CIA ”“ Council of Indian Australians launched formally on Australia Day



By Rekha Rajvanshi

On Friday, the 28th January 2011 a newly formed Indian organization in Australia, ”˜The Council of Indian Australians Inc.’ was launched formally. An event which was planned carefully and organized perfectly was attended by 550 people from all cultures and communities at Bowman Hall in Blacktown, NSW. It surely left an everlasting impression for its high quality and colourful presentation.

The beautifully decorated hall started filling with guests at about 6.30 pm, including many prominent Indian and Australian dignitaries such as The Hon Kristina Keneally, Premier of NSW; Hon. Mr Barry O’Farrel, NSW leader of opposition; Indian Consul General Mr Amit Dasgupta;  Chairman of the Community Relations Commission Mr. Stephen Kerkyasharian and other ministers and well-known personalities of the community.

At the beginning of the program the Master of Ceremony, Mrs. Lucky Singh, talked about the significance of Australia Day and the Indian Republic Day. The program then commenced with young school children singing the National Anthems of Australia and India, followed by an address by Dr Yadu Singh, the President of CIA, wherein he gave a brief background of the CIA and its conception 12 months ago, with a lot of effort put into building this organization and bringing it to existence. He also talked about the pledges that the committee members have undertaken and mentioned the three governing principles of his organization: integrity, accountability and good governance. Dr.  Singh promised to fight for ”˜a fair go’ for every Indian Australian and clean governance with transparency. Dr. Singh then invited MP Ms. Michelle Rowland, representing the Prime Minister of Australia, Hon. Julia Gillard, to read her message, whilst Senator Marise Payne represented the Federal Leader of Opposition Mr. Tony Abbott. Both speakers spoke highly of their personal experiences with India and Indians in Australia.

Special attraction of the event was the presence of the NSW Premier, Ms. Kristina Keneally, wearing a beautiful sky-blue Indian Salwar Kameez and she looked stunning. In her speech, she spoke about Australian-Indian relations, and mentioned a couple of successful Indian Australian events which were supported by her over the last 12 months such as Parramasala festival, the AR Rahman concert, the Indian subcontinent community awards and setting of the Parliamentary Friends of India committee. Next was Mr. Barry O’Farrell, the leader of the opposition, who mentioned India and Australia’s joint participation in the battle of Gallipoli. He spoke of how proud he was of the achievements of the Indian community in Australia as he mentioned how both India and Australia enjoy the game of Cricket. CG Mr. Amit Dasgupta spoke highly of the achievements of the Indian-Australian Community in Australia and announced the opening an Indian Cultural Centre in Sydney.

Then CIA, in partnership with Basawa Samithy (Sydney), awarded a community service award to Dr. Chandrasekhar Gowda for his extensive services to the community.   The felicitation was read by Deepti Sachdeva of NDTV and a momento was presented by the Premier Kristina Kaneally.

After the award presentation the cultural segment took place, which included Bollywood song and dance, Bhangra and fusion music from the live band Surya. The highlight of the show was a glittering Bollywood dance by an upcoming Bollywood actress Sanghmitra Kumar, who looked gorgeous in her lovely costume. This event was directed by Ajoy Ghosh, and all the performances were thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Dr Yadu Singh then introduced his committee members to the guests and outlined the future plans of CIA. He announced a donation of AU$ 2000 from his existing funds which were carried over from last year’s function for the Queensland flood victims. Another AUD$ 5,100 was raised by auctions of an AFL Jersey signed by Mr Kevin Sheedy and two cricket bats signed by the great Indian Cricketer Kapil Dev, donated by Mr Ashwani Sharma of the Hindu Council of Australia. Mr Bharat Bhushan of Bathla Group, Mr Ahai Deshwal and Maya Da Dhaba participated in the auction and supported this noble cause by paying a decent amount for these auction items. Furthermore, Gigaforce and Macquarie bank also organized lucky draws.

CIA President Dr Yadu Singh and the secretary Mr Stanley D’Cruz gratefully thanked everyone for attending the event.

No doubt, the newly emerged CIA’s formal launch, in celebration with Australia Day and Indian Republic Day, was a great success. CIA has a big responsibility to fulfill, and we look forward to seeing how it will keep its promises to the people and abide by the principles that it has chartered. I thoroughly enjoyed this celebration and wish CIA all the very best.


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