August with the Leader of Opposition, The Hon Bill Shorten. The evening was well attended by many community groups, individuals, state and federal MP’s
In the opening remarks Ms Kaila Murnain, NSW Labor Assistant Secretary applauded the Subcontinent Friends of Labor (SFOL) team. Ms Murnain highlighted the achievements of the group in the party and introduced the President of SFOL, Dr Moninder Singh.
The President Dr Moninder Singh welcomed the guests. Mr Singh highlighted the exemplary achievements of SCFOL group across the country. We have been instrumental in forming similar groups in Victoria and ACT he added. He emphasised the importance and support extended by this group to various candidates during and after elections to reach out to the community.
Blacktown, Mayor Stephen Bali welcomed the Leader of Opposition in his Council. The Mayor Bali highlighted the valuable contribution of the subcontinent people in his local Council, He admired the growth and multicultural environment of in Blacktown.
Former State leader of opposition and MP from Blacktown Hon John Robertson said ‘its time to recognise the contribution of the subcontinent communities in the decision making bodies.
Mr Ejaz Khan, Vice President of SFOL was the MC of the formal part of the event and introduced Hon Ed Husic Member for Chiefly and thanked his extended support to SCFOL. Hon Husic, reiterated the contribution of the SFOL team to promote Labor values. Member of the SCFOL should be promoted to Local, State and Federal Governments to reflect true representation of the sub-continent communities he said.
Hon Bill Shorten in his speech acknowledge subcontinent communities contribution in every walk of Australian life. He said the Labor fought against the abolition of sec 18 of the Anti-Discrimination Act and raising of fees for the Contributory Parent visa in the Parliament which could affecting the life style of the subcontinent communities in Australia.
The highlight of the evening was the honour extended to Professor Nihal Agar AM, President of Hindu Council of Australia who was conferred member of Order of Australia and former Premier of NSW Nathan Reece. The Hon Bill Shorten, Leader of Opposition, presented shawls to both and thanked for their contribution.
Mrs Aruna Chandrala presented the Hon Bill Shorten with a plaque and miniature statute of ‘Lord Ganesha’ the symbol of good luck, wisdom and success; chair of women’s committee in SFOL.
Many communities supported this event SFOL secretary Mr Amarinder Bajwa acknowledged their support. These organisation includes Multicultural Communities Council of NSW, Indian Crisis Support Agency, Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Revesby Sikh Temple; Lions Club Blacktown, Ahmadiyya Muslim Association Blacktown, Punjabi Council, Australian Sikh Council, Global Women’s Network, Jeeyar Educational Trust, Unions NSW, Temple Pada Yatra, Islamic Association of Blacktown, Pakistan Association and LBY Foundation.
A number of ethnic media also attended and supported the event, these included SBS Punjabi, SBS Urdu, Indian Down Under, Rabitah, Sada e Watan, Navtarang, Punjabi Tribune (India), Daily Ajit Jalandhar (India), Jagbani (India), The Punjab Herald Sydney, Punjab Express, Punjab Times, Radio SWR, Nepali Times, Asia Times, Desi Australia and Hindi Gaurav.
Cultural performances; songs sung by Alysa and Ellie and cultural performance from Gujarati dance group by Hiral Chabbra as well as enthralling Bhangra dance performance by Varun Tiwari and team.
The following state and federal MP’s attended Hon Michelle Rowland, Hon Ed Husic, State MP’s Prue Carr, Jihad Dib, Jodi Mckay, John Robertson, Hugh McDermott, Shaoquett Moselmane MLC, Peter Primrose MLC and Sophie Cotsis MLC.
Number of councillors attended the event from the area and beyond including the Mayor and Councillor Stephen Bali, Khal Asfour, George Barcha, Karl Saleh, Pierre Esber, Raj Datta and Susai Benjamin.
Kenrick Cheah, Community Relations Director; NSW Labor Party and members of young Labor attended the event.
Photos: Courtesy Neil Chand (Asia Times, Sydney)
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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Subcontinent Friends of Labor in New South Wales hosted its annual dinner on 7