Saturday, 22 March 2014

Opening of the new Consulate in Melbourne revisited

The controversy surrounding the opening of the new Consulate of the Republic of Slovenia in Melbourne has come to its conclusion even though the Ambassador continues to claim that Mr Nicholas Oman was not invited.

In the last week it has been established on the basis of evidence that Mr Oman was on the list of invited guests, at least at some point of the preparation process (on 11 February, to be precise), and it is also known that he appeared at the opening on 7 March.

A week ago, the Ambassador also claimed that the list of invited guests was put together in co-operation with Mr Alfred Brežnik, OAM, retired Honorary Consul General from Sydney, father Ciril Božic, Head of Religious and Cultural Centre Kew, Mr Peter Mandelj, Member of the Slovenian Parliament for Slovenians Abroad, and Mr Derry Maddison, the newly appointed Honorary Consul in Melbourne. The named leaders of the Slovenian community all denied their involvement and publicly stated that the list was entirely the responsibility of the Embassy in Canberra.

The Ambassador is too busy blaming everyone but himself for this unfortunate incident to provide a plausible explanation and/or to apologise.

Nevertheless, the community has come together and showed once again that we can unite when we want to.

Despite the controversy, the opening of the Consulate in Melbourne is and will remain one of the key events for the Slovenian community in Australia. All the best to Mr Derry Maddison as the first Honorary Consul of the Republic of Slovenia for the state of Victoria.


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