Peter Manning’s book of Janet Venn-Brown, a Life in Art; Hosted by Arab Council Australia



By Marcelle Mansour OAM

Janet Venn-Brown -A Life in Art; 2016, Dr. Peter Manning’s lavishly illustrated book in English edition, celebrated and honours her extraordinary life as an Australian remarkable painter and determined campaigner for Palestinian statehood. It captures her artistic work of painted radiant interiors during her 40 years in Rome, where she fell in love with Palestinian activist Wael Zuaiter and depicts her political engagement in the Middle East after Wael was murdered.

Dinner with Janet Brown-Venn & Peter Manning, as a night of art, was hosted by Arab Council Australia at Summerland Restaurant on Wednesday 26th of July 2017. The event was attended by Senator Shawquet Muslemani, MP of the Legislative Council of the Australian Parliament, Ms. Julia Finn MP Australian Labor Party for Granville NSW, Mr. Lauri Ferguson former MP, Head of the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific. HE Izzat Abdulhadi, and First Secretary Ms Noura Saleh from the Palestinian Embassy in Canberra, Mr Ali Kazak, senior Palestinian Diplomat, and former Ambassador of Palestine, Painter and Campaigner Janet Venn-Brown, Dr Peter Manning, Author of Janet Venn Brown A Life in Art, heads of associations, Ms Randa Kattan- CEO of Arab Council Australia, community leaders and a crowd of Australian Arab and Palestinians.

Ms. Zahia Shriedy MCed the event, Ms. Randa Kattan hosted the night, speakers were H.E. Izzat Abdulhadi, the Ambassador of State of Palestine, Dr. Peter Manning, Australian distinguished journalist and Author of Janet Venn Brown: A Life in Art, followed by Q & A Session conducted by Peter along with book signing.

The speakers took the audience to a tour of history about Janet Venn – Brown’s life, the 92 years old Australian artist who created interior paintings for 40 years during her life in Italy while she was based in Rome after she studied art at her Italian school.

It was in Rome where she met Wael Zu’aiter (2 January 1934–16 October 1972) the Palestinian intellectual Writer, Translator and the Fatah Representative and Spokesman in Rome at that time. Zu’aiter was born in Nablus in 1934, the son of Adel Zu’aiter who was one of the notable families of the city and worked as a lawyer and university lecturer and translator. In Italy, Wael went to university for foreigners and took lessons in singing for he was fascinated by music, and had a perfect ear for sound. Janet and Wael fall in love with each other when he sang to her beautifully the song of It was a lover and his lass while they were walking the banks of the Tiber. Since then Janet became Zu’aiter’s partner for eight years and she was one of the last people to see him before his assassination happened on 16 October 1972. It was reported that Wael Zuaiter was murdered not because he was a terrorist, rather because he was a passionate intellectual Palestinian political activist. Before he was killed, Zu’aiter was in the process of translating One Thousand and One Nights to the Italian language which was left uncompleted.

Janet traveled to Europe before settled in Rome, where she hosted her friends of Australian well-known painters such as Justin O’Brien, Martin Sharpe, Arthur Boyd Donald, Margaret Olley, Jeffrey Smart and the renowned Writer David Malouf. She also traveled to Middle Eastern countries and painted various interiors over there and she is still constantly painting.

 Janet Venn-Brown: A Life in Art’s book of 180 pages has color illustrations and contains the Australian artist’s biography that was born in 1924 and left Australia for Rome in the 1960s, capturing the streets and architectural buildings of the towns, and narrating the story of her life during her 40 years in Rome until her return to Australia in 2011. The book shows her relationship with the Palestinian political activist Weal Zu’aiter and her engaging in political activity regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict.

In a lifetime devoted to art-making Janet Venn- Brown was celebrated with a beautiful art display hung on the wall, featured a selection of her real interior artwork that has a soft touch and a delicate color along with a great book published about her life and wonderful work as a retrospective exhibition. The book is a wonderful celebration of not just Janet Venn- Brown’s work, but her life and dedication to ceaseless work for the Palestinian cause, human rights, and social justice.

