Page 5338 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 15 November 2011

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for inviting me to speak to the club. VIEW is one of Australia’s leading women’s organisations. It provides fun, friendship and support to members while assisting the work of the Smith Family. Meetings of the Tuggeranong Evening VIEW Club are held on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 6.30 at the Burns Club, Kett Street, Kambah.

VIEW women support each other and their communities, enjoy a meal and meet other women for friendship and support. They listen to and take part in discussions with speakers on a wide range of topics. VIEW women are seriously committed to providing educational opportunities to disadvantaged Australian children and their families and they have fun while actively contributing to their local communities. VIEW women in nearly 400 communities enjoy regular social events and the friendship of other women and through VIEW they learn new skills, develop new confidence and broaden their horizons.

VIEW started in 1960 when the general secretary of the Smith Family, George Forbes, created VIEW Clubs of Australia for women. VIEW stands for voice, interests and education of women. At this time, women were prohibited from joining the Lions and Rotary clubs and other such service clubs. The purpose of VIEW then was to offer companionship and help deal with social isolation, particularly for rural women, and to improve opportunities for women to have their say, especially at a government level, while recognising that they needed a network of support for this to happen.

So I thank again the Tuggeranong Evening VIEW Club for inviting me to speak to them. It was indeed a pleasure to go and be a part of their meeting.

Also recently in the ACT we have had a number of Diwali celebrations. On 30 October in Glebe Park the Diwali Mela Festival was held. I know Ms Burch also attended, and Mr Doszpot later in the day. I understand he actually sang as well, so it is a shame that I missed the singing of Mr Doszpot; hopefully next year I will get to see that. I would like to thank Krishnan Aggarwal, chair of Diwali Mela Inc in the ACT.

Obviously Diwali Mela is one of the main community festivals for the Indian and also other communities and it is held annually to celebrate the famous Festival of Lights. It marks the beginning of the Hindu new year according to the lunar calendar. It literally translates to “row of lights” and it is known as the Festival of Lights. It ushers in the new year. Especially for this event people clean their houses and wear new clothes. It is a celebration of the new year.

On 5 November, I also had the pleasure of being invited to and attending the celebration of Deepavali with the Canberra Tamil Association. It was held in Queanbeyan, and Senator Gary Humphries also attended. The celebration was for the Tamil community in the ACT and it was wonderful for them to have that celebration as well. People turned out in wonderful costumes and there was dancing and singing, so it was a real celebration of not just Deepavali but also the Tamil culture. I would like to thank Mr Ratna Ratnavale, who is President of the Canberra Tamil Association. There was a special farewell at this function for Drs K and R Nadana Chandran, who have been significant contributors to the Tamil community in the ACT.

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