United Indian Associations hosted the grand India Australia Friendship Fair on eve of India Independence at Sydney Olympic Athletic Centre, Homebush Bay, NSW on 14th August 2011.
United Indian Associations (UIA) was formed in 1994 with the objectives to help uplift the social and community development among Indo Australians. UIA is the largest umbrella organization consisting of 19 different organizations based upon various language and cultural backgrounds from India and Fiji. Our motto is ‘unity in diversity’ and our objectives are to advocate and take up social issues concerning people from our communities with the local, state and federal governments of the day.
India Australia Friendship Day is an event that represents the multicultural face of Indian diaspora in Sydney. India Australia Friendship Fair is an attempt to celebrate the relationships and nurture friendships between the Indian and Australian communities. The key objective is to provide a platform to celebrate the rich cultural diversity.
This year event was well attended by various Indian and wider Australian communities. Among the guests were The Hon Chris Bowen – Minister for immigration and Citizenship; representing Prime Minister of Australia, Senator Concetta Fierravanti- Wells – Senator for NSW, Shadow Minister Ageing and Mental Health – Representing Leader of Opposition Hon. Tony Abbott, Her Excellency Mrs. Sujatha Singh, Indian High Commissioner to Australia, The Hon Victor Dominello, Minister for Citizenship and Communities and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs – Representing Premier of NSW and Hon Leader of opposition in NSW – John Robertson.
A large number of Federal and State Members of Parliament from both side of politics, Former premier of NSW Mr Nathan Rees, Lord Mayor of Parramatta Mr John Chedid, Local councilors from Auburn, Parramatta, Hills and Blacktown, Mr Stepan Kerkyasharin AM Chairman of CRC NSW, Consulate Officials from India, Nepal & Sri Lanka and many distinguished guests attended the grand event. All the speakers spoke glowingly about the strong bilateral ties between India and Australia and also acknowledged the contribution of the Indian migrants to Australia and role played by UIA in helping the community. A video message by the PM of Australia The Hon Julia Gillard was played to the gathering, where The Hon PM congratulated the community and UIA for the event.
In his address to the gathering Mr. Amarinder Bajwa President United Indian Associations Inc welcomed the guests and the communities on the celebrations of the friendships among the communities. He explained various activities executed by UIA past 12months in particular and 17 years of dedicated to overall UIA’s achievements.
United Indian Associations made an appeal for to State government to continue $50,000 community grant provided by previous government for last two years to subsidize this fair and make this event as vibrant meeting point for Indian community calendar.
The President of United Indian Associations Inc reiterated the commitment of the communities to work hand in hand to make the adopted land of their choice as the best country in the world to live in. some demands were highlighted on behalf of the communities to help the students, seniors and the communities in general. These demands included the sale of Uranium to India, concessions to the students in local travel and travel concessions for the seniors that are on bridging visas.
An announcement for the Indo Australian Community & Welfare Centre was made to generate the necessary funds and request the state/federal governments to assist with the allocation of land and necessary grants.
Mr. Renga Rajan Secretary, UIA conducted the proceedings and Mr. John Niven Vice-President, UIA proposed vote of thanks.
Mr Arun Jagatramka CEO Gujarat NRE addressed the gathering on behalf of all the sponsors and business community. Mr Arun Jagatramka is a major investor in NSW in coal mines. He reiterated the commitment of the business communities to ensure the healthy growth of economy and social development of the communities in India and Australia.
Event was started with the fusion of various dances and music performances by over 300 participants showcasing rich Indian culture, heritage and languages. The event included a variety of traditional and contemporary cuisines from top most restaurants and eateries around Sydney. It showcased the riot of colours, Kids rides, Camel rides, Tattoos, Bollywood stars, Indian merchandise, businesses and sports personalities from India and Australia.
There were vibrant performances of Bollywood dance sequences; singers sung regional language songs, fusion of folk music and lyrics. This year UIA organized member organization Parade with exbits their culture and tradition with dance and music, which was well received, by audience and the entire guest.
An estimated number of record crowds of over 18,000 people enjoyed the day. The day was attended by Indian Tamil Actress Sneha, Punjabi Singer and presenter Satinder Sati and Singer Bhinda Aujla.
UIA had also organized Mr. Sunny Deol Bollywood Star as one of the celebrities but due to unavoidable reasons his visit was cancelled at eleventh hour, UIA sincerely apologies for the inconvenience caused to community.