Federal Member for Throsby Stephen Jones was presented with the UMD Friendship Award at the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) Gala in Sydney for his services as Co-Chair of the Australia-Macedonia Parliamentary Friendship Group (AMPFG).
Ive been working throughout my term in office to strengthen the bonds of friendship between Australia and Macedonia, so its a great honour to be given this award as recognition, said Jones.
My highest priority as Co-Chair of AMPFG has been campaigning to have the Australian Government recognise Macedonia by its constitutional name The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
I have made representations to the Foreign Minister Bob Carr on a number of occasions and invited him to a successful event in the Illawarra last year to address the many Macedonian constituents I represent.
I also made a speech in Parliament recently, calling for bipartisan political leadership to support the recognition of Macedonia by its constitutional name.
My ambition is to see Australia join other countries around the world in acknowledging the importance of the Macedonian community to our national history and culture, said Jones.
The UMD Macedonia Friendship Award is given to individuals who have been long-standing friends of Macedonia and the global Macedonian community. Past recipients have included Canadian Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, US Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and Professor of Slavic Languages, Victor Friedman.
Read Stephen Jones speech in full at http://www.stephenjones.org.au/call_for_recognition_of_macedonia_by_constitutional_name