what's happening / news / Himani Kosh Australia Fundraising Dinner - Speech by the Hon. Mark Coure MP

Himani Kosh Australia Fundraising Dinner - Speech by the Hon. Mark Coure MP

I would like to begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Gadigal people of Eora nation. I also acknowledge our hosts, including :

  • Her Royal Highness the former Crown Princess, Himani Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah, the Chairperson of Himani Trust Nepal.
  • Ms Anjana Basnet Karki, Chairperson of Himani Kosh Australia.
  • Former Princesses, Sheetashma Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah and Dilasha Rajya Laxmi Devi Rana of Himani Trust Nepal.
  • Ms Reshma Rana, the Trust’s Secretary, Director Dr Aparna Shah and legal adviser Ms Anita Sharma.

I would like to further acknowledge our distinguished guests, including:

    • The Hon. Natalie Ward MLC, Minister for Metropolitan Roads, and Minister for Women's Safety and the Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence.
    • Mr Tim James MP, Member for Willoughby.
    • Mr Stephen Kamper MP, Member for Rockdale.
    • Mr Deepak Kumar Khadka, Honorary Consul-General of Nepal for NSW and Tasmania.
    • Mr Nanda Gurung, President, Non-Resident Nepali Association Australia.
    • Mrs Mary-Lou Jarvis, President of the NSW Liberal Women’s Council.

Ladies and gentleman,

It is a great pleasure to be with you all this evening for this wonderful cause, hosted by Her Royal Highness the former Crown Princess, Himani Trust Nepal and its Australian chapter, Himani Kosh Australia.

We’re here to do what we can to raise funds for a very important and worthy project.

Three and a half thousand [3,500] Nepalese children die each year by the lack of access to clean water, hygienic sanitation and the prevalence of water-borne diseases.

However, the Trust’s Access to Clean Drinking Water Project aims to provide self-filtration bottles to 10,000 under-privileged children in flood-affected areas in Nepal so they have access to safe drinking water.

These high-tech bottles can filter up to 1,000 litres, providing a child with a year’s supply of good water.

And I am told that these ‘wonder bottles’ can reduce about 99% of bacteria from the water they filter, which is absolutely fantastic.

We Australians always want to do what we can to extend a helping hand to this beautiful country and its wonderful people.

Australia and Nepal are great friends – our two countries celebrated 60 years of diplomatic relations in 2020 – and we remain a committed development partner.

Australia provided more than $38 million in development assistance in 2020-21, more than $20 million in 2021-22 and is likely to provide $22 million this financial year.

These contributions are helping Nepal’s response to COVID-19 and its longer-term recovery needs and builds on various other avenues of support Australia has provided Nepal in times of disaster.

I mentioned a moment ago that Australia and Nepal are good friends.

A big factor in our friendship are our strong people-to-people links.

I’m delighted to say that these have only strengthened thanks to the rapid growth of the Nepalese community in Australia.

The number of Nepalese-born people in Australia has grown 25-fold since 2006.

The latest Census results, released in June, reveal there are now more than 122,500 Nepalese-born people living in Australia, a 124% increase in five years.

More than 72,000 of them call New South Wales home.

As Minister for Multiculturalism, I know the Nepalese community is a treasured part of our multicultural society.

We thank all its members for their incredible contributions to our society.

We thank them for their commitment to our social harmony.

And we thank them for their outstanding civic spirit.

This civic spirit has been very apparent recently in the way our many Nepalese community organisations have helped vulnerable people get through the COVID pandemic and shared the health messages to counter its spread.

These hard-working community organisations are also to be commended for supporting the community language schools that teach Nepali to the younger generations in our State.

I’m proud to say that the Nepalese community’s commitment to our harmony and its tremendous community spirit are shared across our diverse population.

This is why New South Wales is the world’s most successful multicultural society.

Irrespective of our cultural background, language or religious beliefs, we share the same values and hopes.

Here in our great State, we respect each other and care for each other, no matter where we come from.

Ladies and gentlemen, I wish Himani Trust Australia and Himani Kosh Australia every success with their Clean Drinking Water project.

Please help if you can.

You will be saving young lives in Nepal.

Thank you.