Indian Independence Day

Mr RICHARDSON (Mordialloc) — Recently I attended in Cheltenham the Australia India Society of Victoria’s celebration for the 69th anniversary of India’s independence. Indian Independence Day is a significant occasion for the Indian community here in Australia and for the more than 1 billion people in India. It is a time to reflect on the struggles towards independence and the journey of India over the past decades to become one of the world’s powerhouses in the Asian century, and it is an opportunity to celebrate the contribution of the Indian community to our multicultural society. The bond between India and Australia is strong. It is underpinned by our shared democratic values, by the appreciation of Indian culture and by our passion for sport, and it is expressed in the creative industries.

The strength of our relationship was on display during last year’s visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Australia in 28 years. In addressing the Australian Parliament, Prime Minister Modi said that he sees Australia as a major partner in every area of our national priority. In addressing the federal Parliament he went on to say:

India’s development, demography and demand provide a unique long-term opportunity for Australia — and all in the familiar framework of democracy. There is no other example of this nature in the world.

These words encapsulate the bright, prosperous and collaborative future between our two nations. I would like to thank the president, Dr Gurdip Aurora, and the entire committee of the Australia India Society of Victoria for a wonderful celebration and for its ongoing service to Victoria’s Indian community over the past 50 years.