Being an Australian-Ukrainian often creates some confusion; who do you barrack for at the Olympics? Which soccer teams do you support? How do you acknowledge and support both your home countries? Why, by getting together as a group of Ukrainians and completing something as Aussie as the Kokoda Track, of course! We’ll do it as Ukrainians, for Ukrainians (by supporting a Ukrainian charity), all-the-while relishing in the fact that we, too, are Australians and respect and are proud of Australian history.
Initially beginning this project in the beginning of 2013, we were feeling at the time that there was a need to highlight the fact that you can call yourself both a Ukrainian and Australian without having to explain yourself. We felt the need to show Ukrainian-Australians how to embrace both heritages.
Since this time, the events of the Euromaidan have inadvertently addressed and solved this. All can now proudly call themselves a “Ukrainian”; no matter their country of birth, no matter what language they speak, no matter their bloodline. Anybody who supports a truly free and democratic Ukraine is welcomed as a ‘Ukrainian’ with open arms. It has encouraged all to acknowledge heritage as something that identifies from within, rather than from one’s bloodline.
Current events in Ukraine have inspired us further. We will now be hiking in honour of those heroes who have fallen for Ukraine and are continuing to fight for her freedom from oppression. We will be fundraising to support these efforts, by donating to Euromaidan through Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisation (AFUO). Whilst Ukraine battles on for freedom, we mustn’t forget that everyday life continues. In line with supporting Ukrainians living in Ukraine at this time, we will also be fundraising for the youth charity “Нове Покоління” (Nove Pokolinnya; or New Generation) which helps disadvantaged youth prepare for life in the outside world, teaching them life skills and values.
We will be aiming to fundraise $5,000 to each of these worthy causes. Please, dig deep and help a country whose success in ridding themselves of oppression will inspire and defend human rights and freedoms across the world!
Cлава Україні! Героям Cлава!