Early in 2014 the Humanitarian Crisis Hub changed its name to Diaspora Action Australia. The change was made to better capture who we are and what we do, and we like the energy it conveys. It clearly shows we are about action, that we operate in Australia, and that diaspora communities are our drivers.
After many months of deliberation, we decided that ‘diaspora’ had to be in our name, even though it’s not a household word in Australia – yet. So what does it mean anyway?
Diaspora comes from the Ancient Greek word diaspeirein, meaning ‘to disperse.’ It refers to people who leave their home country (whether forcibly or by choice) and settle in other parts of the world. Crucially, they are people who feel connected to and maintain ties with their countries of origin. It also implies a connection with other people of the same diaspora around the world – to be part of a diaspora is to be part of a transnational network.
The diaspora communities and organisations we support are those who are actively working to aid and support their conflict-affected countries of origin. How they came to Australia is not important, as they may be migrants, refugees, asylum seekers or temporary residents. They may have come to Australia themselves, or they might be second, third or fourth generation. A person is part of a diaspora for as long as they identify as such, and it can apply to many generations.
The other part of the name change has is a new descriptive tagline in the logo, which describes the issues we work on: ‘peace, development, human rights.’ So, the name and tag line together cover the essential questions about us: the ‘who?’ (diasporas), ‘how?’ (action), ‘where?’ (Australia) and ‘what?’ (peace, development, human rights).
The other thing you might notice about the new logo is that it looks very much like the old one. This is because it’s only the name that is changing – everything else about HCH stays the same.