House debates

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Statements by Members


1:45 pm

Photo of Luke SimpkinsLuke Simpkins (Cowan, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Yesterday I attended a gift-unveiling ceremony for the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Bosnia's Ambassador, Dr Damir Arnault, officially unveiled the gift to recognise the strong and friendly ties between the two countries. The gift was a mediaeval-style stone sculpture which has been located in Parliament House's formal gardens. The sculpture was created by Mr Adis Fejzic, who was born in Sarajevo but now resides in Brisbane. At the unveiling, Mr Fejzic described his gift as a 'summary' of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Australia. The sculpture features the Star of David, a cross and a crescent, appearing as one and representing the multicultural and multireligious Bosnia and Herzegovina. The connection to Australia is emphasised with the traditional Bosnian spheres constellated in the form of the Southern Cross.

Bosnia is a country that has over the decades changed, advanced and developed greatly. In January I had the opportunity to visit Sarajevo and saw the progress. Also, yesterday I had the opportunity to meet with ambassador to discuss the issues currently facing his homeland. We also discussed how Bosnians living in Western Australia would benefit greatly from the signing of a social security agreement with Australia. The government needs to address this matter urgently. Finally, I would like to thank the Bosnians in Cowan, and there are many, for their efforts and their positive contribution to our community. Bosnians across the whole country contribute strongly to Australia.