President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca visited the La Valette Social Centre in Blacktown, as part of her ongoing visit to Australia.
At the La Valette Social Centre, President Coleiro Preca initially led an informal discussion with youths of Maltese descent. The President spoke about the preserving of the Maltese culture and traditions.
The President told those present that the aim of the discussion is to “discuss how we can connect and how we can keep connected, in this day and age, and after so many years away from the island’’. She said that even though different means of communication today facilitate this connectivity, ‘‘we still need to think outside the box, when it comes to analyzing ways through which, the younger generation are to become more interested in the country of their forefathers’’, adding that “it would be wonderful if the younger generation keeps connected to the land of its forefathers as there is quite a lot that we can share, even though we live in two different hemispheres’’.
Following the discussion with youths, President Coleiro Preca was escorted to the main hall of the social centre where she was welcomed by a large crowd of Maltese community members.
During an emotional speech to the 500-strong crowd of members of the Maltese community, the President said that Malta will always miss them, and will always be their home away from home. She thanked the Maltese community for continuously giving visibility to Malta and Gozo through their various ventures, and she appealed to them to continue instilling the Maltese pride in the younger generations.
The event was also addressed by the Mayor of Blacktown City, Stephen Bali, who suggested that the Government of Malta should look into a twinning agreement between the city of Blacktown and a city or village in Malta. Mayor Bali thanked the Maltese community of Blacktown who have, over the years; proven to be an asset to the community of Blacktown, and without the Maltese community, Blacktown would not be the Blacktown it is today.
President Coleiro Preca continues her programme of activities in Australia tomorrow when she visits the George Cross Falcons Community Centre in Wollongong.