This book is certainly of great value and must be read, as it moves the reader to a real world to live an artistic, intellectual, social and political experience in our current reality. Congratulations to the journalist Dr. Peter Manning, and thanks for writing this amazing book. Extended thanks go to Ms. Randa Kattan, the staff of the Arab Council of Australia and all those who participated in the event.

From my memory with the late Metropolitan Paul Saliba, Archbishop of Antiochian Orthodox



By Marcelle Mansour OAM

Memory Eternal to His Eminence Metropolitan Archbishop Paul Saliba of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines (1939 – 2017). After he was consecrated in Damascus, Syria he arrived in Australia in 1999.  Since his arrival to Australia, he doubled the number of Eastern Byzantine churches in Sydney, and around the states of Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines. He founded and opened the monastery of St. Michael (Centre of the Antiochian Village Australia) in Goulburn that provides Christian hospitality in a spiritual Orthodox environment.

The late Archbishop Paul Saliba dedicated his entire life serving God, to education, to church, and to the community where he focused on youth and the younger generation.

One of these photos reminds me with a very short conversation with him during the Annual dinner of Sts Michael and Gabriel 2015, when I told him about one of my artworks was selected and exhibited at the Louvre Museum in the Fifth Award Exposure in Paris 2015, and the artwork was about the Holy Bread that I obtained from my local church in Ryde, he raised his hand pointing to Heaven and said: “It is God’s work”. His concise comment made me thrilled to realized and visualise in depth the mystery of our Christian faith.

May his soul rest in peace with Heavenly Father and may his memory be eternal.

Bob Carr Invokes Recognition of State of Palestine



By Marcelle Mansour OAM

Former Labor Foreign Minister Bob Carr has urged Australia to recognise Palestine as a state at the NSW ALP Policy Forum on Palestine.

“The time has come for Australia to recognise Palestine.” He said
A policy forum on Palestine was hosted by the Hon Tony Burke MP and the Hon Anthony Albanese MP of the  Australian Labor Party in New South Wales at the RSL Hurlstone on Tuesday 27th of  June 2017. The event was attended by Senator Shawquet Muslemani, MP of the Legislative Council of the Australian Parliament, Shadow Minister for Education Mr Jihad Dib, MP, Member of the Legislative Assembly, the Ambassador of the State of Palestine to the Commonwealth and Australia Dr Izzat Abdul Hadi and First Secretary Ms. Noura Saleh from the Palestinian Embassy in Canberra, former Mayor of Bankstown, Khal Asfour, various heads of associations, media representatives and a crowd of members of the Arab and ethnic communities.

Tony Burke gave a brief introduction about the guest speakers Aletia Dundas, who recently came from Palestine, spoke of her experience while working for the Palestinian-Israeli program. She holds graduate studies in community development, non-violence, human rights, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding. Aletia described the continuing suffering of Palestinians under the torment of the Israeli occupation where the areas are subject to severe restrictions in Palestinian cities. a thousand Palestinian suffer at the checkpoints per hour, Israelis and soldiers are leading to the displacement of thousands of Palestinians, particularly those facing serious challenges to access to basic services, along with the ongoing demolition of Palestinian homes and allowing Israelis to build additional illegal settlements.

Bob Carr the former Foreign Minister of Australia was the keynote speaker, spoke explicitly about his discussion with the former Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard during his career as a diplomat in Canberra since 2012-2013, on the issue of the occupation of Palestine and the lack of world support for it. He spoke about his criticism of the fabrication of history, race and religion and his opposition to the activities of the Israeli illegal settlements that spread and hinders the peace process. “If the settlements have to be withdrawn in the context of the peace offer why are they planting more of them, and why about 60% of them being planted in the state of Israel deeply towards East?” Bob Carr questioned and pointed out that the majority of the Israeli government’s members oppose to the two-state solution where only 4 out of 22 members support it and 65% of The Israeli cabinet disagrees with this principle. He also praised the Jews who are against the occupation and who believe that the intolerable occupation is going to degrade them and will damage Israel, and therefore they support the solution of a just peace between the two sides.

