LODDON Campaspe Multicultural Services general and programs manager Noemi Cummings has remembered Nelson Mandela as an inspirational leader.
"I would like to extend, on behalf of LCMS members and committee of management, our condolences to the whole of South Africa because they have lost a great son and a great father," Ms Cummings said.
"When I think of Nelson Mandela I think of a great figure who transformed from a person who was so fiery and fiesty to someone who was a very self-reflective leader.
"He was a person who was self-disciplined and able to lead the nation.
"I think his time in prison, he spent 27 years in prison, contributed greatly to that."
Ms Cummings said Mandela was one of the greatest figures of our time.
"For him to be able to see the big picture and for the country to realise how great it would be for him to lead them into this search for equality and to abolish discrimination has raised him up as a hero," she said.
"Personally, to me, he is an inspiration because he shows that anything is possible.
"If you have a desire, you have a dream, you have passion and you want to help others and to serve your nation then anything is possible.
"We work in this small part of the world, in Bendigo, and one of the things that we aim to do at LCMS is to foster harmony and good relationships between all the different cultures and to make sure that everyone has equity of access and that everyone can participate.
"But there is the ugly head of racism out there so that's something that we have to continue to educate people, continue to advocate for those who cannot speak up.
"So it's an inspiration to have a figure like Mandela."
Ms Cummings said Mandela had demonstrated the power of peace.
"I think there is more power in peace, a peaceful approach to anything, than there is in war," she said.
"You cannot solve upheaval with war.
"You have to solve it by peaceful means and I think that's what Mandela did."
Mandela passed away on December 5, aged 95.