Successful trip to India by delegation led by Michelle Rowland

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Recently Michelle Rowland, Member for Greenway, Assistant Shadow Minister for Communications and Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism and Citizenship under took  eleven day private trip to India.

Rowland was accompanied by Harish Velji, Chairperson Sub Continent Friends of Labor and its committee member Aisha Amjad.

The trip included mixture of government, cultural and religious communications  and in  the 11 days long trip  Rowland visited Chennai, Amritsar, Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and Mumbai.

Prior to the departure Rowland said , “As the Federal representative of one of the largest Indian communities in Australia, I have deep affinity with India, its people and its culture”.

In Chennai, the delegation met Kamla Hassan winner the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan  and discussed  various things. Kamal Hassan also expressed his desire to visit Australia.

Hassan has 19 Filmfare Awards to his credit  in five languages; after his last award, in 2000, he wrote to the organisation requesting no further awards.

Later the delegation met eminent historians specialising on Chennai including  Subbiah  Muthiah, Vinod Daniel of IndHeritage Pty Ltd and India Vision Institute. The delegation also met  Sean Kelly (Australian CG) and  Stuart Campbell (Australian Deputy CG).

Priyadarsini Govind, Director-in-charge of Kalakshetra Dance School in Chennai met the delegation and arranged a tour of the school where many foreigners are undertaking dance  and music training.

Michelle Rowland also addressed the Indian Australian Association there.

Then the delegation left for  Amritsar  and  firstly  visited Attari border and then Golden temple.  At the Golden Temple, the delegation  met the Gurudwara Committee and the Public Relations Officer of the temple outlined the history of the temple and in return Michelle Rowland advised the committee their  purpose of  visit and also the current status of the Sikh community in Australia.

Special books on Sikhism were presented to Rowland. The delegation also visited the BJP head Office where OFBJP Global Convenor Vijay Jolly organised a program to welcome the Australian Shadow Minister Michelle Rowland.

Senior BJP General Secretary (Org.) Ram Lal & BJP MP and General Secretary (Incharge Party headquarter), Jagat Prakash Nadda, Secretary  Rameshwar Prasad Chaurasia, and also MLA M S Sirsa attended this OFBJP program.


“It was an honour to be received at the BJP HQ in Delhi and to interact with its senior MPs, hosted by the Overseas Friends of BJP” , said Rowland.

“Irrespective of political allegiances, the informal networks between individuals who are active in public discourse are integral to the long-term understanding between the nations. It was an impressive insight into its operations during into an election campaign, particularly the large number of woman in to its senior organizational role; the value placed on its youth wing and it’s online and other engagement tool such as Modi clock,” said Rowland.

As part of the religious and cultural site visit, the delegation visited Akshardham Temple also known as Swami Narayan Temple and participated in the religious ceremonies.

While in Delhi the delegation met with Australian High Commissioner and  discussed various things.  Rowland  also met the representative of Voldafone to assess the current status of mobile spectrum auctions.

The delegation also met Harsimrat Kaur Badal who is a member of parliament for Bathinda and is the wife of Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Ms Badal discussed about girl foeticide in Punjab and urged the Punjabi people living abroad to help educate people back home on this issue. The delegation met Rajeev Shukla, Minister for State for Planning and  discussed various topics   related to strengthening Australia India relationship.

After completion of the Delhi tour delegation proceeded  for their cultural tour of Taj Mahal and Agra Fort in Agra with Fathephur Sikri on the way to Jaipur.

In Jaipur the delegation visited the Amber Fort , Hawa Mahal, and Jantar Mantar.

Then on their visit to Mumbai, Ms Rowland was guest of All India Association of Industries.  Interacting with the Association,  Rowland spoke on Australia India relationship, investment in Australia, and the current status  of Indian community residing in Australia.

Later  the delegation met Sudheendra Kulkarni ,Chairman of Observer Research Foundation and spoke about Multiculturalism . The delegation also toured the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly Prince of Wales Museum).

The day ended with a meeting with Suresh Shetty, Minister for Health and Protocol on the medical delivery and on the lifestyle sicknesses such as obesity, diabetes etc.

This 11 days long tour was  a mixture of government, cultural and religious communications   and  the delegation was very happy with the response they  got in India.

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