Australia Day was staged by organisers the CHF Split branch office, the Australian Embassy in Zagreb and the Marko Marulić municipal library in Split. Returnees from Australia gathered at the municipal library including the Croatian woman of Split’s own Aussie Squad and friends of the land “Down Under.”

 

 

Australia Day was staged on Friday, 25 January by organisers the CHF Split branch office, the Australian Embassy in Zagreb and the Marko Marulić municipal library in Split. Returnees from Australia gathered at the municipal library including the Croatian woman of Split’s own Aussie Squad and friends of the land “Down Under.”
Australia Day, customarily celebrated on 26 January, is a day on which Australians celebrate their country’s achievements and their stable, democratic and multicultural society and its robust market economy. It is also an opportunity to celebrate the values they cherish, such as liberty, tolerance, friendship and equal opportunity for all.

CHF Split branch office head Branka Bezić Filipović held a short lecture on Croatians in Australia followed by a film and gifts for all on hand presented by the Australian Embassy in Zagreb.
According to the last census in Australia almost 120 thousand people declared themselves ethnic Croatians, which a rough estimate places the possible total figure at 250 thousand. They enjoy the same status, rights and obligations as all other Australian citizens. Croatians first emigrated to Australia in the late 19th century, for the most part from the Dalmatia region for well-known economic reasons.
The well-received event demonstrated that there are quite a number of Australian Croatians living in Split. Some decided to spend their retirement in the Dalmatia region. Some were born in Australia and now wish to live in the country of their ancestors. Australian widow Robyn Vulinovich, whose husband fell in the defence of the country, decided to make Croatia her new homeland. Young couples also gathered for the event with their children. They are certainly the most marvellous bridge between Croatia and Australia and one of the key reasons these types of events need to be nurtured.

Text by: Branka Bezić Filipović