Independence Day event by AISECS: AUS Political honchos & Indian HC heap praises for Indian diaspora
News published by NRI Herald, 17 August 2021
AISECS (Australian-Indian Sports Educational and Cultural Society) a non-profit organization that aims to promote and strengthen the bilateral ties between Australia and India in priority sectors of sports, education, and culture organised an online event on the occasion of India's 75th Independence Day attended by multitude of Australian political honchos, delegates of Indian High Commissionerate and people from all over Australia.
The list of speakers consisted of Dr Fiona Martin MP (Federal Member of Reid), Jason Wood MP (Assistant minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs), Manpreet Vohra (High Commissioner of India to Australia) and Manish Gupta (Consul-General of India), Dave Sharma MP (MP from Wentworth), Hon Jodi Mckay MP (MP from Strathfield) & Hon. Victor Dominello (Minister for Digital & Customer Service).
Gurnam Singh (founder AISECS) opened the event by saying:
As we all already know the importance of Independence Day, today I would like to explain the significance of our national flag in brief.
The Indian flag has three stripes of three colours and that's why we call it Tiranga which means Tricolour. The saffron colour represents the courage and sacrifice of our freedom fighters, the white colour represents truth, peace and purity and the green colour represents prosperity while the Ashok Chakra in the centre represents the Laws of Dharma that is our morality.
This event was unique in the correct sense of this word also consisted of a presentation given by AISECS ambassador Reetpal Singh which ranges from Australia-India economic ties, People to People relationships and trade partnerships.
All the dignitaries present in the event had illustrious words to say about Australian-Indian diaspora.
HE Manpreet Vohra (High Commissioner of India to Australia) said:
I asked the chief justice of Queensland when I was in Brisbane that when was the last time an Indian origin person was hauled up to your bench and she thought for several seconds and said High Commissioner I can't remember. That is the stature of Indian community in Australia. I have said it several time that I might be the High Commissioner of India but each and every community member of my country is an ambassador of India.
I do feel that despite of the very impressive economic numbers between India-Australia which we have seen in the Reetpal's presentation, we have only scratched the surface and their are tremendous opportunities for both countries in the field of trade in the coming future.
Assistant Minister Jason Wood MP addressed the topic on International students and said:
We are treating International students as our own and have committed $200 million towards the wellbeing of these students during these tough COVID times. We really hope that borders will open soon so that we could welcome Indian student back in our universities.
Mr Jason also added:
The figure of over 500 million COVID vaccines by India till date is incredible and this is something which every Indian should be proud of. Australia has given its support to India with 3 tonnes of medical supplies during India's second wave.
Dave Sharma MP (MP from Wentworth)
When my father came to Sydney from UP (Uttar Pradesh) in 1979, we were the only "Sharma" in the whole phone book of white pages but today we could find hundreds of Indian names all across. I think Indian migration story has been an amazing success story in the last 4 decades. I personally think that from all the waves of immigration to Australia, this last one from India had been all the most positive. Indian community is diligent, law abiding and passionate about Australia. I would love to see more Indian- Australian in the parliament from all the sides of politics.
Dr Fiona Martin MP said:
Australia have more than 700,000; NSW has 200,000 and just in my electorate of Reid we have just about 8,500 people of Indian descent. I am very proud to represent India- Australian community in Reid. Its a community which prides itself on its culture, language and passing down it's history from generation to generation. I wish you all a very happy Independence Day and to all the freedom fighters of the past that has made India the way it is today.
On asking to share his thought about Australian-Indian strategic partnership Hon. Victor Dominello (Minister for Digital & Customer Service) said:
I have been to India 4 times, twice in official capacity and twice in personal capacity and I have loved the place. I think if Alien is about to visit planet Earth and they want to study the history of our planet, I would say go and visit India because in India you have the microcosm of the world. It really does cover all corners of humanity there.
On the topic of trade partnerships in the field of tech Mr Victor added:
I personally think the best of India Australia relationships are still ahead of us. Considering, the countries with large population like India which is tech heavy will become more stronger and the Australia-India relationship will grow further.
Hon Jodi Mckay MP (MP from Strathfield)
I acknowledge the good work which Gurnam has done with the international students from India. I look forward to welcome Indian students once again as soon as the international borders are open.
On Australia India relations Ms Jodi added:
I believe that there is so much untapped potential between our relations though for me apart from economic it's also cultural.
Manish Gupta (Consul-General of India)
When we talk about India, we are talking 1/6th of the world population. Every Indian today have a digital identity and we are going to have 900 million internet users by 2025. Today's India is driven by the sheer power of our youth. By 2025 India will have almost 150 unicorns with the market capitalisation of nearly $1 Trillion and this is what is driving young Indians and this is what our demographic dividends.
On India Australia relations Mr Gupta added:
Indian Australian ties are at a very existing juncture, probably stronger than ever. In the upcoming big-ticket project like Western Sydney City Aerotropolis Indian IT sector will have a big role to play in creating the digital backbone of this infrastructure.
The event was concluded by Gurnam singh with his inspiring words in which he said:
I’d like to remind everyone of our biggest strength - which is our unity. We celebrate Independence Day because of the sacrifices made by our freedom fighters. But today, let's remind ourselves of the hard work and sacrifices being made by our frontline workers in the pandemic and thank them for standing strong to keep us and our dear ones safe.
On this auspicious occasion of India's 75th Independence Day NRI Herald wished entire Australia-Indian community a bright, united and a peaceful future ahead.