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SPEECH: China Fun Burwood Moon Festival Carnival

It’s a pleasure to represent the Premier of New South Wales, the Honourable Dominic Perrottet, at today’s China Fun Burwood Moon Festival Family Carnival.

He sends his best wishes to you all for a happy Moon Festival and I’ll certainly save a mooncake for him.

I know that The Moon Festival is a significant occasion on the cultural calendar for those right across Asia and, of course, Australia.

Indeed, today’s wonderful carnival celebrates the full moon in the northern hemisphere and for many, today also marks a time for family reunion, lighting paper lanterns and eating delicious mooncakes.

It also marks a time to focus on ancestral worship.

Especially as family members gather to share food, stories, admire the full moon and express gratitude to their ancestors for an abundant autumn harvest.

I want to congratulate the hard-working team at the ACCA for organising such an amazing, family-friendly program.

You have provided an opportunity for us to gather and celebrate our culturally rich communities, while inviting those from all over to share in the wonders of such diversity.

I am a great supporter of community organisations that work together to share the wonderful cultures and heritage of those around us.

Events like this show why we are the world’s most successful multicultural society.

And why the NSW Government will continue to invest in our local multicultural communities.

Because we need to support the gatherings that invite people into our cultures and traditions.

And promote the initiatives that bring everyone together to share a sense of multicultural harmony.

So that we can all share in the wonders of our diverse communities.

I am proud to say that NSW is home to people from more than 300 cultures and ancestries, who speak 275 different languages and dialects and practise 144 different religions.

Of course, our Chinese community are strong supporters of social harmony.

And everyone knows you work incredibly hard to make phenomenal contributions to the success of our multicultural state.

Importantly, you also work hard to pass on the wonderful languages of Mandarin and Cantonese to younger generations.

And the fact that we are home to more than 120 community language schools teaching these languages across our state is a testament to this.

The NSW Government sees our multilingualism as one of our greatest assets and supports and fosters it in a variety of ways.

And we will continue investing in our multicultural communities to enable a stronger and brighter future for those right across the state.

To do this, we have just announced a record $28 million investment in Multicultural NSW over two years to improve the delivery of our language services – especially in regional areas.

We are also funding scholarships to train new interpreters in emerging community languages to serve the needs of our newcomers.

This ensures that essential government and health information can reach everyone.

Today, as we celebrate the ancient Moon Festival, we also foster a better understanding of our states largest cultural groups.

Earlier this year we all welcomed the fresh energy brought by the Year of the Tiger.

We all hope the Tiger’s determination will bring us a new start as we work together to strengthen our community bonds through festivals such as this.

Once again, I am proud of how our grassroots community groups show the world how we care for our fellow residents by sharing the wonders of our cultures.

Because no matter who we are, where we come from, or what language we speak, we all want to give back.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you to the Australian Culture and Commerce Association for hosting us.

I hope you all have a wonderful Moon Festival Family Carnival.