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The Premier of New South Wales Hon. Barry O’Farrell MP

Government of NSW hosted a Deepavali Celebration 2013 at the Parliament House

(Coverage by: Syed Zafar Hussain and Warren Duncan of CRC NSW)

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello joined the Australian-Hindu community to celebrate the Indian Festival of Lights, Deepavali. The function was held on the evening of Wednesday, 30th October 2013 at the Dining Room of NSW Parliament, Sydney.

The Chairman of the Community Relations Commission’s of NSW Dr. Stepan Kerkyasharian

The Chairman of the Community Relations Commission’s of NSW Dr. Stepan Kerkyasharian was MC. Dr. Stepan Kerkyasharian Congratulates Indian community on the occasion of Deepavali Celebration. The function started with ceremonial lighting of the traditional lamp.

The program started with Ganesh Pooja and Bhajans. There were cultural program of entertainment .The Indian dancers’ present beautiful dances and greeting songs.

The Deepavali Celebration was attended by diplomat’s representing a number of foreign governments, NSW Government Ministers, Members of Parliament, Selected Media Personalities, Commissioners of government agencies, Religious Scholars & Community Leaders from diverse ethnic backgrounds. At the Deepavali Celebration, there were not only leaders from the Indian Community but also leaders from other faiths as well as politician’s. There were nearly 300 people who attended the Deepavali Celebration at NSW Parliament House Strangers Dining Room.

NSW State Parliament was colourfully lit to mark the occasion, and the celebrations were led by Mr O’Farrell and Mr Dominello.

Premier The Hon Barry O’Farrell gave a very well versed speech in which he told of the contributions of Indian to Australia. Premier The Hon Barry O’Farrell said that It is an honour as Premier to join this distinguished company of religious leaders and top level community members of Indian sub continent at this important religious celebration of Deepavali. The Premier said that he is highly respecting Indian Australian community and we are here together from many backgrounds in support of our fellow Australians. The Honourable Barry O’Farrell appreciates the efforts of the most famous and Popular Minister for Citizenship and Communities Hon. Victor Dominello and the Chairman of the Community Relations Commission’s of NSW Dr. Stepan Kerkyasharian.

The Premier Mr O’Farrell said he wished everyone a happy and peaceful Deepavali.

“Deepavali is an important time for many communities in NSW as the lighting of the diyas symbolises the lifting of spiritual darkness and new beginnings,” he said.

           Syed Zafar Hussain, The Premier of New South Wales Honourable Barry O’Farrell MP and Ms Pallavi Sinha

“The Australian-Hindu community’s pride in its heritage and culture, and its contributions to society continue to support Australia’s multicultural diversity.

“These celebrations provide an opportunity for everyone to learn more about the diverse customs and cultures of their neighbours, friends and colleagues.”

The Minister for Citizenship and Communities Hon. Victor Dominello

Mr Victor Dominello said almost 200 community leaders, members of Parliament, diplomats and key business representatives attended the event.

“I am delighted that through this celebration we could bring the community together in an important show of unity while lighting the Deepavali candle,” he said.

“Holding this event at Parliament House in the presence of community leaders and religious clergy signifies the respect and importance this ancient festival deserves.

“Deepavali teaches us about the power of light to banish darkness, and encourages us to spend time with family and friends, sharing amazing foods and entertainment.

“The NSW Government is publically showing its respect to the tradition of Deepavali by illuminating the exterior of over the next week for the festival.”

Australian National Anthem performed by Kamahl AM.

The Consul General of India Mr. Arun Kumar Goel congratulates for the Celebration of Deepavali and thanks New South Wales Government for arranging this official Celebration in the Parliament House.

On the behalf of the NSW Deepavali Advisory Committee, Mr. Raman Bhalla thanked Premier O’Farrell, Minister Victor, Community Relations Commission and Government of New South Wales for hosting a historical Deepavali function in the Parliament house.

On the Conclusion of the formal program, refreshment was served and a small box of special Indian sweets (Methai) was given to more than 300 guests.


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