‘Friendship Fair 2014’ marked 20th year of UIA’s flagship event

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Even rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of UIA members who rigorously worked for months together to give shape to the India Australia Friendship fair 2014 which took place at the Blacktown International Sports Park on August 17, 2014.

Though it was raining in the morning, but by the time VIP’s meet started, the weather God became benevolent, rain stopped and the proceedings including the cultural programme started on a happy note.

Rain however effected the participation of the people to some extent, but despite the inclement weather, large number of people flocked to the Blacktown International Sports Park to enjoy a variety of regional cuisines, cultures, heritage, colours, dance and music.

To thank the attendees for their support, in a great goodwill gesture, UIA closed its ticket booth and made the event a free event for all.

UIA is the oldest and strongest umbrella organization representing people of Indian origin from various Indian states since 1994.  This was the 20th year of the UIA’s iconic flagship event – India Australia Friendship Fair, which has been showcasing the positive contribution of the Australian Indian Community and is promoting a greater understanding of Indian Arts and Culture. This year the event also celebrated the 68th year of Indian Independence.

UIA was formed with the main objective of integrating several New South Wales based Indian regional/linguistic community associations into a single umbrella organization

Several dignitaries graced the occasion. Premier of NSW Mike Baird, Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello, Leader of NSW Opposition John Robertson, Indian High Commissioner Biren Nanda, Consul General for Sydney SunjaySudhir, Federal MP for Greenway Michelle Rowland representing the Leader of Federal Opposition Bill Shorten, Federal MP for Parramatta Julie Owens, State MP for Parramatta Dr Geoffrey Lee, MP for Hornsby Matt Kean, MP for Fairfield Guy Zangari, Councillor Jacqueline Donaldson representing the Mayor of Blacktown, Blacktown Councillor Susai Benjamin, NSW State General Manager Westpac Retail Jason Stephens and Regional General Manager Western Sydney Westpac Ross Watts.

In his message to the community, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said “There are around 400,000 Australians of Indian origin and I pay tribute to the significant contributions they make to our country. Australians of Indian Heritage have found success in a country that rewards dedication, hard work and a willingness to serve the community.”

Premier Mike Baird said that events such as the India Australia Friendship Fair strengthen the relationship between NSW and India and offer an insight into the Indian culture. His prayers for sunshine were soon answered and attendees were offered a respite from the rain for the rest of the day.

NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson elaborated on Labor’s deep and ongoing friendship with the Indian Community and said that the Indian culture and traditions have become part of the mosaic of Australia’s multicultural society.

Federal MP for Greenway Michelle Rowland thanked the Indian community for their support and wished the Hindu community a very  Happy Janmashtami – which celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna.

High Commissioner of India Biren Nanda said that the United Indian Association has been playing a very significant and substantial role in promoting the welfare of the Indian community in Sydney and NSW.

He praised UIA for establishing a major platform for bring together the Indian community, Indian community leaders and the national and state leaderships of Australia. He said the Indian community has a unique role to play as a bridge promoting relations between India and Australia.

Consul General for Sydney SunjaySudhir said that over the years the India Australia Friendship Fair has established itself as one of the most eagerly awaited events in the Indian Community’s Calendar.

He said that the variety of events included every year symbolizes our cultural diversity and our demography and the rapid strides which India has made in terms of economic and technological progress. He congratulated UIA, its work as an umbrella organisation and its role in ensuring that Indian community remains cohesive and effective. He congratulated the UIA office bearers on the successful organisation of an event of this magnitude.

Westpac was one of the major sponsors of the event.

NSW State General Manager –Westpac Retail Jason Stephens said that Westpac has supported the growing Indian Community in Western Sydney for the last two decades, including since 2000 the annual celebration of Diwali – the Festival of Lights. He said that he was proud of Westpac’s strong connections and deepening links with UIA which is the largest and most prominent Indian organisation comprising 25 local Indian associations across NSW. He congratulated UIA on celebrating 20 years of community service in Australia.

Attired beautifully in an Indian apparel, Pallavi Sinha, a renowned migrant lawyer, did fabulous job as a MC.

She emphasized on the importance of stronger Australian- Indian ties and said that more steps should be taken to further strengthen the bond between both theses nations.

UIA President John Kennedy expressed his sincere gratitude to all for their support and said that the UIA has always been devoted to its responsibility of serving our community. He said that UIA takes pride in celebrating the India Australia Friendship Fair to help support the community and local businesses.

President John Kennedy thanked major sponsors, Westpac, Best and Less Travel, Air India, Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India, MoneyGram, Western Union, Gemco, Sun Legal and Kevin Jones, Manager of Blacktown International Sportspark for their support in making the Fair a success.

Friendship Fair 2014 , 20th Year Of UIA’s Flagship Event

Friendship Fair 2014 , 20th Year Of UIA’s Flagship Event

 

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