Members of the MCCV Executive Committee delivered Keynote Papers at the Convention of Maltese Living Abroad organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held in Malta in March 2010 on the following topics:
- The Challenge of Engaging Maltese-Australian Youth in Maltese Community Life in Australia by Victor G Borg, MCCV President, and Dr Edwin Borg-Manché, MCCV PRO.
- The Critical Role of Government in Maltese Diaspora Engagement by Victor G Borg, MCCV President, and Dr Edwin Borg-Manché, MCCV PRO.
- Ageing – The Current Situation in Australia by Prof. Maurice Cauchi, MCCV Immediate Past President.
- The Care of the Elderly in Australia by Paul Borg, MCCV Treasurer.
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As the first generation Maltese community in Australia is ageing and shrinking in size, the younger generations have shown little or no interest in continuing the Maltese language, culture and traditions. In this paper the authors, MCCV President Victor G Borg (who delivered the paper at the Convention) and MCCV PRO Dr Edwin Borg-Manché deal with the challenge that Maltese community organisations in Australia have been, and are still facing in engendering the interest and of the younger Maltese-Australian generations in the Maltese language, culture and traditions as well as their Maltese heritage. Recommendations were presented on what action should be taken to ensure that the Maltese communities in Australia do not become extinct in a matter of a couple of decades.
In this paper, the authors, MCCV President Victor G Borg and MCCV PRO Dr Edwin Borg-Manché (who delivered the paper at the Convention) present the results of their research on Diasporas generally and related issues as well as diaspora engagement models used by governments around the world. They concluded that these benchmark models go way beyond any model considered so far by the Government for Maltese Diaspora engagement. They argued that the Government has a pivotal role to play in bringing about effective Maltese Diaspora engagement and proposed the creation of a Maltese Diaspora Commission as the most appropriate means to this end in the Maltese context. The authors also proposed the assignment of the corresponding responsibility for ‘Maltese Diaspora Affairs’ to a newly established position of Parliamentary Secretary for Maltese Diaspora Affairs accountable to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In this paper, Prof. Maurice Cauchi, MCCV Immediate Past President, considers three major issues affecting elderly Maltese, i.e. those 65 years and older, who now form a third of the total Malta-born generation: firstly he provided a summary of the demographic situation in Australia as emerged from the last census (2006); secondly, he presented a picture of the social life of elderly persons who are still active, based on surveys carried out recently in Melbourne; and thirdly and perhaps most importantly, he highlighted the needs of the immobile, frail elderly who form the most needy category and summarised the efforts of the Maltese Community Council of Victoria’s role in tackling these needs.
In this paper, Paul Borg, MCCV Treasurer, provides information on an extremely complex aged care system that operates in Australia covering the range of care facilities and programmes that are available, government subsidies for those wishing to enter aged care facilities, as well as financial and health issues faced by residents of these facilities.