In her welcome speech society president Tania Blažević read a letter from Susan Cox, the Australian ambassador to Croatia. Also on hand to address the gathered was Ante Babić, president of the Croatian-Australian Society of Zagreb and a former Croatian consul in Melbourne.
There are a great number of Croatian returnees from Australia now living in the Split area, and they recognised the need to set up an organisation that would work towards creating bridges between the two cultures and countries. A Croatian-Australian Society and friends was established with the assistance of the Split branch office of the CHF. And while the members have previously staged a few small activities, it was on April 29th that they officially presented themselves to the Split public.
The event opened with Ivan Škvorc playing the Croatian and Australian national anthems on saxophone. Event moderator Danni Matijaca called on society president Tania Blažević, who welcomed the gathered and read a letter from Susan Cox, Australian ambassador to Croatia. Addressing the gathered on behalf of Mayor Ivo Baldasar was his chief of staff Ana Đeldum.
Branka Bezić Filipović, the head of the CHF branch office, spoke of the history of Croatian emigration to Australia, and read the letters of emigrants she published in her book A Meeting of Worlds: Croatia-Australia (Susret svjetova: Hrvatska-Australija). Also on hand to address the gathered was Ante Babić, president of the Croatian-Australian Society of Zagreb and a former Croatian consul in Melbourne.
The event closed with a performance by Stella Marinković, holder of the first voice of the island of Brač title.
There was an excellent turnout for the event and the Split-based organisation won many new members.
Text by: Branka Bezić Filipović