Bob Carr clearly called on the Australian government to recognise Palestinian State, In his own words, he said: “Fifty years have passed since the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza since June 5, 1967… the continuation of the Israeli occupation severely poisoned Palestinian society violated the human rights of the Palestinian people and increased their suffering, the Palestinian resistance outlasts the occupiers ten times … today we face the issue of justice, and the Australian Palestinians will not leave their land… there must be a just settlement because there is no peace without justice … it is the time to be prepared to listen to the alternative voice and to recognize the humanity and dignity of Palestinians and to send the message to both sides. As a result, we support the Palestinian cause for Palestinians there is hope and prospect at the end of the process, a Palestinian state will happen and it is time for Australia to recognize Palestine.”

Bob also informed of the upcoming NSW ALP conference which aims to recognize the state of Palestine and to save the two-state solutions.

The Q & A discussion included many topics of interest to the audience regarding the policy on the Palestinian issues and the resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Australia Palestine Advocacy Network Fundraising Annual Dinner 2016

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By Marcelle Mansour

Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) held its annual fundraising dinner on Saturday 24th September 2016 at the Grand Roxy, Brighton-Le-Sands in the presence of a number of supportive Members of NSW Parliament: The Hon Tony Burk MP-Manager for Opposition Business Australian Labor Party Member for Watson;  Mr Paul Lynch MP-Member of the Legislative Assembly Member for Liverpool Shadow Attorney General Member of the Australian Labor Party; Mr Jihad Dib –Member of Legislative Assembly Shadow Minster for Education Member of the Australian Labor Party; Mr Laurie Ferguson former MP; the Australian Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon and  H E Izzat Abdulhadi The Palestinian Ambassador to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.

The event was also attended by APAN’s Committee members included Bishop George Browning-President; Professor Bassam Dally-Vice President; Mr. Issa Shaweesh-Treasurer; Mr. Nasser Mashni, Executive Member; Dr. Peter Manning, Executive; Assoc Prof Peter Slezak, Executive Member; Jessica Morrison, Executive Officer; Lisa Arnold, Study Tour Coordinator.

The event was also attended by Ms. Jennifer Killen, Coordinator of Friends of Hebron and head of Organisations included Secretary General of Fatah in Australia Abdul Kader Karanouh, President of the Australian Palestinian Club Mr Jamil Batshoun, Public Relations Officer of the Club Mr Tawfiq Awad, Mr Jack Shiber Secretary, Dr. Mustapha Alameddind, President of Australian Arabic Cultural Centre Boutros Indari Forum, Mr Fady Mallo President of El Marada Australia and a large number of distinguished personalities including Dr Imad Berro, Adel EL Hassan, Mr Karim Abiad, Poet Badaoui El Hage Mr Hassan Fakhreddine, and businessman Mr Mohammed Hammouri, Mr Hani Elturk OAM Editor of Australian Affairs of El-Telegraph newspaper and Visual Artist Mrs Marcelle Mansour (Writer of this article).

Ms. Fatima Ali MCed the event, and Bishop George Browning delivered a speech declaring that Palestine and Palestinians are not going away. Palestinians are here to stay. APAN exists to make sure the voice of Palestinians is heard by the majority of Australians against continuing injustice practice through taking their lands. Palestinians were also urged to talk to their local Federal electorate members to support the Palestinian cause.

H.E. Izzat Abdulhadi Ambassador of Palestine highlighted the purpose of tonight’s occasion is the fundraising event in order to continue the undertaken substantial efforts to defend Palestine and to attain justice with peace. He also urged unity among Australian Palestinian Community members to make their voices heard in Australia.

Professor Peter Manning spoke about his new book titled Janet Venn-Brown, a Life in Art in which published the history of the artist’s husband Wael Zuaiter who was a Palestinian Writer and Translator and was killed in 1972. The book also contains a biography of the painter and the full collection of the quality resolution images. Mr. Issa Shawish supervised the auction and requested the attendees to encourage Mr. John Salisbury who is currently walking and intend s to present a petition to Parliament calling on Australia to recognize Palestinian statehood and to put an end to the ongoing Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people.

