New Leadership in Australian Nepalese Journalist Association

Raju Manandhar
An editor at Nepalese Australian

Sydney, Rishi Acharya has been appointed as the new president of the Australian Nepalese Journalist Association (ANJA). The outgoing president Hemanta Kafle would be the patron of ANJA.

In the Annual General Meeting and the Leadership Handover Ceremony held in Granville, NSW, the Nepalese Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Mahesh Raj Dahal was the chief guest who officially conducted the handover of the leadership. It had two of the first Nepalese settlers in Australian soil and the pioneering community campaigners Indra Ban and Dr. Narayan Pradhan, Honorary Consul-General of Nepal to NSW Deepak Khadka and NRNA ICC Vice-President Mana KC as the special guests.

In the lively and encouraging program chaired by the outgoing president Hemanta Kafle and emceed by the ANJA General Secretary Chiranjive Devkota, ANJA Treasurer Krishna Tiwari offered the welcome speech.

The chief guest Dahal in the keynote speech stated, “The ANJA’s leadership handover spirit was exemplary and inspiring. The news and information disseminated by Nepalese press has been amazing. Respect is earned not demanded and I want to see the Nepalese people earning ever going dignity. ANJA’s role in assisting the International Nepalese students and the community during the pandemic and its involvement to add merit to Nepalese community have been remarkable. Nepalese Embassy in Australia is always eager to collaborate with ANJA for the overall betterment of the Nepalese diaspora in Australia and wants to cooperate with ANJA for the professional development of the journalists in Australia. The positive and constructive contributions made by the outgoing President Hemanta Kafle and team ANJA so far have been worthy of praise and thanks. Its performance has been consistently bright, and I am confident that the incoming promisingly capable and qualified ANJA President will take this glorious institution to the next level with the distinguished sense of responsibility and duty.”

The special guest Honorary Consul-General of Nepal to NSW Deepak Khadka remarked, “Media is regarded as the fourth Estate, but it is in fact significant as the first estate. The guidance of media convincingly helps to rule the nation. Intercommunity information should be on the high agenda of Nepalese journalism in Australia. We should collectively work in the highest welfare of the community and together we can achieve our common aims.”

The special guest NRNA ICC Vice President Mana KC shared, “Journalism has played a key role in building up the Nepalese diaspora and promoting its values. Media encouraged the Nepalese community to excel in their chosen fields and achieve inspiring and creditable individual goals which have established the image of Nepalese community in Australia. Media’s role also has been influential in brining into public notice the ground-breaking journeys of the iconic entrepreneurs, professionals, volunteers, etc. and we should collectively work hard to integrate the second generation of our diaspora into the mainstream community of Australia and help them to prove themselves and as the immigrants we need to assimilate into the mainstream sporting and social activities. We should spread the news through the official channels to prevent the potential damage by maintaining the professionalism in journalism.”

The special guest Dr. Narayan Pradhan shared, “I always feel proud to recount my journey that started when there would be hardly a dozen of Nepalese and that time there would be only the homeland’s two government newspaper Gorakhapatra and The Rising Nepal. It is highly encouraging to see many Nepalese newspapers in Australia are delivering the top-class professional services to promote our community’s image across Australia and in Nepalese diaspora.”

Another Special guest Indra Ban expressed, “I am very honoured to extend my best wishes to the new leadership of ANJA and I earnestly hope that Rishi Acharya would enhance what benchmark set by the founder President of ANJA Hemanta Kafleattaching greater meaning and fame to the glorious institution. We would like to see it going from strength to strength. We should explore our journalism beyond Nepalese diaspora and share our proud experience with the wider community and appreciate one another’s culture. It is always advisable to study the plans and policies of the Australian government to foster good practices for the future of the community.”

The meeting began with a minute’s silence observed to pay the tribute to late Tika Karki, the long-standing Australia-based media personality and late Ganesh Devi Manandhar, the mother of the editor of Nepalese Australia, Raju Manandhar.

Chitawan Samaj Australia President Purna Nath Ghimire viewed, “The spirit of the handover ceremony was exemplary work. If possible, the journalists should also regulate the news. ANJA has earned enviable dignity in a short time and it is good to see it aggressively advancing towards the peak of success.”

