9th of July 2016. The start of the UIA Friendship Fair 2016 came with much fanfare in Sydney’s Olympic Park. The crowd was great, the food was yummy, and landscape was colourful and vibrant. There was joie de vivre in the air. Organisations representing diverse backgrounds and different parts of India participated.
The day was filled with different events ranging from the Aboriginal dance, New Zealanders performing The Haka – Dance of War – Mario Haka, Indian Bollywood songs and dances, Justice Crew performing on stage and fireworks lit the sky.
UIA (United Indian Association) this year partnered with AFL (Australian Football League) to celebrate its multicultural festival and the India-Australia Friendship Fair. The UIA executive committee had worked to put together another successful event for the Indo Australian community. The payback was the huge crowd of a few thousand people attending the fair.
UIA has been serving the community for more than 23 years promoting cultural diversity and building harmonious relationships. UIA’s flagship event was much awaited by the community who looked forward to the vibrant cultural performances, mouth-watering food, amusement rides for the kids. It is a platform that provides a platform for existing and new businesses seeking patronage. This year also, the community was not disappointed.
The Friendship Fair is a great opportunity for Indian Australians to celebrate their cultural heritage, display the positive contribution they are making to the overall economic growth of their adopted country and the part they play in social cohesion.
The guest of honour was His Excellency B. Vanlalvawna Consul General of India for Sydney. Other dignitaries – Mr. Sam Graham, CEO of AFL NSW/ACT; Mr. Joseph La Posta State Manager – Partnership, Diversity & Major Projects; Dr. Hugh McDermott Labour MP for Prospect; Representing Opposition Leader Hon Luke Foley MP; Mr. Adam Zarth – Chief of Staff to Hon. Minister John Ajaka; Councillor Susai Benjamin – Blacktown Council; Councillor Gurdeep Singh – Deputy Mayor Hornsby Council; Past Presidents of UIA, UIA Executive Committee, UIA General Council Member, attended the primary function of UIA.
The President of the United Indian Association (UIA) Mr. John Kennedy in his speech said. “23 years ago, great people coordinated and formulated a vision to unite all communities under one overarching umbrella body and United Indian Associations (UIA) was born. This enabled UIA and all of us to be united, friendships to be established, milestones to be achieved, and a community of acceptance to be formed. Since then the people of United Indian Association have worked for this country and the state of NSW uniting people through the merging of cultures. However, there is something special about today. What is special? What do you know about today? The speciality of today is that UIA is partnering with AFL to promote the multicultural Australia. Once again there is unity, friendship and multiculturalism at a greater level. I am proud of this partnership and UIA feels proud about this as well”.
The President of the UIA also said that United Indian Association is committed to our community. UIA has helped and is helping disadvantaged people and has voiced its concern about the issues faced by the Indo Australian society. The organisation tirelessly continues to support the community. UIA spreading the rich Indian culture within Australia keeps the community alive and pulsating.
The Consul General of India B. Vanlalvawna said that he appreciated the work of UIA in providing an umbrella of organisations coming from diverse backgrounds and representing different regions and states of India. He is happy to note that UIA is partnering with mainstream Australian organisation AFL to promote the cultural richness and diversity of India.
The Chief Executive of AFL NSW/ACT, Mr. Sam Graham in his speech appreciated UIA for allowing AFL to partner with them. He said that AFL is committed to serving the community, and his organisation will always be supporting multicultural communities in many different ways.
UIA expressed its sincere thanks the community and sponsors MartgageBiz, Bank of Baroda, Sun Legal, Lyca Mobile, Incredible India and Select Insurance for their great support.
UIA thanked all the media partners who were with them shoulder to shoulder to reach out to the Indo Australian group.
Secretary Suresh Gowda welcomed the gathering, and Vice President Dr. Nagamma thanked the guests and the people.
United Indian Associations Inc. is a not-for-profit, premier umbrella organisation of 26 associations representing diverse backgrounds in New South Wales. It is the oldest and strongest umbrella organisation representing people of Indian origin having been established in 1994. UIA promotes a harmonious relationship amongst Australian citizens, Indian migrants, and the society in general through social interaction, sports, recreation, and many other voluntary activities.