AKO Mission Statement and Vision Statement
The Australian Karen Organisation (AKO) was registered as Incorporated under the Association Act 1981 on 16 July 1998 in the state of Victoria.
At present, there are seven chapters of the Australian Karen Organisation which operate as the Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia, Queensland, Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania and Northern Territory branches.
There are many Karen community members living across Australia who migrated under the SHP Program Visa Sub Class 200, 202 and 204. It is estimated that the number of Karens in Australia are about 20,000, with a majority of Karen refugees resettling in Victoria.
Vision of AKO
Our vision is for the well establishment and resettlement of the Karen Community in Australia.
Our mission statement
Our mission is to represent and act as an umbrella organization for the Karen people in Australia and to represent them and voice their concerns in all political, social, cultural and economic matters and to facilitate their affiliation to the AKO.
Objectives of AKO
- To encourage and foster the development and perpetuation of the Karen culture and language.
- To act as the representative of the Karen community at all levels of government and other authorities, be they State, Federal or Local.
- To act as the representative of the Karen community in the Ethnic Affairs Commission and other cultural, social or political organisations.
- To promote public awareness for the problems and hardships suffered by the Karen ethnic group have been forced to emigrate from homeland and take refuge in foreign lands.
- To represent the Karen ethnic group and participate in forums and conferences at national and international level in order to achieve Equality, Peace, Freedom, Justice and Human Rights for the Karen in Burma and abroad.
- To initiate and participate in welfare projects for the Karen communities in Australia and in areas where they have been forced to take refuge from the onslaught of the illegitimate Burmese government.
- To prepare and maintain a census of the Karen people in Australia.
Structure of the AKO
The AKO has a Central Committee to co-ordinate the activities of the AKO and to be the ultimate authority in matters of policy, discipline and direction.
A Management Committee is appointed in every branch to manage the affairs of the branch in the state in which it has been formed.
Within the each state’s Management Committee are two departments. One of which is the Youth Affairs Department which is to focus and institute programs on matters pertaining to the Karen Youth in Australia and overseas, and to network with other youth groups around the world.
The latter department is the Women Affairs Department which is to focus and institute programs on matters pertaining to the Karen women and women of the world and to network with other women organization around the world.
Sub-committees may also be formed as and when necessary to facilitate and implementation of programs initiated by the AKO.