Nari Nikunja Australia Coordinator Sandhya Shah viewed, “The establishment of ANJA itself was a challenge in overseas. The team has worked within the framework of the standard journalistic ethics. Hemanta Kafle took the initiative to establish in Overseas and the deserving new leader will take it to the higher position.”

NIMFA President Arun Tamang viewed, “I’d like to acknowledge the representatives of respected organisations present in the event and I personally and on behalf of my organisation would like to request ANJA and all responsible establishments working for Nepalese to convey message to the government of Nepal to undertake a mission to deal with the surge in corona andstop from spreading and minimising infection.”

Legal advisor to ANJA Dr. Shamsher Singh Thapa viewed, “Journalists should make sincere efforts to bring out the fact and truth to the notice of the community without any political biasness. I am truly appreciative of the incredible contributions of the voluntary journalists. I would like to request the journalists to adhere to a code of ethics and implement rules of practice.”

SBS journalist Rajish Aryal shared, “As the community grows the numbers of issues too grow. It is challenging to bring out the negative sides of communityas the pressure is built on not to damage the decent reputation of the community. We have link with the wider community in Australia. It is journalists’ prime responsibility to give a fair report based on evidence to the community and highlight the misdeeds  of the community irrespective of who the offendersare. It is not a healthy practice to hide the bad sides of the community fearing the criticism. It’s our collective and common responsibility to bring the community issues to the fore and resolve them intellectually.”

the senior community leader and successful entrepreneur Bhawani Oli viewed, “ANJA has fulfilled their social and moral responsibility through a series of good works in the best service of our community. NRNA Australia and other leading organisations should cooperate it to make it resourceful. A soul of serious journalism is genuine input and verification which we would like to see in Nepalese newspapers in Australia. The past ANJA was great and upcoming will be better. The best business of life is to move forward with responsibility and dignity. Understandably it will be promoting the interest of the community, in return, we should work towards mainly the economic sustainability of the vibrant association. We have to make a self-respecting community in which the dignity of all people in general and journalists working voluntarily and purposefully in the best interest of the community should be recognized.”

Outgoing NRNA Oceania RC Dharma Raj Adhikari shared, “In the difficult situation of pandemic, we should make positive and collective efforts to battle against Covid and contribute substantially to the motherland. Through our knowledge, experience, skills, resources, etc. NRNA, Australia should help Nepal Govt and work towards the welfare of people back home country too in coordination with ANJA. Journalists should be fair regardless of public criticism. The efforts made by the Australia-based journalists in the best interest of Nepalese businessmen and the community will always be valued. We would like to stand by with the journalists and hope that it will always promote issue-based news rather than disrespecting individual integrity.”

Expert Director and young leading entrepreneur Sanjiv Sharma shared, “The journalists offering their valuable family time to the community contribution will always be regarded as ideal work. They are making their best efforts to promote positive vibes and provide the appropriate solution to the serious issues of the community. They should follow the general code of conduct and studiously write presenting the good and bad aspects of the community. It is always good to see them writing to discourage the evils of the community. We would like to commit to help ANJA financially and morally.”

NRNA Australia treasurer Anil Pokharel said, “Those who took initiative to establish the worthwhile institution deserve thanks. Coordinating with NRNA task forces, ANJA has fulfilled its social responsibility by highlighting the good works done by NRNA, Australia in collaboration with the community. If the news and information flowed to the community are based on research it will add special value and meaning to the community activities.”

JSS Australia founder Dinesh Raj Joshi remarked, “If journalists write fairly without any impartiality, the concerned politics will be guided. I request the journalists to distinguish the convicted from the guilty and write rising above all political differences and ideologies. This inspiring campaign should be made resourceful and marked by the forward-looking vision and practical advantages to the community.”

Former Chitwan Samaj President Buddhi Dallakoti shared, “It’s great to see the journalists organised in an association and complete a successful year. They have been volunteering conscientiously and working round the seasons to advance community interests. It is heartening to see it heading towards professionalism.  All self-respecting and well-meaning community deserve to have access to reliable and unbiased information and the journalists are working with the community to achieve this aim.”

