Premier Berejiklian meets Indian community and acknowledges its contribution and achievements

By Neena Badhwar

Indian community leaders, members, association presidents, met with Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Hon. John Sidoti in an informal meet at the Parliament’s Macquarie room on Tuesday August 6. Premier mentioned the presence of some of her members of the parliament in Dr. Geoff Lee, Gurmesh Singh recently elected member from Coffs Harbour, Mark Taylor, Member from Seven Hills, New South Wales Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello, speaker of the Lower House Jonathan O’Dea and Councillor Reena Jethi. It was a special meeting meant just for the Indian community with a motive to connect and speak directly to the invited guests.

Ms. Berejiklian officially welcomed the Indian Consul General, Manish Gupta and her parliamentary colleagues, also Gurmesh Singh of the Sikh community elected for the first time in the lower house, and addressed the guests, “Indian-Australian community here in NSW is full of warmth, enthusiasm and energy in its diversity as well as is a strong part of our broader society.” She thanked the Indian community for being amazing role models and organising such vibrant events which she said were sending strong message to others of how proud we are of our heritage, similar to her own story.

She praised the recent elections in India when over 600 million voted over six weeks in almost eleven phases and that India being the largest democracy in the world, in all of its true words, “India’s commitment to shared values, of democracy, family values, and importance it pays on education is so special to celebrate,” she added, “and it really bombed us.” She said one message she took from her visit to India was that India wants ‘NSW to form a two-way relationship with India, the message from government officials and businesses was: please encourage Australian organisations to have greater presence in India’.

She said she felt quite excited by the hospitality industry in India how they are sourcing a lot of Australian produce such as fish. Premier was happy to have met Sachin Tendulkar who said to her that outside India, SCG is his favourite place for playing cricket. She thanked the Indian community again and said that while celebrating India’s Independence day, its democracy, strength of the Indian community here, a role it provides is an example to many.

Minister for Sport, Multiculturalism, Seniors and Veterans, John Sidoti said that there were members from the Indian community in the multicultural advisory committee and that community harmony first starts within the community and then spreads, “You are the envy of many others,” he said.

Consul General, Manish Gupta, who just recently arrived in Sydney said, “I like the words Shared Values, Mateship and Multiculturalism of Australia, the Indian community is a microcosm of a mini India here.”

After a few selfies, and over a cup of tea and snacks, we all went back happy thinking that the NSW government acknowledges the Indians settled in NSW in a special way for their positive contribution to the society here and their role in acting as the ambassadors between India and Australia. Premier Berejiklian endorsed it with all her heart on the 6th of August.

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