Dr Zeremariam Fre's acceptance speech at the 2018 Desmond Tutu Reconciliation Fellowship award was tremendously inspiring. Dr Berhan Ahmed, 2009 Victorian Australian of the Year, lovingly presented the award to Dr Fre for his extraordinary work in significantly advancing both the need for ecological care and the practices associated with it. Dr Fre’s has provided practical leadership in caring for, protecting and restoring the natural environment, and helped to develop innovative responses to contemporary environmental challenges.
The 2018 Desmond Tutu Reconciliation Fellowship (DTRF) award was seeking to honour a person who has provided practical leadership in the ethical reworking of our relationship to nature. We were seeking a person(s) who contributed significantly to advancing both the awareness of the need for environmental care and the practices associated with it. Someone who through his or her own work has helped develop innovative responses to contemporary environmental challenges.
Professor Paul Komesaroff, Founder and Executive Director of Global Reconciliation, opened the award ceremony by firstly congratulating Dr Zeremariam Fre for his gracious acceptance of the 2018 DTRF award.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social justice commissioner June Oscar has declared that racism in Australia is "alive and it's kicking" in response to comments by the nation's newly appointed race discrimination commissioner that Australia is not a racist country.
"I'm hearing from women and girls across the country … that racism is one of the key emerging issues," she said.
“I know from my own personal experiences that racism is alive and it's kicking”.