Indian associations welcome High Commissioner to Australia
By Vish Viswanathan
“He has lot of ideas. It is the best time for Australia India relations for Mr Suri to take charge as High Commissioner of India,” said Mr Sunjay Sudhir, Consul General of India at the combined community reception to welcome Mr Navdeep Suri, the newly appointed High Commissioner of India.
The welcome reception jointly organised by Sydney’s many of prominent community organisations including United Indian Associations representing all its community associations, Council of Indian Australians (CIA), Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), Australian Hindi Indian Association (AHIA), Tamil Arts and Culture Association (TACA) was held on August 16 at Dezire Function Centre at Blacktown, and was attended by nearly 200 community members, business leaders and the representatives from the Indian media.
Mr Dave Passi opened the event by paying respect to Aboriginal elders, while Yujita Chaudhry, Chair ICAI – Sydney, welcomed the gathering. Mr. John Kennedy, Chair UIA spoke about the growing spirit of community unity and stated that “together we can make a difference”.
“It is a special time to be India’s representative in Australia. Thank you Australia, for being a home to the Indian community,” stated Mr Suri in his address, recalling the special bonding between former Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi and Bob Hawke. “After so many years, now there is a similar chemistry between Prime Minister Modi and Tony Abbott, the Australian Prime Minister,” he said. Since PM Modi’s historic visit to Australia, the relationship between the two nations has taken a new trajectory with several bilateral initiatives in defense, security, skill development, education and trade in progress, in conjunction with high level bilateral ministerial visits and delegations during this year, advised Mr Suri. “For the first time, a joint maritime exercise is planned in Bay of Bengal,” he claimed, summarising factors significant to the relationship such as theGeo Political alignment in Security, defense etc; the economy. considering the achievable GDP growth of India (7.3%) and considering India as a market by Australia; and growth of the Indian community in Australia and their contribution to both countries.
The High Commissioner averred that the contribution by the second generation Australian Indian community will make a real difference in the relationship. “We will have half a million ambassadors,” beamed Mr Suri, concluding his excellent speech by appealing to the community to remain united and to work together in fostering Indo-Oz relations, to enthusiastic applause by guests.
Mr Tony Colaco representing the CIA, did a good job in moderating the Q&A segment between the audience, Mr Suri and Mr Sudhir. Mr Anagan Babu, President TACA offered the vote of thanks.
The community reception included an excellent cultural segment of dance performances presented by two of the Sydney’s best dance groups Nartan Institute of Performing Arts (Dr Kanan Shah) and Ruch Sanghi Dance Company.
The Indian Telegraph Sydney Australia