In Memory of Hassan Omar (1958 – 2009)
The Executive Committe and Members of the Horn of Africa Relief and Development Agency acknowledge and pay tribute to our founding president, Hassan Omar.
Hassan Omar arrived in Australia in August 1983 on a scholarship from his motherland Somalia. As soon as he arrived up until his untimely death on 11th March 2009, he worked tirelessly to help others, building bridges between Australians and his fellow Africans from the Horn. As President of HARDA, and in every action and deed, Hassan lived the life of a true humanitarian.
His commitment to his ‘brothers and sisters’ in Africa and Australia was legendary. He was never daunted by ‘people in high places’ and would always pursue his agenda at every opportunity.
Together with this commitment to ‘the cause’ was a dedication to lifelong learning and growth, not just for himself but for countless others that he pushed to achieve. In 1985 Hassan received his Postgraduate Diploma in Ecosystem Management from the University of New England. He continued his studies and gained a Certificate of Interpreting Preparatory Paraprofessional level, a Certificate in Community Welfare Work and a Diploma in Community Welfare Work in rapid succession. These qualifications were in addition to the Diploma in Animal Science and Range Management and the Certificate in Wildlife Management earned by Hassan back in Africa.
In 1993 he established the Horn of Africa Settlement Group which helped to settle more than twenty families from the Horn of Africa. Hassan also started the Somali Community Association and the Ogaden Relief Association to help the troubled people from the Ogaden region of Ethiopia. He was the founder of the Voiceless Children’s Network and an active executive member of the African Communities Council. In 2003 he founded HARDA and was president for five years to 2008, then Director of Overseas Aid in 2008-2009.
Hassan took it upon himself to assist anyone in need and did this with sincerity and compassion. He always said that he belonged to the ‘greater global family’ and would not refuse anyone in need of help. He will be greatly missed by his loved ones and the greater global family.
He is survived by his wife Kathy and four children – Deeqo, Aden, Jamaal and Salah.