Media Release by Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells

Celebrating Chinese New Year in local communities

Representing the Prime Minister at the 2014 Australian Business Association of Whitehorse Chinese New Year Festival will be Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells. The Senator has special responsibility for Multicultural Affairs and the event is one of the largest Chinese New Year celebrations in Melbourne, showcasing Chinese culture to some 80,000 people through a range of unique activities and entertainment.

“The Chinese community has always openly and proudly shared its culture with the wider community through events such as the Chinese New Year Festival,” Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells said.

“This year is the Year of the Horse in the Chinese Zodiac, which is represented as energetic, bright, warm-hearted, intelligent and able. The spirit of the horse is recognised to be the ethos shared by people of Chinese background – making constant efforts to improve themselves.

“Celebrating Chinese New Year provides an opportunity to acknowledge the richness that multiculturalism brings to our country, and in particular, the contribution that people of Chinese background have made to the economic, social and cultural life of Australia.

“After more than a century and a half since the first wave of migration from China to Australia during the 1850s gold rush, Chinese New Year is now celebrated widely across our country.

“Chinese Australians, including those who descended from early settlers, have worked extremely hard to maintain their cultural heritage, while at the same time embracing and contributing to, the broader Australian community.

“Australia’s relationship with China is important, particularly as it is our biggest trading partner and one of our largest sources of immigrants.

“On the occasion of Chinese New Year, we also honour the relationship between our two peoples.

“It underlines how Australia has embraced cultural diversity.

“As part of the ongoing Chinese New Year celebrations I am therefore delighted to be also attending the Chinese Museum’s Chinese New Year Dinner in Melbourne on Monday 10 February and Sydney Chinese New Year Banquet on Friday 7 February”, the Senator concluded.