Festa - Croatian Food & Wine Festival 2018
Wednesday 28 November, 2018
today to acknowledge the 15th anniversary of Croatia’s showcase of culture
through its annual event, Festa, the Croatian food and Wine Festival.
Saturday, 24th November 2018, I was pleased to attend the 15th
anniversary of Festa. 15 years of showcasing a variety of aspects from both the
traditional and modern Croatia. A festival held by the South Australian
Croatian community highlighting Croatia’s energetic culture. A culture which
has made a large contribution to our South Australian way of life.
committee has been able to grow the scale of the event, from a small ‘picnic’
style event, to one which attracts thousands of patrons not only from South
Australia, but from across Australia. It is now widely regarded as the biggest
and best Croatian Festival in Australia.
commend the hardworking volunteers led by the Croatian Sports Centre’s President Juli
Cirjak, Festival Director Gordana Smoljan and the Festa committee members, for
their greatly appreciated efforts. Festa’s generous volunteers are the reason
the festival has been so successful and continued to prosper. These volunteers form
the fabric of our immigration story and put their heart into the event year in
and year out.
Mr Joseph Petric, the Croatian consul, based in Melbourne, attended for the
first time, and we certainly welcomed him, and we were thrilled to have Her
Excellency Ambassador Betty Pavelich Sirois, the new Croatian ambassador to
Australia, from Canberra, who made a passionate and emotional speech, one which
I was very proud of. I was pleased to be joined by the Hon. Jing Lee, who spoke
on behalf of the Premier and spoke very well, the Hon. David Ridgway and Susan
Close MP, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition.
The festival is special as these volunteers have followed in the footsteps of
their parents and grandparents. They share with us their centuries-old family traditions
and ensure that these traditions carry on in the generations to come.
donating hours of their time each year in setting up and running the event, to
keeping family traditions alive, the Croatian culture of food, wine, music and
entertainment, brought over to Australia, has flourished.
South Australia, there are over 3,500 Croatian-born residents and many more of
Croatian descent, and in total, it's a growing community of approximately
10,000 people. The South Australian Government welcomes every opportunity to
emphasise the important relationship between immigration, multiculturalism and
our cultural and economic wealth as a nation. The Croatian community has made a
valuable and deeply appreciated contribution to the richness of Australian
society and that of our State.
in South Australia, keen to maintain the language and culture of Croatia for
future generations, have established several organisations, such as the
Croatian Ethnic School (1966), the Croatian Radio Hour (1976) the Croatian
Soccer Club (1952), the Croatian Catholic Centre (1956) and the Croatian Club
commend the Croatian community for their passionate and active presence in regional
South Australia. These clubs are not only located in Adelaide, but in the towns
of Port Lincoln, Whyalla, the Riverland, Coober Pedy and Mount Gambier. Croatian
clubs exist to further strengthen artistic, sporting and cultural ties between
our two countries.
initiatives in recent years continue to demonstrate the commitment of Croats,
both past and present, to the betterment of their community in South Australia.
Examples include the development of a modern facility shared with Ukrainian and
Belarusian peoples for aged care; the raising of funds for medical equipment in
Croatia through the Croatian Medical Aid Foundation; the formation of the
Australian Croatian Chamber of Commerce SA to foster
bilateral trade between Croatia and South Australia and the founding of
the Australian Croatian Genealogical and Historical Society.
The longstanding bilateral relationship between
Australia and Croatia in the last 26 years is not only based on our shared
world view, but very much on the personal connections between our people.
There are also other areas of engagement including tourism, where an increasing
number of Australians are discovering the beauty and delights of this
fascinating country. I understand, about 150,000 Australian tourists visited
Croatia last year. I believe that we, working together through these business
and community circles will continue to grow as valued partners and trusted
friends, contributing to significant and enduring relations into the future.
I congratulate the Festa committee for this
year’s 15th anniversary festivities and I look forward to returning next year. Zivjeli!