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India Australia Friendship Fair

United Indian Associations Inc. (UIA) held its annual India Australia Friendship Fair 2012, at the Sydney Olympic Park celebrating 66th Indian Independence Day on August 19. It turned out to be a mega event in all proportions and a historic day with the presence of Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, NSW Premier Barry O’ Farrell, NSW State Leader of Opposition John Robertson, NSW Minister for Multicultural Affairs Victor Dominello, High Commissioner for India Mr Biren Nanda and Mr. Arun Kumar Goel, Indian Consul General apart from over 30 of members of Parliament both State and Federal to bring about one clear message – that the growing Indian community is not only recognised and respected but also considered to be a partner in building a multicultural Australia as well as how serious the politicians consider the bilateral relationship between the two nations. United Indian Associations Inc is a shining example of unity, diversity and celebration of cultures, heritage, food, music and dance from the Indian. UIA not only demonstrated itself as an important platform for the politicians from both parties to voice their support for the community but to help cement the relation between India and Australia in front of over 15,000 strong multicultural crowd and media. The fair showcased day-long activities starting with children of Gopa Kutteram , Global Organisation for Divinity Australia and performances by many other dance and music schools, individuals, groups and UIA member associations that proudly walked the ground with the dignitaries. The national Anthem of India and Australia was sung by Indo Aus Bal Bharati Hindi School. It is for the first time ever that the top politicians from both sides of politics attended in large numbers and strongly applauded the contribution of Australian Indians in building Australia day by day and also reiterated their commitment to sell Uranium to India in front of the huge audience at Sydney Olympics Park Athletic Centre. The announcement by both the Prime Minister Julia Gillard and NSW Premier Barry O’ Farrell that they are planning to visit India before the end of the year to promote trade and relations was warmly applauded by the huge crowds at the event. The Prime Minister of Australia earlier was received by the UIA President Mr Amarinder Bajwa and UIA executive team. People thronged to get a photo opportunity with the PM when she arrived at the venue. The PM loved meeting people and getting henna tattoo on her hand. A ‘Citizenship Ceremony’ was held for the first time at the venue and was hosted by federal Minister Hon Michelle Rowland representing the Minister for Immigration Hon Chris Bowen and attended by Hon Victor Dominello State Minister for Communities and Citizenship. 10 people of Indian origin were conferred upon the citizenship of Australia. Pandit Anindayi Banjeeri performed after the ceremony enthralling the audience with the classical Indian music. In his address to the gathering Mr. Amarinder Bajwa President United Indian Associations Inc welcomed the guests and the communities. He highlighted various activities executed by UIA in the past. He also made an appeal to the visiting politicians to support the community organisations that are working hard to look after the communities and support them with grants and funds. The President of United Indian Associations Inc reiterated the commitment of the Indian communities to work hand in hand to contribute in the growth of multicultural Australia, Ms Kumud Mirani from SBS Hindi conducted the proceedings and Mr Kumar Madappa Secretary, UIA proposed the vote of thanks. Cultural Directors of the fair Kumar Madappa & John Niven and their team had put together one of the most comprehensive cultural programs along with many presenters that included MC’s from SBS Kumud Mirani, Gautam Kole, Rajesh, Shalini, who kept the audience engaged. The parade of the member organisations was the highlight of the fair where many other organisations attended in the spirit of harmony showcasing the diversity of India in Australia. The parade was led by NSW Police contingent and participated by the kids, seniors and youth. Parade was presented by ex-president of UIA Ms Aruna Chandrala and Dr Moninder Singh. Other attractions at the fair were kids rides, camel rides, food and business stalls, NSW Police stall that showcased Police bike, cars and emergency vehicles. In one corner Rajesh Kumar a Sydney based photographer was busy to break a world record for taking most portraits in one day and successfully completed 1010 portrait photos. His record is being verified at the time of this report. In another corner ‘India at your doorstep’ had put together a showcase of the property development opportunities from various parts of India. This property expo was attended by many. Other popular stalls included Madame Tussauds Sydney, State Bank of India, UAE exchange, Western Sydney Properties, Value World Travel and Konnect TV. UIA Freedom concert was held on 18th Aug in partnership with KonnecTV where one of the most celebrated Bollywood playback singer Alka Yagnik and her troupe enthralled over 2000 audience by her popular songs. UIA’s India Australia Friendship Fair has grown every year since 1994 and has allowed the participation of not only Indian communities but has offered opportunities to other communities as well making it one of the Biggest Indian Event of the year in Australia. The UIA Friendship Fair is a great example of true multicultural spirit allowing our community to strengthen bonds and integrate itself into the Australian landscape. The growing Indo-Australian community, the locals, and the UIA committee along with invited guests – politicians, diplomats and community leaders were a witness to this great fair promoting friendship and brotherhood. The fair was well attended and well received by the community and ended with spectacular fireworks in the evening. ------ Originally posted on UIA website.

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