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Celebration of life and legacy of two political giants: Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib and Prime Minister Gough Whitlam

Celebrating Birth Centenary of the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh and fifty years of Bangladesh-Australia relations

This year Bangladesh simultaneously celebrates the golden jubilee of her independence and the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Confluence of two distinct milestones in Bangladesh’s national history made the year 2021 distinctively significant.  As Bangladesh has been relentlessly pursuing peace, social justice, and inclusive development under the stewardship of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in recent decades, vision of the Father of the Nation remains the north-star.

Bangladesh recalls with great appreciation support of the people of Australia towards her independence. Founded on bipartisan support, the leadership of Australia quickly recognised Bangladesh on 31 January 1972, the first among the developed nations that influenced recognition from other countries. Australia provided timely assistance and supported Bangladesh’s inclusion into the UN in 1974. Prime Minister Gough Whitlam visited Dhaka in January 1975 and met the Bangabandhu. The visit gave Bangladesh-Australia relations a strong mooring.

Australia has remained a strong and trusted partner in Bangladesh’s development journey. Economic and sectoral engagements are growing remarkably based on mutuality of interest and respect. Bangladesh and Australia seek to add greater dynamism and interdependence as they mark 50 years of their friendship.

Similarities of the life and achievement of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Gough Whitlam are striking. Bangabandhu’s deep-seated belief in freeing people from underdevelopment and inequality and his struggle for respect for his people can be likened with Whitlam government’s far-reaching reforms to secure equality and to usher in a new era of multiculturalism. Parallels may be drawn between Bangabandhu’s views on emancipation of people, self-determination and peaceful coexistence and Whitlam’s world view and independent foreign policy. Their thoughts and approaches can still help find solutions to many contemporary challenges.

Recalling the ideals and legacies of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Gough Whitlam is therefore timely. Bangladesh High Commission, Canberra and the Consulate General of Bangladesh in Sydney in association with the Whitlam Institute, Western Sydney University has thus decided to organize a seminar to celebrate the two political giants. The event will also include a photo and documentary exhibition on the Bangabandhu and Prime Minister Whitlam. 

Event-1: Seminar 

Title: Celebration of life and legacy of two political giants: Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib and Prime Minister Gough Whitlam
Format: Hybrid [In person (by invitation only) and virtual]
Venue: Boardroom 1, Parramatta South Campus Chancellery, Western Sydney University (WSU)
Date and Time: 08 December 2021, 2.30 – 6.00 PM AEST (GMT + 11)
Chair: Chancellor, Professor Peter Shergold AC
Session Facilitator: Professor Eric Sidoti, Director, Whitlam Institute

Time (AEST) (GMT+11)
Session
Details

2.30-2.50 PM

Arrival of guests

 

3.00-3.30 PM

Opening Session

  • Chair’s Introduction

  • Acknowledgement of the country

  • Welcome remarks by the Vice Chancellor of Western Sydney University, Prof Barney Glover AO

  • Welcome remarks by the High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Australia, HE Mr. Mohammad Sufiur Rahman 

  • Statement by the Hon’ble Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, HE Dr. A K Abdul Momen, MP

  • Statement by an Australian dignitary  

3.30-5.00 PM

Panel Discussion

 

3.30-3.45 PM

Keynote Speech-1

Bangabandhu’s political ideology and the contemporary world 

3.45-4.00 PM

Keynote Speech-2

Whitlam's legacy in the continued transformation of Australia and its friendship with the developing world 

4.00-4.30 PM

Panel discussions

Four panellists will discuss on the topics of the day

4.30-4.50 PM

Open Discussions

Comments/ Question from participants in physical attendance

4.50-5.00 PM

Wrap up

Wrap up and vote of thanks by the Consul General of Bangladesh in Sydney

 
 

Event 2: 

Exhibition of historical photos on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

Venue: Margaret Whitlam Gallery, The Female Orphan School (FOS) Building, Western Sydney University (Parramatta South Campus)
Inauguration Date & Time: 08 December 2021, 5.10- 5.30 PM
Duration of the Exhibition: 3 Weeks (Tentative)

While the in-person attendance at the seminar is invitation-only, the virtual attendance is open for all registered participants. We hope that you will register to join the celebration with us.

The Honorable Foreign Minister

Chief Guest:
H.E. Dr. A K Abdul Momen, MP, Hon'ble Foreign Minister of Bangladesh 

Chair : Professor Peter Shergold AC, Chancellor, Western Sydney University

Chair:
Professor Peter Shergold AC, Chancellor, Western Sydney University

Keynote Speaker-1 : Dr. Imtiaz Ahmed, Professor, Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka

Keynote Speaker-1:
Dr. Imtiaz Ahmed, Professor, Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka

Keynote Speaker-2 : Professor Jenny Hocking, Emeritus Professor and Political Commentator, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Keynote Speaker-2:
Professor Jenny Hocking, Emeritus Professor and Political Commentator, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Organisers

 H.E. Mr. Mohammad Sufiur Rahman, High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Australia
H.E. Mr. Mohammad Sufiur Rahman, High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Australia 

Professor Barney Glover AO, Vice Chancellor, Western Sydney University

Professor Barney Glover AO, Vice Chancellor, Western Sydney University