The 27 annual concert was held this year on 6 of October at the Slovenian Religious and Cultural Center in Merrylands, NSW. Once again, Slovenians from different parts of Australia got together to show off their talents and abilities no matter what their age as these concerts are now also open to people of all ages and not just the youth. There were 32 different acts ranging from poetry recitals, solo and choral singing and folklore dancing to various bands, solo instrumental performances and dance items. As always our proud Slovenian youth showed us their abilities to the fullest. There are so many talented names I would love to mention however space unfortunately does not permit this! One name I will mention however is our young 6 year old Mathew Bratina from Melbourne who put on a fantastic show both at the concert and the next morning in church and stole everyone's hearts in the process! A group of dedicated people got together a number of months in advance to organize this very major annual event in the Slovenian community calendar. It is important to note that the majority of the organizers were not born in Slovenia but are proud of their Slovenian heritage and want to do something positive for the Slovenian community in Australia and that is why they got involved. They must all be congratulated from the sound, lighting and backstage crew through to the program designers. Here I must mention the two lovely ladies who did such an excellent job for comparing the evening in both Slovenian and English - Julie and Michelle Brcar. Once again all of us who live in different parts of this great land were able to get together and catch up with old friends from different states we had not seen in a while (or only chatted via E-mail). After the concert the band Domači Fantje put on a bit of a show even though it was already late in the evening. Here I must say that it was an honour to be able to have played my new button accordion recently bought from Slovenia with Australian's three top button acordion maestros, Peter Grivic, Rudi Crncec and Frank Petelin. It was pleasing to see so much young talents on the stage particularly from our second and thrd generation Slovenian youth. Of course our first generation folk also showed us what they arre capable of! All in all, no matter what our capabilities we all gathered togetherto once again show our community that whether born in Slovenia or Australia, we are proud of our Slovenian heritage, culture music and language. The next morning a special youth mass was celebrated at St. Raphael church in Merrylands with our very own p. Ciril Božič (whom we are very fortunate to have with us again in Australia!) giving an inspirational homily to everybody present. After mass, we gathered in the hall for BBQ lunch and then it was time to depart for the long trip back to Melbourne. The theme for this years concert was "FUSION", and this concert really showed this to the fullest - a FUSION of Slovenia and Australia, a FUSION of the old and the new and of course a FUSION of different people who lead vey differing and varying lifestyles in different part of this God blessed country of Australia who came together from near and far to keep the Slovenian spirit and tradition alive and kicking! As a Melbournian I would sincerely like to thank all the Sydneysiders for their extreme kindness and hospitality during our stay with you in Sydney. In particular we thank Pater Valerijan Jenko for his deepp sincerity and kindness! Next years concert will be held in Melbourne and we already look forward to playing kind hosts to all of you all around Australia who will visit us in Melbourne in 2002. Once again ISKRENE ČESTITKE to all of those who helped in any way to make FUSION a success! NAJ DOLGO ŽIVI NAŠA BOGATA SLOVENSKA SKUPNOST V AVSTRALIJI IN NAŠA PRELEPA SLOVENSKA KULTURA IN SLOVENSKI JEZIK NA TEM DALJNEM KONTINENTU!

Lenti Lenko