The Australian Oromo Community Association in Victoria (AOCAV) is a unique community organisation established in 1984 by the first Oromo pioneers who migrated to Australia as refugees under the resettlement program with many other refugees from the Horn of Africa. The majority of Australia’s Oromo community fled Ethiopia following the military dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam’s ‘red terror’ campaign in 1978, and after the 1991 change of government. Oromo people have settled peacefully in Australia since the beginning of 1980s. Approximately 5,000 Australian Oromo population are living in Victoria.
Our association is committed to facilitating community development and growth, whilst maintaining the rich cultural heritage of the Oromo people. Performance of traditional rituals and rites of passage are commemorated in the celebration of births, wedding and deaths through engaging in spoken word, song and dance.
Australian Oromo people prefer to be referred to as Australia-Oromo, rather than Australia-Ethiopian. Speaking the Oromo language, “Afaan Oromoo” has served to retain a powerful sense of identity among the Oromo and defy the long standing ban, upheld for almost half a century particularly against the Oromo people and language.
The national community focus has been on the preservation of human rights, education of all Oromo people and celebration of Oromo identity within mainstream Australian culture. Spoken word and song are integral to passing down Oromo history, this is enriched in the lives of children, during their primary and secondary school years and Oromo festivities largely relate to celebrating the national Australian-Oromo community foci.
Political activism among Australian Oromo people involves working with Australian charities and organisations to support human rights, lobbying the Australian government towards recognizing and positively engaging with various Australian Oromo communities and developing mentoring leadership skills among Australian Oromo youth to engage with Australia’s educational and business economy. In it’s twenty-28 year history, the AOCAV has had many challenges along the way. Numerous volunteers have contributed to the success and survival of the association.
It has been a worthwhile effort as the association is now being led by the generation that are born and raised in Australia. Moreover, the organisation is able to employ three Oromo Community Workers on a part time permanent basis since 18th of February 2013. This is a great achievement for our community to deliver community based services to meet the needs. It’s also a great help for our dedicated management committee who has been involving in the community activities along with their day to day life and challenges.
Statements of purposes:
The Australian Oromo Community Association in Victoria Inc. is affiliated with the Oromo Women’s group, Oromiya Soccer Club, Funeral Scheme Group and Oromo Radio Broadcasting Unit and is intended to be a non-profit, non-political Welfare Community organization.
The principal aims of the Association
The objectives of the Association