The program included raffles, auction items and entertainment by the Australian Lebanese Actor and comedian Rob Shehadie, who provided a lot of entertainment and laughter for the multicultural audience and engaged them in an oriental dancing competition, where the winner was Mrs. Elizabeth Elturk.




Seminar on the Palestinian Diaspora, Identity and Work

Marcelle Mansour Annahar Newpaper 3 June 2016

By Marcelle Mansour

On Friday, June 3, 2016, Gaza Orthodox Christians Association of Australia has held a cultural seminar which hosted Dr. Farah Fayyad, who has obtained a scholarship to undertake her doctoral thesis at the Faculty of Business and Economics, Macquarie University. Fayyad’ topic revolves around the understanding of the influence of the Palestinian Diaspora and the Israeli Occupation on the identity, spirituality and works ethic of Palestinians in Australia to This kind of studies will investigate the manifestation of the occupation on the work-life of Palestinians worldwide that has not been done before.

The Editor of Australian Affairs of El-Telegraph newspaper, Mr. Hani Elturk has MC’d the event on behalf of the President of the Association Mr. Khader Dabeet. The seminar was attended by , Secretary-General of Fatah in Australia Abdul Kader Karanouh, head of the Australian Palestinian Club Jamil Batshoun, Public Relations Officer of the Club Mr Tawfiq Awad, the active member of Australian Palestinian Professionals Association Mr Issa Shaweesh,  the expert on Palestinian Affairs in Australia Mr Eddie Zananiri, the Active member of Australian Palestinian community Samira Ghabar, the Campaigner for (APAN) – Australia Palestine Advocacy Network Paul Duffill, and Visual Artist Marcelle Mansour (Writer of this article).

Batshoun delivered a brief speech in English which he spoke about the importance of belonging to the land of Palestine that suffered multiple invasions throughout history, and urged to build bridges between the people of the two generations to defend the Palestinian rights.

Followed by Eddie Zananiri’s word, in which he announced the upcoming event of hosting three candidates of Liberal, Labour, and Greens to talk with the community members about their party’s policy towards the Palestinian issues in the next election. The meeting will be held on Saturday, June 18 at the Palestinian Club, 387 Guilford Road Guilford.

Then, Paul Duffill introduced to the audience the website link of APAN to vote for the election in order to support the Palestinian cause, that is:

The attendees had barbecue meals, that was prepared by the members of the Association, Mousa & Maha Abunuceah and Bertha Dabeet. The seminar concluded with entertainment program, which lives by talented singer Jabra Tarazi where the meeting was characterized by an intense presence of the families of the community in an atmosphere of love and friendship.


Commemoration of 68th of Al Nakba and Celebration of Australian Palestinian Graduates

5 شامخ بدرا وعيسى الشاويش والسفيرعبد الهادي والنائب د. جهاد ديب ومارسيل وموريس منصور     6 مارسيل وموريس منصور و لينش وماننغ وقرانوح

1 تقديم الجوائز التقديرية لمستحقيها من أعضاء البرلمان     2 تقديم الجوائز التقديرية لمستحقيها من أعضاء الفلسطينية

4 السفيرعبد الهادي يسلم الدرع لرئيس الاتحاد إبراهيم عيشان مكلفا من الرئيس محمود عباس     3 تقديم الجوائز التقديرية لخريجيي الثانوية العامة والماجستير والدكتوراه

By Marcelle Mansour

The Australian Palestinian Community Commemorated the 68th Anniversary of Al Nakba, together with the Celebration of the 2015 Australian Palestinian Graduates.

The General Union of Palestinian Workers and Australian Palestinian Graduates Association held a Ceremony in honor of the Palestinian University Graduates and the HSC Achievers in 2015, under the patronage of H.E.Dr. Izzat Abdul Hadi, the Ambassador of Palestine to the Commonwealth of Australia. On Sunday, 15 May 2016 in Candle Light Reception Lounge. The event also coincided with the date of commemoration the 68th Anniversary of AL Nakba meaning catastrophe.

