Welcome to the Liberian Community of South Australia
LICOSA was established in the year 2002 purposely to preserve our national identity and most importantly our rich cultural values. Liberians in South Australia at the time were about 12 adults and 7 children. There was a strong sentiment that the Liberian community was going to grow. Mrs Augustina Thomas became the first Chairperson of LICOSA. Currently, there are over 400 Liberian families living in South Australia. Women and children are in majority. Many Liberians arriving to South Australia have come to through the Australian government offshore humanitarian entrant programme. Few Liberians have arrived under the family reunion programme recently. We have come from the background of 14 years of brutal civil conflict. The senseless war left behind a stigma; destruction of lives and infrastructures, instability of the social fabric of society, infliction of unhealable wounds and traumas, separation from families and love ones, most importantly the war undermined our self-esteem and sense of belonging.
LICOSA has evolved since it foundation in 2002. We acknowledged the great contributions and the tireless efforts of the past administrations under Mrs Augustina Thomas, Mr. Ibrahim Jabateh, and Mr. Thomas Gaye. Their human sacrifices and passion for the Liberian community has helped sustain LICOSA. There has been a positive image and profile of the Liberian community among CALD communities and service providers. One of the objectives of creating our own website is to reach out to the wider Australian community.
Liberia is a country on the west coast of Africa, bordered by Sierra Leone, Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire , and the Atlantic Ocean. As of 2008, Liberia population was estimated to be 3,489,072 people and cover 111,369 square kilometres (43,000 sq mi). Liberia has a hot equatorial climate with most rainfall arriving in summer with harsh harmattan winds in the dry season. The country is heavily forested and rich in natural resources such as minerals, rubber and timber.
Portuguese explorers established contacts with Liberia as early as 1461 and named the area Grain Coast because of the abundance of "grains of paradise" (Malegueta pepper seeds). In 1663 the British installed trading posts on the Grain Coast, but the Dutch destroyed these posts a year later. There were no further reports of European settlements along the Grain Coast until the arrival of freed slaves in the early 1800s.
Liberia, "land of the free," was founded by free African-Americans and freed slaves from the United States in 1820. An initial group of 86 immigrants, who came to be called Americo-Liberians, established a settlement in Christopolis (now Monrovia, named after U.S. President James Monroe) on February 6, 1820. Liberia was traditionally noted for its hospitality, academic institutions, cultural skills and arts/craft works. Liberia has a long, rich history in textile arts and quilting. Liberia is divided into 15 counties, which are subdivided into districts further subdivided into clans.
Liberia was plunged into civil war when Charles Taylor led a rebellion against Doe's Government in 1989. During a brutal conflict that lasted for nearly 14 years, a number of factions became involved in the fighting and the United Nations estimates that half a million Liberians were killed with a further 850, 000 seeking refuge in neighbouring Cote d'Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ghana. In November 2005 Africa's first democratically elected female president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, was victorious at the polls. For more information, see the following: US Department of State - Liberia and BBC News - Liberia