Sada-e-Watan Sydney ™

The Hon. Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Dr Stepan Kerkyasharian and Hon.Victor Dominello MP

Dr. Stepan Kerkyasharian AO - 34 years of Great and Unique Services Celebration Dinner held in Sydney

On Tuesday, 10th Dec 2013, a dinner party was held at the Le Montage Sydney. The dinner was celebration of Dr. Stepan Kerkyasharian’s 34 years of dedicated services to the Multiculturalism. The dinner was under the Patronage of the Hon. Philip Ruddock MP and in the Presence of the Hon. Victor Dominello MP, Minister for Citizenship and Communities.

Master of Ceremonies Mr. Vince Sorrenti

Mr. Vince Sorrenti was Master of Ceremonies and .Name of the Members of the  Dr.Stepan Kerkyasharian Celebration Dinner Organising Committee are  John Caputo OAM (Chair), Jack Passaris OAM, Benjamin Chow AO, Michael Christodoulou AM, Anwar Harb OAM, David Knoll AM, Helen Sham-Ho OAM, Albert Vella, Eva Tzodouris, Beverley Bell, Warren Duncan, Rosa Stathis. Function was starts at 7.15pm. MC sets the scene for the evening talk just a little bit about Stepan’s achievements and introduces the Chair of the Organising Committee, John Caputo.

                  Mr. John Caputo OAM, Chair Dr.Stepan Kerkyasharian Celebration Dinner Organising Committee

7.25pm John Caputo welcomes everyone and explains why the community leaders came together to organise this event.

                                                     Mr. Michael Photios, Former Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Ethnic Affairs

7.30pm MC calls Michael Photios to the stage to speak as former Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Ethnic Affairs.

7.40pm MC introduces Armenian Dancers doing three traditional folk dances.

Main Course is served.

8.05pm once all the meals are served MC introduces the Classical Performers – Zoe Drummond, soprano, Damian Arnold, tenor & Glen Amer accompanist.

                                                       Federal Parliamentary Secretary, Hon. Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells

8.25pm MC introduces Federal Parliamentary Secretary, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells who was Representing the Prime Minister Hon Tony Abbot. appreciates the positive services of the Dr.Stepan Kerkyasharian and read  special message of Prime Minister of Australia for Dr.Stepan Kerkyasharian.

  Minister for Citizenship and Communities Honourable Victor Dominello MP

8.35pm MC Introduces Minister Victor Dominello, Minister for Citizenship and Communities and Minister for Indigenous Affairs who appreciates Positive Role and achievements of Dr.Stepan Kerkyasharian. Minister Victor said that For the Multicultural Australia and for Ethnic Communities, Dr. Stepan Kerkyasharian did a Great and unforgatanable work.

8.45pm Desert is served.

Honourable Amanda Fazio MLC

8.50pm MC introduces Amanda Fazio MLC, representing the Leader of the Opposition, John Robertson who speak about 34 years of dedicated services of Dr.Stepan Kerkyasharian.

Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell

8.55pm MC Invites Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, to the stage who said that Dr Stepan Kerkyasharian AO, who has been the Chairman of the Community Relations Commission for the last 24 years has decided to step down from that position. For the last ten years he has also held the position of President of the Anti-discrimination Board of NSW and prior to that he was the Head of Radio for the Special broadcasting Service.

                                                              The Deputy Commissioner of the New South Wales Police Nick Kaldas

9.05pm MC Invites Nick Kaldas, Deputy Police Commissioner to the State, representing the Commissioner, Andrew Scipione. Nick Kaldas said that I know Dr.Stepan Kerkyasharian from long time. I would like to thank you all organizing committee for the dinner to honour Dr. Stepan’s 34 years of public service both to the Commonwealth and the State of New South Wales. Deputy Police Commissioner of New South Wales Nick Kaldas said that whenever few people disturb the peaceful situation in NSW, Dr.Stepan Kerkyasharian play a great Role for unite communities or religious groups and his responds help Police for maintain Law and Order in the state.

Managing Editor of An Nahar Mr Anwar Harb

 9.10pm MC Invites Mr Anwar Harb, Managing Editor of An Nahar Arabic Newspaper who speak on behalf of the NSW media.

Chair of Community Relation Commission New South Wales Dr Stepan Kerkyasharian AO

9.15pm MC invites Dr.Stepan to the stage to address the gathering. Dr Stepan Kerkyasharian AO thanks everyone for express the feelings and best wishes. He briefly explains the situation of his 34 years Government service. He said I am glad that Now Australian people understand and respect each other religious and Cultural values and it is a bright symbol for the Multicultural Australia.

Dr Stepan Kerkyasharian said that SBS and CRC should get a credit for the all efforts made by the management for the creating Harmony and Peace in the Australian Society. Dr. Stepan Kerkyasharian thanks Prime Minister, Premier, Opposition, Ministers, Federal & State members of Parliament, his friends, family, colleagues, Media, CRC Staff and various ethnic communities Leaders.

  10.00pm Presentation to Stepan by John Caputo

10.10pm Presentation to Dr.Stepan by NSW Police

10.15pm MC invites Members of the Organising committee to the stage for a photo with Dr.Stepan

10.30pm MC Closes the evening.

Stepan Kerkyasharian - Thirty-four years of public service

     Early in the New Year, 2014, Dr Kerkyasharian will conclude 24 years in his post, having served seven New South Wales State Premiers. He was previously head of SBS Radio for ten years.

That adds up to 34 years of unstinting service to the people of New South Wales and Australia by an Armenian migrant from Cyprus who came searching for a better life for this family.

There have been many highlights in those three decades of public life:


Dr Kerkyasharian is credited with the professionalisation of broadcasting at SBS Radio in the Nineteen-Eighties. He was also a key player in the team that established SBS Television in 1980.

As Chair of the Ethnic Affairs Commission, he moved to put language specialists – interpreters and translators - onto a professional footing with accreditation, training and codes of practice in place.

He developed the ground-breaking NSW Charter of Principles for a Culturally Diverse Society which laid out the equality of all people in NSW and declared diversity to be a state asset. It was signed by Premier John Fahey.

Dr Kerkyasharian worked with the Carr Government to rename and to reshape the work of the Commission to better fit the demands of an increasingly globalised world. The Community Relations Commission was established to meet that need.

For nearly a quarter of a century he guided New South Wales society through numerous challenges to community harmony precipitated by events on the other side of the world that impacted on local groups.

The first Gulf War, Nine-Eleven in New York, Afghanistan, the Bali bombings, the invasion of Iraq, the war in Lebanon and, more recently, the civil strife in Syria and Egypt, all required the Community Relations Commission to take a leading and proactive role.

Under the O’Farrell Government, the Commission has pursued a new emphasis on the economic advantages of cultural diversity to enhance its benefits for the people of NSW. It has also staged an annual Premier’s Harmony Dinner, as a key community event for New South Wales celebrating multiculturalism, and instituted a multicultural media awards programme.

Dr Kerkyasharian will continue as part-time President of the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW.


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