Many residents of my electorate will be joining almost a billion people around the world of Hindu, Sikh and Jain faith in celebrating Diwali over the coming week. Diwali is one of the most important festivals in the Indian calendar and is a time of renewal, light and colour. It is referred to as the festival of light and represents the victory of good over evil and light over darkness.
In my electorate, the 5,000-strong Hindu and Indian community comes together to celebrate Diwali in a variety of different ways. This year, for example, Lane Cove Council has organised a Diwali festival in Lane Cove Plaza.
The festival will feature the very best of Indian culture, including food, cultural performances, music, dancing and painting. I want to acknowledge Lane Cove Council for its support of this event, as well as leading members of the local Indian community, Balu Moothedath and Gaurav Patni, whose contribution have made the Lane Cove Diwali festival possible.
It is vibrant celebrations such as these that make Australia one of the most successful multicultural societies in the world. It is wonderful to see so many Australians embrace the ancient and vibrant traditions of Indian culture, regardless of whether they have Indian heritage or not.
It’s also a time when we reflect on the wonderful contribution Australians of Indian heritage are making to our nation—not least of whom is my friend and neighbour the member for Wentworth, the first person elected to this chamber with Indian heritage. To all those of Indian heritage in my own electorate, I say: shubh Deepawali.