The former NRNA Australia president Surendra Sigdel expressed, “The communication of the activities and events taking place in the community should be accurate and true to life. We should admire the Nepalese journalists in our community for making good efforts to mirror the face of our community and the newspaper reflect the truth. It is unfortunate that sometimes when they share the useful information some people threaten action against them. Our community should support them when they are fair. Journalists are intellectuals and should act accordingly or should live up to the expectation of the public. In the capacity of the Chief Election Commissioner of the upcoming NRNA Australia election, I would like to coordinate with all the journalists to conduct the election in the free and fair manner.”

NRNA Australia GS Dr. Gyanendra Regmi shared, “We’d like to acknowledge the reliable and proactive role of ANJA during the pandemic and the way remarkably rallied round NRNA Australia has been worthy of thanks and respect. NRNA Australia is always proud to recognise ANJA by including them in the important task forces and campaigns for the overall progress and goodwill of our community. I would like request ANJA, which has proved itself in a short time putting the community first, to include all the journalists in the team and deliver the consistently bright performances.”

NRNA Australia VP and NSW Coordinator Dev Gurung viewed, “I’d like to pay compliment on the deservedly powerful institution ANJA and hope that the merits and demerits of the community are well reflected in the newspaper. I would like to request all the journalists to consider the pros and cons before writing the news as it may send wrong messages to the readers and public. I hope that their works will benefit society as a whole and they continue to commit to the ideal of the freedom of media while serving the purpose of the community.”

ANJA advisor, well-known journalist Manarishi Dhital discussed about the role and significance of media in shaping personality and transformation of youth.

The reputed youth entrepreneur Khem Sharma put, “Journalists in Nepalese diaspora in Australia are doing praiseworthy community works and contributing to connect NRNA with the homeland to promote the cooperation. I am always impressed by the exceptional sense of ethics, discipline and direction of ANJA. We all should collectively work to help it achieve long term sustainable economic growth.”

The distinguished academic scholar and passionate lover of journalism Dr. Krishna Shrestha who has been working on research-based journalism shared, “I’m proud to learn that in terms of media responsibility, accuracy and accountability, promising Nepalese journalism is heading towards right direction. How to   project Nepalese identity, culture, challenges, opportunities, etc. onto other wider community and Australian government should be on our community’s list of priority and concern of ANJA.”

The President of Liberal Friends of Nepal Shree Napit shared, “The major challenge of journalism is to offer right benefit to right people in right time. We need to collaborate with mainstream political parties maintaining social responsibilities and if we all play our roles to promote our link with the mainstream establishments of Australia, the profile of our community will rise. We must improve our standards and show our activities on the TV and other effective media to reach out the audiences of wider community.”

Hemanta Kafle from the chair expressed, “In collaboration with the valued stakeholders and the community during the pandemic too ANJA succeeded in accomplishing some important works. My team has made good efforts to promote the campaign by including the active journalists in Australia. My team accomplished the pathfinding work by bringing all journalists in Australia under one umbrella. I would like to fully support and cooperate the upcoming leadership to continue the mission.”

Rishi Acharya in his acceptance speech viewed, “I am committed to upgrading the professional capabilities of the journalist fraternity along with kicking of professionalism in journalism or commercial journalism. I would work with my team to raise the dignity of the journalists closely working with the respected stakeholders of our community. I would do my best to do justice to the confidence shown to me by the respected community and contribute to strengthen the social harmony and community cooperation.”

Also present on the lively and encouraging event are International Jhapali Samaj outgoing President Dinesh Pokharel, the spokesperson of  NRNA, Australia and outgoing NRNA Australia VP, Nanda Gurung, the pioneering journalist in our community Dilli Dhakal, the renowned media personality Dipesh Shrestha, ANJA executive committee member admired journalist Sarita Dhakal, NAWS President Chiranjive Tiwari and other community members.

The ANJA executive member renowned journalist and community leader Prakash Humagain delivered the vote of thanks.

London Nepal News offered a live stream of the event online.