Distinguished guests attended: Julia Finn MP -Australian Labour Party Member for Granville NSW,  Lee Rhiannon MP – The Australian Greens Senator for NSW,  Mr Jihad Dib MP- Parliament of NSW -Shadow Minister for Education,  Mr Paul Lynch MP – Parliament of NSW Member of the Legislative Assembly Member for Liverpool Shadow Attorney General Member of the Australian Labor Party,  Mayor Khal Asfour – Clr of Bankstown City Council,  Associate Professor Jake Lynch – Director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS) at the University of Sydney,  Prof Peter Manning Professor of Journalism,  Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed – Grand Mufti of Australia, the Secretary General of Fatah Abdul Kader Karanouh, and expert of Australian Palestinian Affairs Eddie Zananiri, Artists and Academics, Various Cultural  and Islamic Associations and Political Parties Presidents,  Media Representatives and a crowd of families and friends.

 The ceremony began by playing the two national anthems of Australia and Palestine. Followed by welcoming the attendees with an introduction and a poem about Palestine recited by student Rola Alian, then a video displayed a brief history of occupied Palestine.

The function was highlighted by a creative piece of performance titled “Al Nakba Suitcase “and was acted by Saleh Saqqaf  (Broadcaster and Actor) on the sound of Oud music played by the MC. Mr. Jamal Alyan.

Speeches delivered as follows:

Abdul Hadi, Ambassador: In his speech H.E. stated: ” Al-Nakba marks all our lives and it remains with us”. Palestinians always remember the sad expel of their homeland and it remains with them until justice and freedom will take place. These wonderful young achievers are the future of the Australian-Palestinian community spanning the globe who will transform loss into a victory.

Mr. Monir Mahajinah delivered a political speech in Arabic, in his own words: “Tonight, we are not here to celebrate Al Nakba, rather commemorate Al Nakba and raise flags and slogans. Three strategies are required:  firstly, is Unity, secondly to strengthen the steadfastness of the Palestinian people on the ground, such as education and other things, and thirdly, resistance to the new generations. We cannot achieve independence, without our will and persistence and, embracing the Holy Stone.”

Lee Rhiannon MP who has visited Palestine and has seen the refugee camps said the Nakba day is a sad day to Palestinian people who were taken away from their home. But time has come to achieve justice, and the 21st century will witness that Palestinians will return to their land, “especially here we are celebrating the success of new generation, your voice of Palestine will act as a challenge, it is about the commitment of people working together.” She said.

Paul Lynch MP:  expressed his support to the Palestinian Community on Al-Nakba Day commemoration of Palestinian exodus forcibly displaced from their homeland in1948 and their right of return to justice and ending occupation. He also praised the high achievement of a young generation.

Jihad Dib MP: “There is a lot of connection between Aboriginals and Palestinians… Israel built the wall, but would not kill the spirit of Palestinian People… The fight of Palestine is the fight of what is right to return the land that was taken away from them… It is an honour to celebrate the achievements of young Australian Palestinians… Live Australia and Live Palestine.”

Jack Lynch: who has been a Director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney stated that the process is about the continuation of academic research. He praised the Palestinian graduates who came from Gaza and have excelled in every unit. Lynch was proud to see the very first graduate of Master Degree (Mr. Shamik Badra) from Gaza on scholarship and he mentioned that the university will support more students from Gaza in the near future.

The event concluded by delivering appreciation awards to the Parliamentary members for their continuous support to the Palestinian cause: Julia Finn MP, Jihad Dib MP, Paul Lynch MP.  As well as members of the Palestinian community where the Ambassador Dr. Izzat Abdul Hadi presented a shield  – on behalf of President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) – to The General Union of Palestinian Workers in Australia, for their tireless work of serving the Community. The shield was received by President Ibrahim Ishan, followed by Palestinian community members who received appreciation awards were: Lama Hammouri, Ibrahim Ishan, Khader Sultan,  Mahmoud Sultan,  Akeel Sultan, George Dabbagh, Mr. Eddie Zananiri, Maher Morqabala, Ahmad Qasim for Council of Australian Palestinians. The Ambassador of Palestine Dr. Izzat Abdulhadi also delivered achievement awards to 53 Palestine graduates of HSC, Master, and Ph.D.