AFRICAN CONFLICT MANAGEMENT TRAINING ENDS

By Tony Bee, Sydney, Australia

A recent intensive three-day African community leaders and active community members training offered to diverse African communities ended on March 10, 2012. The training, organized by the Office of the Attorney General and Justice at Marsden Street, Parramatta in New South Wales (NSW), was to strengthen the ability of African community leaders to detect the early symptoms of conflicts or disputes and nip them in the bud or to resolve those conflict if they already exist.

This important and necessary training for the African community attracted numerous community leaders and active community members, both men and women, from different regions within NSW, including Wollongong and Wagga Wagga. Those who represented the Sierra Leone community in the Inner-West region were Messrs Anthony Bee-Conteh, Journalist, Sonny Edmondson Cole, Chairman for the Sierra Leone Community Council (SLCC), he is also a journalist by profession and Andrew Sankoh, a university lecturer.

According to Julia Haraksin, Manager for Diversity Services in the Attorney General’s Office,  there was a  lot of consultations between her office and  the various African community leaders in NSW in relation to violence associated with the African communities, especially domestic violence. She said that during those consultations, many community leaders suggested the need for a training workshop on conflict management and resolution. The African community leaders were quick to point out that conflicts and disputes are most times unavoidable but a refined way of settling those disputes in agreement with Australia’s laws would be an advantage.

Joe Moore, the training officer and Director in the Office of Attorney General and Justice, told participants that he knew Africans have a wealth of knowledge and experience in settling conflicts and disputes and therefore had confidence in the African community leaders in shaping their own futures in terms of conflict management. He however stated that Australia has her own way of resolving conflicts and was therefore good for African leaders to know some of the methods and techniques that Australia uses in conflict resolution so as to enable African community members to enjoy peace and quietness, especially between husbands and wives and between parents and their kids

Mr. Moore said that there are differences between conflicts and disputes in human life. He said that conflict is when tempers or emotions of two people become higher than expected in an argument, resulting in physical confrontation or heated verbal exchange. On the other hand, he said, disputes are when people argue on a point without temper or emotion flare-ups or without any serious insults or abuses. Unlike conflict, dispute does not involve malice or bad feelings.

Mr. Moore further said that a dispute arises when two or more people disagree on facts and they argue over it until they arrive at a point. In conflict, he said, an entrenched state of negative feelings like anger, fear, distrust or disgust erupts.

He also explained how community leaders should settle conflicts or disputes as facilitators for their various communities. He said that community leaders/facilitators must be fair in the process of resolving conflicts by approaching the situation with a fair and non-judgmental mind and by allowing all parties involved in the conflict or dispute to explain their own sides of the problem. He advised facilitators not to nod their heads or make any sign of acknowledging the veracity of a speaker; otherwise he will be regarded as taking sides.

Many of the participants I spoke to said they had gained a lot from the workshop and now have the confidence to tackle any conflict or dispute arising in their communities. A role- play on how to settle or resolve a conflict or dispute amicably marked the end of the programme and certificates were issued to participants.

 

Categories: DISCUSSION FORUM | Leave a comment

IN MEMORY OF MOHAMED L’MAZ BAH

 

It has been another sad and disheartening day for Sierra Leoneans residing in New South Wales Australia. On behalf of all Sierra Leoneans in NSW, the Sierra Leone Community Council NSW wishes to extend their sincere condolences to the Bah family.

 

The Council wishes to inform members and other Sierra Leoneans that we have lost a father, brother, a patriotic and an active community member by the name of Mohamed L’maz Bah.

 

Mohamed commonly known as ‘Amaz’ was born on the 27th January 1963 in Sierra Leone and migrated to Australia in 1989 for work related matters.  Upon arrival, he worked for the NRMA as a sales representative for few years before switching companies. Later, he moved to AMP Insurance and also worked in a similar field as a sales representative establishing himself as one of the best sales person within the insurance industry. He acquired numerous prizes for his outstanding work at the various insurance companies he was employed. His last place of work was with the Combine Insurance company were he attained the position of regional manager. Mr. Bah served his company in New Zealand and later returned to Australia early this year and resided at Parramatta NSW.

 

Outside his work life, he dedicated his time to community work. He worked tirelessly in ensuring that the African community in Sydney was united. He served as the president for both the Sierra Leone Association and the African Community Australia.  As an active member within the Sierra Leone community, he contributed on several occasions either financially or morally in community events.

 

L’amahz is survived by three children – two girls and a boy.  Again, the Sierra Leone Community wishes to convey their deepest sympathies.

 

For Funeral arrangement, Sierra Leoneans in Sydney are advised to visit Mr. and Mrs. Kallay’s house at 15 Snowgum Street Acacia Gardens. They can be contacted on telephone number is (02) 96263494.

 

All Australians, New Zealanders, Sierra Leoneans as well as other nationalities, friends, co-worker and acquaintances who knew ‘Amaz’, Mr. Mohamed L’maz Bah will dearly miss him.

 

 

Categories: DISCUSSION FORUM | 4 Comments

Early Intervention for Domestic Violence Information session and workshop

It has come to our knowledge as organisation that domestic violence is on top of crimes committed within the  Africa community members, especially young African men and women being the highest perpetrators. To eliminate or reduce this syndrome in our communities. The Sierra Unite Inc. would be organizing an information session and workshop on Early Intervention for Domestic Violence on different dates with funding from

 Parramatta City council. Transport will be available to and fro Lakemba via Bankstown to Granville Youth Centre .There will also be a refreshment at break time, which will be preceded by a slide show of victims of Domestic violence .

Several distinguished personalities have been invited and the Sierra Unite Inc. would be  honoured to have you and your members among the invited guests to attend to these sessions. Should you require further information on the event, please contact either the undersigned Murray Kanneh on 0431301384 (sierraunitty@yahoo.com.au) or Edie Bayor on 0401640094 (email: ediebayor@hotmail.com) we thank you very much for your participation, in advance.

 

Date:  12th November 2011

Saturday :

Time :9.00 am to 4.00

 

Venue: Granville Youth and multicultural Centre

Address: 3A Memorial Drive

Granville

Sierra Unite Inc.

SIERRA UNITE.27 FRANKLIN STREET MAYS Hill  NSW 2145

PH :( 02) 96874095. E-MAIL: sierraunitty@yahoo.com.au  www.sierraunite.org

ABN: 99 259 711 957

Categories: DISCUSSION FORUM | Leave a comment

THE WAY FORWARD FOR SIERRA LEONEANS IN AUSTRALIA

Categories: DISCUSSION FORUM | 2 Comments

Do Sierra Leoneans need a Federation now in Australia?

Categories: DISCUSSION FORUM | 1 Comment

2012 Celebration of Sierra Leone Cultures

Categories: DISCUSSION FORUM | 1 Comment

President Ernest Bai Koroma’ visit

Categories: DISCUSSION FORUM | 2 Comments