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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 August 2019) . . Page.. 2638 ..

Madam Assistant Speaker, as you can probably tell from Rohan’s own words, he is quite an accomplished young man, willing to put himself forward and step up to opportunities. I must say that I was very impressed by his enthusiasm and inspired to see his keen interest in local politics, especially at such a young age. I have no doubt that we will see great things from Rohan in the future. I wish him all the best in his community involvement.

Multicultural affairs—migration

MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (3.55): My good friend Kanti Jinna likes to share a legend regarding the arrival of Zoroastrian migrants in India. Experiencing religious persecution in their homelands, they determined to find somewhere they could practise their faith in peace. They had heard of a certain king named Jadi Rana who ruled in what is now the Indian state of Gujarat, specifically that he was a fair and just man.

According to the legend, when the migrants from Persia arrived with their foreign faith and foreign language, King Jadi Rana used a vessel of milk to point out to them that his kingdom was full and did not need any newcomers. In response, the Zoroastrian priests took the vessel of milk, carefully added a spoonful of sugar, stirred until it dissolved, and handed the now sweetened milk back to the king. Jadi Rana got the message and extended his welcome to the migrants. Kanti, who was born and raised in Fiji, has said, “I see our roles here as migrants to be the proverbial sugar that can enhance the quality of life. Not only will we be happier, but the country will be richer too.”

I like this comparison and I thought of it today as I prepared to speak a few simple words of congratulations to another Canberran whom I am blessed to call my friend. Dr Krishna Nadimpalli was born in a small village in India that had no electricity, no roads and no schooling past year 5. But Krishna quietly put his head down, walked each day to a neighbouring village and became the first person in Gummampadu to complete his year 10. That was not the end of his education, however. Krishna went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in geology, two master’s degrees and finally a PhD in geoscience.

In 2000, he moved to Australia to work as an environmental scientist at the University of Canberra. He has laboured tirelessly for the past 19 years not only in his career but also as a volunteer serving the Indian, Hindu, multicultural and multifaith communities. He founded Canberra’s Telugu school and currently serves as chair of the Hindu Mandir. He has also been involved in the introduction of the Art of Living Foundation’s program to help rehabilitate those in Canberra’s jail.

I rise today to congratulate Krishna for being awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia earlier this year. He is clear evidence that so many migrants who join us here in the nation’s capital really are like the spoonful of sugar in milk, enriching our entire community. I know Krishna well. I therefore know that in his humility he would wave aside my congratulations. In fact, regarding his OAM, he has said, “It actually inspires me to do more. I have decided to retire and devote my life to

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