Tuesday 7 June 2016


Last April Bob Hawke opened the exhibition “Memories of the Struggle” at the Museum of Australian Democracy (Old Parliament House). The exhibition explores Australia’s involvement and leadership in the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa. Nelson Mandela was reportedly overwhelmed by the response he received in Australia when he visited in 1990, four years prior to being elected leader of his country.

South Africa when he attended Mandela’s funeral in December 2013. In fact Raul was one of only six foreign leaders invited to speak at the funeral. The chairperson of the African National Congress introduced Raul as follows: “we will now get an address from a tiny island of people who liberated us … the people of Cuba.”People will also remember the warm reception Raul Castro received in

Nelson Mandela described the Cuban Army’s success against South Arica in Angola as “destroying the myth of the invincibility of the white oppressor… (and) inspiring the South African people”. He claimed “Cuito Cuanavale was the turning point for the liberation of our continent.”

Many factors lead to the demise of apartheid, not the least being the power of Mandela, however Australia and Cuba can lay credit together in being instrumental in the liberation of South Africa from the scourge of apartheid.

Log onto:  http://moadoph.gov.au/exhibitions/memories-of-the-struggle/  for more information on the exhibition

The exhibition will be on display for 12 months.