Premier’s Medal turns into a millstone


By Neena Badhwar

In a major reversal to the honours awarded to community members at the Premier’s Harmony Gala Dinner on March 21, the Judging Panel has now decided to retract the 2018 Economic Participation Medal, according to a statement by a Multicultural Spokesperson of the NSW Government. The medal was awarded on the evening to  Yatendera Gupta from the Indian community, who, it was then said, had fostered economic relations between NSW and India. The retraction of the honour was based on further information disclosed to the panel after the Medal was presented. Further details were not provided.

The Panel decided against presenting any member of the community the 2018 Economic Participation Medal. Two medals from seven categories announced on the evening had been awarded to members from the Indian community. The other medal in the Regional Communities Medal category, won by  Promila Gupta  who is the President of the Indian Association of Newcastle Inc., stands as announced on the evening.  

Harmony Day in Australia was declared in 1999 to coincide with the United Nations’ International Day to eliminate Racial discrimination. This year’s dinner was hosted by Ray Williams, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Multicultural NSW and it showcased and entertained the audience with Sinhalese dancers, drums and much more at the impressive Rosehill Venue where the Harmony logo was displayed prominently on the back of the stage.

“You have chosen NSW coming from different backgrounds. For that we are deeply grateful. Some of you have been recognised tonight, but others who for decades and decades have given back to the community, for no other reason but because that is the most Australian thing to do. To support one another and to give everybody equality of opportunity because that is what we strive for no matter our background. So long as we work hard and give back, do our best and encourage our children and grandchildren to have the same opportunities and aspirations. That is the value, I know, we all of us hold so dear,”  Premier Berejiklian said to the guests.



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