Shesh Ghale shares lessons learned in post-earthquke Nepal at international conference

Shesh Ghale
Shesh Ghale, second from right, speaking at the international conference on diaspora | Photo: Deepa Rai

27September 2016: Shesh Ghale, the president of Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA), has delivered a motivational speech at an international conference titled Diasporas in Action: Working together for peace, development and humanitarian response which was hosted at Melbourne University from 26 to 27 September.

Addressing participants of the global gathering, Mr Ghale shared his experience of leading a major diasporic organisation like the NRNA, an organisation present in over 70 nations.

According to Deepa Rai who also participated in the event alongside the CEO of Melbourne-based MIT Group, NRNA’s achievements as it mounted a massive relief and rescue mission following the devastating Nepal earthquake was the highlight of Mr Ghale’s presentation. He talked about what the global Nepalese community learned from the relief and rescue operation that NRNA launched to help victims of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Its strength and weakness as well as challenges were discussed, Ms Rai added.

Mr Ghale was one of several keynote speakers in the federal government-supported event that aimed to explore the “power of migrant and refugee communities” across the world.

Organised first time in Australia by Diasporas in Action, the conference focused on innovative and growing impact of various diasporic communities as they become part of the Australian multicultural fabric. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, the Minister for International Development and the Pacific, made a keynote address drawing on her experience on the role diaspora and migrant communities play in the Australian society.

Mr Ghale highlighted how NRNA’s global network made it possible to make constructive and immediate contributions in the aftermath of the devastating April 2015 earthquake. He also outlined the ongoing project to develop the Laprak Model Village, close to the epicentre of the mega temblor.

“I heard so many sad stories from so many African diasporas but the spin of NRNA and Mr Ghale’s presentation made me feel rejuvenated,” said activist Ms Rai who heard the 99th richest man in Australia deliver his speech. The fact that members of the expatriate Nepalese community are taking the right steps was evident from the presentation made by Mr Ghale, Ms Rai mentioned in a conversation with southasia.com.au.

Many in the audience gave their feedback saying NRNA was indeed a success story of the diaspora community in action. The key messages from discussions between different diaspora communities and organisations were: working in collaboration; avoiding task duplication; engaging with, enabling and empowering different networks to be more sustainable and successful.

Leading development and humanitarian agencies in Australia including the Refugee Council of Australia, Australian Red Cross, Oxfam Australia, Australian Council for International Development and the Research for Development Impact Network were part of the conference which was supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Victorian Office of Multicultural Affairs and the University of Melbourne School of Government.

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