On behalf of the board of the Australian Multicultural Foundation, Professor Kwong Lee Dow AO (Chairman), and AMF Executive Director Dr. Hass Dellal AO, and staff, it is with great sadness we farewell The Hon. Sir James Gobbo AC CVO founding Chairman of the Australian Multicultural Foundation (AMF).
Sir James Gobbo’s impressive achievements in life, duty, and service were many, these included Chairman of the Australian Council of Multicultural Affairs, which developed Australia’s First National Agenda for Multicultural Australia (1989). President of the largest Italian Community Organisation CO.AS.IT., Past Chairman of the Australian Population and Immigration Council, and former President of the Order of Malta.
Sir James defined multiculturalism as a philosophy that addressed the long-term reality that Australia is a land whose people are derived from many cultures from our First Nations people to those that journeyed from afar.
Dr. Dellal, our founding CEO, said “Sir James believed the essential principles of multiculturalism to be an overriding commitment to Australia first and foremost, respect for the many cultures, equality of opportunity and the best use of the skills and talents represented by our diversity.”
Sir James was a great Australian born in Australia and spent his early childhood in Italy. A Rhodes Scholar, successful barrister and Queen’s Counsel, Judge of the Supreme Court and the 25th Governor of Victoria.
Dr Dellal said, “Sir James was an inspirational champion for Multicultural Australia. He is an Australian icon, whose legacies will live on for decades to come.”
Our deepest condolences to Lady Shirley Gobbo and the family.