what's happening / news / Celebration of Celebrations in the Hills - Speech by the Hon. Mark Coure MP

Celebration of Celebrations in the Hills - Speech by the Hon. Mark Coure MP

Ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys.

It is a great pleasure to be with you all this afternoon representing Premier Perrottet, who sends you his warmest regards.

How fun has today been!

Robots, virtual reality rides, science projects, a colouring competition, PC games, face painting, henna designs, a fashion show, a disco… There’s plenty to do and see here today. And, of course, plenty to eat as well, thanks to everyone at the stalls serving up an incredible spread of tasty food!

Today’s event is really special – it celebrates science, Indian culture and arts and a great milestone in India’s history.

Science is important for many reasons.

  • It increases our medical knowledge and helps us to be healthier and live longer.
  • Leads to new technologies, inventions and discoveries that transform how we live.
  • And helps us to solve the mysteries of the universe.

And a fun fact for you all!

While history credits a European renaissance thinker with proposing the heliocentric model of our solar system – which is about central placement of the sun and other planets orbiting it. It was actually already outlined in the Rig Veda, an ancient Indian collection of hymns from 1500 BC!

So today, as we bring young imaginations to life, this exhibition of science projects shows that our future is in good hands. This is great because today we have many challenges to face, such as pollution, global warming, and how best to use our natural resources.

Without understanding what lies at the heart of these issues, and without using the scientific method, we cannot discover the solutions to our world’s biggest questions. Who knows, perhaps there is a future Nobel Prize winner or two in the room!

Well done to all of you who have put together these projects. And to those who have encouraged these clever young people, their schools, teachers and parents, the Premier and I thank you – your support is benefitting us all.

Today we’re also celebrating Bandana Cultural School’s annual day.

As well as tutoring in a variety of subjects, I know that Bandana Cultural School also does wonderful work to teach traditional art and dance. As Minister for Multiculturalism, I want to really commend the work of the school in passing on India’s artistic culture to younger generations.

I know that we’ve been in for a treat today as the school’s dedicated students share these vibrant and ancient traditions with us all. India and NSW have a strong friendship founded upon shared values and our commitment to work together for a more prosperous society.

Earlier this week, the NSW Government lit the sails of the Opera House in the colours of the Indian flag – saffron, white and dark green. It’s our way of helping proud Indians everywhere, including the Australian Indians of New South Wales, celebrate the 75th anniversary of India’s independence.

Over the past 75 years, India has become an economic powerhouse and is now one of Australia’s biggest growth markets. It’s leading the way in technology and innovation across all sectors.

During his recent trip to India, Premier Perrottet promoted NSW as a critical global investment partner and announced four new tech-related partnerships between New South Wales.

I want to take a moment to again emphasise that the New South Wales Government sees the Indian community – in all its diversity – as a treasured part of our multicultural society. That is why the Government has also supported the India Club over recent years through various grants.

I often talk about the success of New South Wales as a multicultural society, but what we have here in this State goes beyond the ordinary definition of success. We set an example to the rest of the world for how such diverse communities can live together harmoniously.

The India Club, like many other organisations across NSW, works hard to preserve the unique cultures that constitute our state, while also sharing this heritage with everyone.

For instance, almost a year ago, the India Club held its first snack-and-chat get-together.

India Club started these to bring leaders and members of different communities together in a relaxed environment to foster friendships and goodwill.

The first snack-and-chat was a big success and the Club has since held many similar events. It’s a great initiative and well worth honouring during the Celebration of Celebrations.

Which brings me to an important part of my speech: a big shout-out for the President of the India Club, Mrs Shubha Kumar [Shoob-har Koo-mar].

I’m delighted that Shubha won a Premier’s Multicultural Community Medal this year. Shubha won the 2022 National Rugby League Stepan Kerkyasharian AO Community Medal. Stepan and I were delighted to present Shubha with her Medal on the night.

This award recognises an individual’s contribution and achievement in facilitating and promoting social cohesion, understanding and acceptance between members of different cultural or faith communities in NSW.

Since arriving in Australia in 1973, Shubha has helped Indian migrants to settle here, with a focus on teaching women about their domestic rights. Shubha established the Indian Club in 2004 and has served as its President since its inception.

I’m glad to be able to salute her again for her work. Shubha, thank you. You have helped to change lives, for the better.

Ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, the Celebration of Celebrations in The Hills is remarkable.

On behalf of Premier Perrottet, I thank all those who have taken part – for sharing your wonderful culture and your clever scientific ideas with the rest of us – and I thank all those of you who have made this fantastic event happen.