Presented by: Solomiya Rozhko.
The Ukrainian Community recently celebrated the 60th anniversary of settlement in Australia, and in recognition of this the Ukrainian Community in Queensland plans to host a series of informative sessions about people from within our community sharing their unique life stories. This series has been called "Ukraine and her descendants"
On Saturday 27 March 2010 at 3pm people came to the Ukrainian Community Centre at South Brisbane for the launch of the first presentation of a series for 2010 about “Ukraine and her descendants” – as part of our ongoing commitment to further promote Ukraine and our community.
We have many respected members of community that have contributed so much to the Ukrainian Community in Queensland and for Australia.
Amongst them we have people from all walks of life, professions, people with exceptional skills and talents, who have interesting stories to share about their immigration experience and their contribution to the culture and economy of Australia.
Apart from the successful achievements of many of our professionals that we are very proud of, like our Clergy, Doctors, Lawyers, Scientists, Artists, Musicians, Architects, Engineers, Teachers, there are many people that have overcome adversity and survived unbelievable hardship that are still with us today.
We have people who are from our pioneer generation that established our community, also their descendants, visitors from Ukraine, and people who have just immigrated to Australia, all with unique stories.
We want to encourage people that have an interesting story to come forward and to share their experience with the community.
We had the opportunity to invite Solomiya Rozhko, a young lady who currently lives in L‘viv, Ukraine, who previously lived in Brisbane with her parents, to speak to us.Many would remember her as a young energetic Ukrainian lady who became actively involved in our community, one who even became a member of the Management Committee of the Ukrainian Community of Queensland Inc.
We were very keen to have Solomiya share her experience and views on many aspects of Ukrainian life, as she has experienced life in Australia and returned to Ukraine.
It would seem more & more young intelligent educated people are deciding to stay in Ukraine to support the newly established democracy, despite the current difficulties during this time of the political and economic change.
We offer our moral support to these people with the hope that they will be able to make a noticeable difference in the future.
Stephen Chomyn, president of the Ukrainian Community of Queensland Inc (UCQ) welcomed everyone to the community centre and introduced Solomiya. This event was organised at very short notice, as Solomiya was here in Brisbane just for the Easter holiday visiting her parents.
Her presentation commenced with an eight-minute promotional film called "Welcome to Ukraine!" Solomiya went on to speak about being Ukrainian and her personal story.
Solomiya was an exchange student in the USA from 1994-1995 and also lived in Australia from 2001 to 2004, before returning to Ukraine where she worked for the L’viv Regional State Administration.
Solomiya was in Kyiv in Majdan Nezalezhnosti during the "Orange Revolution" in 2004 and witnessed that historical event.
Solomiya spoke about many recent events in Ukraine and presented interesting facts and statistics about Ukraine.
Some of the events and topics discussed included:
Eurovision song contest
Russia Ukraine gas disputes
The final tournament of the 2012 UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) European Football Championship, commonly referred to as Euro 2012
2008 Floods in Western Ukraine – biggest in 100 years
Ukrainian presidential election of 2010
Ukraine’s performance at Vancouver 2010
Famous Ukrainians and inventions
Ukrainian fashion week
TV shows – same as around the globe
Seven wonders of Ukraine
Solomiya is also a very keen photographer and her visual presentation concluded with many images of Ukraine, most of these were photographs taken by her.
The audience included people of all ages and backgrounds that listened with attention and genuine interest, as demonstrated by the number of questions asked.
At the end of the presentation Stephan Chomyn, President of the UCQ Inc thanked Solomiya for preparing and sharing with us her point of view about such interesting topics. He particularly thanked the audience for coming at such short notice and for their continuing support.
Some of the members of the audience wished that their relatives could have attended this event with them. Miss Neslihan Mustafa a member of the Turkish community was so impressed with the information presented that she is now so keen to visit Ukraine.
We were pleased with the outcome and with the feedback we received, and we trust that future presentations will be as informative.
The above photograph is of some of the people who attended the presentation. Solomiya Rozhko is 6th person from the right.
Photos taken by Lyudmila Kelloway.