what's happening / news / Community Cricket Match hosted by AISECS - Speech by the Hon. Mark Coure MP

Community Cricket Match hosted by AISECS - Speech by the Hon. Mark Coure MP

I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Wangal people, as well as our hosts:

  • Mr Gurnam Singh, Founder and President of the Australian Indian Sports Educational and Cultural Society, or AISECS, and his team of volunteers

I would also like to thank distinguished guests, who include:

  • Mr Suneet Mehta, Deputy High Commissioner of India
  • The Honorable Stuart Ayres MP, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events
  • The Honorable Victor Dominello MP, Minister for Customer Service and Digital
  • My fellow NSW parliamentarians Mr John Sidoti MP, Member for Drummoyne, and Mr Gurmesh Singh MP, Member for Coffs Harbour
  • Senator Andrew Bragg
  • Dr Fiona Martin MP, Federal Member for Reid
  • Mr Nick Hockley, CEO of Cricket Australia
  • Mr Manish Gupta, Consul-General of India in Sydney
  • Mr Joseph La Posta, CEO of Multicultural NSW, and members of the Multicultural NSW Advisory Board

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to be with you all here today at Homebush for the Ministers’ Eleven versus the High Commissioner’s Eleven.

This wonderful match brings us all together in the spirit of sportsmanship and comradery–which Australia and India share in abundance. Our mutual love of cricket is just a symbol of our many similarities – others include our shared values of democracy, freedom and wanting to give back.

India is an incredibly important and valued partner for NSW and Australia. Our relationship has long been built on trade, business and culture and that relationship is strengthened by the fantastic Indian community we have in NSW.

Talking of giving back, Gurnam and his team from AISECS went out of their way to look after international students, new migrants and seniors during the COVID pandemic. They reached out to international students and other people who had lost their jobs, offering them more than food and medical supplies, but hope and a sense of community.

The NSW Government was proud to support AISECS with grants to help them with this vital work. As we move into the recovery phase, people like Gurnam and all the fellow members of AISECS are still working hard behind the scenes.

Especially as you continue to reach out with a helping hand and a listening ear to those in need. AISECS and countless grassroots community groups like you are showing the world how we care for our fellow residents in challenging times. The NSW Government recognises the importance of our relationship with India, and we are working hard to ensure our partnership continues to flourish.

Importantly, we look forward to the return of international students, tourists and family members to our shores. Because Sydney, in particular, is a highly multilingual city in a highly multilingual state. 25 per cent of us in New South Wales speak another language at home. And this figure rises to 35 per cent in greater Sydney.

We set an example to the rest of the world in how diverse communities can live together and thrive, as we see through the many multicultural celebrations and festivals across the suburbs every weekend.

More than anything, that is because we value the hope and opportunity that Australia offers us all. Families came here to set up the next chapter of their lives for themselves and their children, and for future generations.

As Minister for Multiculturalism, I appreciate the opportunity to be the voice of multicultural communities right across our State and to ensure that consideration for multicultural communities remains at the centre of Government decision-making.

Once again, I would like to thank Gurnam and his hard-working team for putting on this great occasion. Events such as today’s cricket match bring us together to have fun, engage in some friendly competition and further our mutual understanding.

I wish everyone the best for a wonderful day on the field.