Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Open letter from Frances Urbas-Johnson, President of Slovenian Association Melbourne


Avstralsko-slovensko športno in družabno društvo Melbourne Inc.
Australian-Slovenian Social and Sporting Association Melbourne Inc

9 April 2014

The following public statement has been ratified by the Committee of Management,
Slovenian Association Melbourne.

The Slovenian Association Melbourne Committee of Management held its’ monthly meeting
on Tuesday 8th April 2014, the first opportunity to meet in person as a group to discuss the
controversy surrounding the opening of the Slovenian Honorary Consulate in Victoria, since
the event was held on 7th March 2014. Our prior month’s meeting had been held on Tuesday
10th March however committee members present, including myself, were not aware of the
circumstances surrounding the event. I was invited to the Consul event, however was unable
to attend and only found out about the issue on Thursday 13th March via one of our club
members.

Along with the majority of the Australian-Slovenian community, we are horrified, outraged
and disappointed at the attendance of  Mr Nicholas Oman at the opening of the
Honorary Consul in Victoria and the subsequent response from the Slovenian Embassy in
Australia. Over a month has passed and we are yet to be afforded a plausible explanation by
the Slovenian Embassy of Australia and / or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic
of Slovenia in relation to Mr Oman’s presence at the event. The longer we are kept waiting
for an answer is, in effect, fuelling a growing public perception of mistrust and disrespect
between the Slovenian Embassy in Australia and the Australian-Slovenian community.
We represent only a small portion of the Australian-Slovenian community; however we are
passionate and stand united in demanding a truthful, detailed explanation from the Slovenian
Embassy of Australia and / or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, as
to why Mr Oman was present (invited or otherwise) at the Consul event during the formalities
and later at the private reception, sitting across the table from the Slovenian Ambassador.
This week we have sent written correspondence to both the above-mentioned offices to this
effect.

I sincerely hope that our community stands united on this issue. We look to our leaders and
public representatives for inspiration, strength, passion and hope; leaders who place the
community’s interests above personal agendas and ego. This is the foundation of a vibrant
and sustainable future, so that our younger generations are inspired to continue our proud
traditions and actively participate in the community.

God bless!

Frances Urbas-Johnson
President Slovenian Association Melbourne
(2nd generation Australian-Slovenian)


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