Indigenous Elder welcomes Oxfam into New Offices

General, Media Releases article written on the 01 Jun 2007

DoreenGarvey-Wandin, a Senior Elder of the Wurundjeri tribe welcomed Oxfam Australia intotheir new offices today in Carlton, Melbourne.

In aceremony attended by many dignitaries, including the Premier of Victoria, the Honourable Steve Bracks and the Executive Director of Oxfam International, Jeremy Hobbs, all present recognized the prior owners of the land. Ms Garvey-Wandin acknowledged her ancestors and offered eucalyptus leaves to the ‘visitors’, before the Hon Steve Bracks officially opened the new headquarters of Oxfam Australia.

The move to the new building marks the next stage in the development of Oxfam, which spent twenty years located in George Street, Fitzroy. Significant organisational growth over the past several years, as well as the need to ensure ongoing accountability not only to supporters but also those it aims to assist, catalysed the move to larger offices at 132 Leicester Street, Carlton.

“It’s a new beginning for Oxfam . It signifies how much the agency has grown, both in size and professionalism,” said Andrew Hewitt, Executive Director, Oxfam.

“Amongst the many challenges that Oxfam always faces are the challenges of how to retain our community linkages and how to be consistent with our values and purposes. This move will help us meet these challenges in an even more effective and efficient way,” he added.

Oxfam has worked with and supported Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians for over thirty years. Oxfam’s program and advocacy work in indigenous communities typifies the approach to achieving a just world without poverty no matter where those in need may be.

Oxfam would like to acknowledge the support of many corporations and businesses that made the move possible and who provided significant financial and in-kind support. In particular, Cisco for Voice over internet telephone system. Alpat Building Company, Eagle Lighting & Fagerhault, Lincolne Scott Australia and Peter L Brown Architects made major contributions to the building.

For more information or to arrange an interview with Andrew Hewett, please call Melany Markham on (03) 9289 9415 or 0407 515 559.