The Toledo Chapter Board met during the summer to create the calendar for the 2005-06 year. The presenter at our first meeting in September was Nandini Bhattacharya, chair of Women and Gender Studies at U of Toledo, who spoke to us about women in India today. In October, we were inspired by Lorna Gonsalves, an activist for justice, peace and equality. We look forward to programs on Buddhism from a woman’s viewpoint, and an update on Afghan culture, expanding on our experience with the ten Afghan women who visited last year.
The Los Angeles chapter currently has 13 members. Shirani is now a co-president and the treasurer! We are continuing with our scholarship program for two middle school students in Litang. We receive letters from them periodically with an English translation. They are very grateful to us for supporting them through middle school. Dr. Pamela Logan visits them often and reports to us on their progress.
The Chicago chapter has 33 members. The chapter’s Recording Secretary, Diane Singh, passed away suddenly in Paris in August. Helga Rothweiler has kindly agreed to record the meetings for the 2005-06 terms.
Our thanks to Toledo Chapter for hosting the Fall Board Meeting. Also, we owe our appreciation to Louise Bankey for opening her lovely home on Friday evening with a reception to welcome out-of-town members. The Board Meeting took place Saturday morning, November 5, 2005 at the Renaissance Place Facility in Sylvania, Ohio.
In February 2008, the new Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, issued the following apology to the Aboriginal people whose children had been taken from them and to those children and their heirs. PPSEAWA-Australia was one of the voices from well respected NGOs lobbying for this kind of healing message.
Following the Australian apology, the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper issued an apology to the First Nation Peoples.
Welcome from Nani Soedarsono, Indonesian President of PPSEAWA
That today we honour the Indigenous peoples of this land, the oldest continuing cultures in human history.
We reflect on their past mistreatment.
We reflect in particular on the mistreatment of those who were the Stolen Generations - this blemished chapter in our nation's history.
The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia's history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future.
At the Civil Society Development Forum, a meeting held by CONGO in Geneva, there were many items of interest to PPSEAWA, particularly progress being made towards the Millennium Goals. There were workshops particularly focusing on women’s rights, which I attended.