Speech by Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells

Hindu Council of Australia – Deepavali Festival

Location: Parramatta Park, New South Wales


Namast?. It’s wonderful to be here again to join everyone as we celebrate Diwali.

Can I start by acknowledging my all my parliamentary colleagues; Professor Nihal Agar AM to you and your Hindu Council of Australia, thank-you once gain for kind invitation.

Ladies and gentlemen its my great pleasure to be here today to represent the Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, and he sends his best wishes for this festival.

It’s wonderful here today as we celebrate peace, and it’s never more cherished particularly when we hear the tales of displacement, division and & unrest which are everyday realities for many people around the world.

But we celebrate the “festival of lights”, Diwali transcends religious differences to unite everyone in celebration, bringing together not only those of Indian ancestry and followers of the Hindu, Sikh or Jain faiths, but all Australians.

Recently, the Prime Minister sent his best wishes to the Hindu communities, and I’d like to pick up a couple of the points that he made:

during Diwali we remember that cultural expression is an important element in our society“.

For many, it provides meaning, purpose and inspiration to their daily lives. It enriches and enlivens our society, giving a greater texture and depth to the backdrop of modern life.

“Australia has long been an exemplar of how people of different faiths and cultures can live harmoniously together and find unity in diversity“.

Hindu Australians continue to play an important role in our community; and of course today we have almost 300,000 Hindu’s in Australia. And with India now being our top source of migrants in 2014-15 our ongoing migration will ensure our Hindu-Australia community will continue to grow.

Thank-you very much, and all the very, very best for Diwali.