On 27 February 2013, the Corrs Sydney office co-hosted the first cocktail event of 2013 with the Crescent Institute (previously the Crescent Club), with the Hon. Kevin Rudd, current Minister for Labor and former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Australia as the guest speaker.
The event attracted a record crowd from across the Australian professional and corporate spectrum, including professionals from the Australian Muslim community. The event was moderated by Corrs partner Michael Chaaya, who was joined by Sydney Managing Partner Robert Regan, Corrs CEO John Denton and lawyer Tamim Rahman.
Michael Chaaya officially welcomed the guests and thanked the Hon. Kevin Rudd for attending. This was followed by an official welcome by Talal Yassine, Managing Director of Crescent Wealth and co-founder of the Crescent Institute. The Mandarin-speaking former Prime Minister was light-heartedly challenged by Mr Yassine to deliver the speech in Arabic, to which the Labor MP replied: "Inshallah" (God willing, in Arabic).
Mr Rudd covered several key themes in his address including multiculturalism, the economy and Australia's place in the world. He spoke about the value of Australia's “multicultural reality”, which he observed the country had been able to develop successfully. As a passionate supporter of Australia's multicultural program, Mr Rudd said it had given the country "strength, energy and dynamism".
Mr Rudd also addressed the key issue of the Australian economy and its resilience under Labor during, and since, the Global Financial Crisis. He highlighted the opposition's strong resistance to the Government's increase in national expenditure to underpin the country's economic performance and fortify it against the Global Financial Crisis.
Mr Rudd also made a strong comparative case on Australia's outstanding performance under Labor noting that it has been able to maintain Australia's AAA rating with all three international agencies, maintain a sub 10 percent debt to GDP ratio as well as ensure unemployment remained around the 5 percent mark in a volatile global economy.
During question time with the audience, Mr Rudd addressed issues such the education policy, NBN (highlighting the need for a “modern Australia”) as well as Australia’s recent involvement with the UN Security Council and its stance on Palestine. At the end of the night’s proceedings, the Crescent Institute presented Mr Rudd with an original Australian Islamic artwork painted by Sydney based artist, Mr Peter Gould.
Corrs was delighted to co-host the event and congratulates the Crescent Institute on its inaugural and highly successful event in 2013 as part of the Leadership Series networking program.
The Crescent Institute is a non-partisan and non-sectarian group dedicated to expanding business and social opportunities within the Muslim Australian and broader community. Bringing together Muslim and non-Muslim business people, entrepreneurs and young professionals, the Crescent Institute is active in helping to develop business and networking contacts for our members and friends.
The vision of the Crescent Institute is to promote a place where there is an opportunity to meet others, learn from Australian thought leaders in a warm business and social environment and to keep its members informed on vital issues and work for the betterment of the entire community.
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