that there can’t be peace without Israel’s security being assured,” said Mr Kotsiras, later adding that there would not be peace in the short term. Mr Kotsiras voiced his support for a two-state solution as “the only solution” and said that “any solution must recognise Israel’s right to live in peace”. He concluded by saying that Israel’s greatest resource is its people and commended them for their creativity and ingenuity. Victorian Multicultural Commissioner Graham Leonard thanked Mr Kotsiras for attending and for his strong support for the Victorian Jewish community. As a thank you gift, the Minister was given a copy of a book called If you were in our place: The Rescuers of the Van Engel Family in the Netherlands in WW2, written by JCCV Vice President Dr Helen Light AM

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