UIA celebrates 20 years


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Significant milestone achievement for community organisation

The United India Association (UIA), a not for profit organisation that encompasses all community associations from India under one umbrella, recently celebrated a milestone anniversary of 20 years in existence in Australia. The event was well attending with the Hon.

Victor Dominello, Minister for Citizenship and Communities, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Minister for Veterans Affairs, and Assistant Minister for Education present, along with Mr Sunjay Sudhir, Consul General of India in Sydney and other dignitaries. Mr Matt Kean MP, NSW Parliament Secretary Communities, Member for Hornsby; Richard Griffiths, Chief Operating Officer of GWS Giants; Kevin Sheedy, Giants Director and inaugural coach; Ali Faraj, Community Engagement Manager, Giants; Dr Hari Harinath, Chairman, Community Relation Commission; Mr Geoff Lee, MP, Member for Parramatta were also present.

Welcoming the gathering, UIA’s current President John Kennedy stated, “United Indian Associations Inc. is a non-profit organisation comprising of 22 full members and 4 associate members. UIA has been serving Australian communities for the past 20 years. The office bearers and the members are volunteers. They spent their spare time in service of the community in many different ways.”

Mr Kennedy also touched on felicitation of the award winners for 2014 which included young HSC achievers, sportspeople, community workers, professional outstanding persons and seniors.

The UIA’s flagship event is the annual India Australia Friendship Fair which he said, “strengthens the relationship between our multicultural communities in Australia as well as our relationship with the world’s largest democracy, India. The fair’s main aim is to support the local businesses and communities at large. The fair helps to achieve our community aspirations.”

Mr Kennedy mentioned that the association is currently undertaking services which specifically cater to women, seniors and the youth. “The UIA is proud to undertake many different projects for the betterment of our community. The past presidents of UIA have worked very hard during their tenures to take us forward. Committee members have worked tirelessly over the past 20 years to serve the community. This 20th year celebration is therefore, a proud moment for all of us,” he added.

The UIA is particularly proud of the Youth Wing inaugurated on November 23, 2014, by Mr Javagal Srinath, the renowned fast bowler of the ‘90s. “The youth are very important for the community and they should take active part in many different areas of community building. Our youth of current years are the pillars of the future years, and UIA is therefore very committed to educating and providing all avenues to grow their talents and other skills,” he added.

Past UIA Presidents were also acknowledged for their contribution, such as Sumati Advani, Subba Rao Varigonda, Dr. Prabha Sinha, Dr. Satpal Bhatia, Dr. Sid Orekondy, Raj Natarajan, Dr. Navin Khandar, Aruna Chandrala, Amarinder Bajwa, Dr.Baljit Chugh, Shubha Kumar, Mrs. Raji Swaminathan, John Niven and Vish N. Viswanathan.

Dr. Prabha Sinha presented an inspiration address saying, “UIA is all of us working together under one umbrella to achieve greater things for the Indian community in Sydney.” Regarding future initiatives, Mr Kennedy advised that “UIA is taking steps towards build a function house for Indian origin communities in NSW. This initiative will be launched in 2014 and all avenues will be pursued to establish this function house.”

The event concluded with thanks to all attendees and an atmosphere of camaraderie was enjoyed by award winners, members and guests alike.

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