Page 2668 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 11 August 2015

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I also want to congratulate those that put the nominations forward to make sure we continue to recognise and value the fantastic public education teachers we have. I take this opportunity to put on record my admiration and respect for those that do that job.

Australia-India relations

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (9.40): Last Saturday I had the delight of attending the launch of the Australia-India connections exhibition with his Excellency Mr Navdeep Suri, the High Commissioner of India. The exhibition explores and celebrates the relationship between India and Australia, with a particular focus on the city we all call home—Canberra. Many of the educational materials on display emphasise the links between the Indian capital of New Delhi and Canberra, as both New Delhi and Canberra were created at much the same time as purpose-built, inland capital cities. The Melbourne and Sydney buildings down the block from the Assembly are similar to several buildings in the centre of New Delhi and are a testament to these connections.

Of course, the American architect, Walter Griffin, who won the design competition for Canberra, cherished ideals of Indian philosophy and architecture. He died in Lucknow in 1937 with only a few of his designs in that city realised. Indeed, his frustrations in Canberra with bureaucracy and politicians were repeated in Lucknow, apparently.

This exhibition was born out of the capital’s annual celebration of our magnificent cultural diversity and connections, the National Multicultural Festival. The exhibition demonstrates the benefits of the Multicultural Festival for the ACT community that continue far after that festival ends. At this year’s festival in Canberra, thousands of Canberrans had the opportunity to learn more about the historical relationship between Australia and India when they visited the stall that has now been expanded into this exhibition. It won an award for the best decorated stall at the festival.

The many months of research and compilation by members of the Australia-India United Centre should be acknowledged and lauded as this brings the exhibition to life. In particular I thank the centre’s president, Mr Raj Satija, for his great contribution towards this labour of love. I hope that while the exhibition is on display at the Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre many more Canberrans, including members of the Assembly, can go along and enjoy and explore the linkages between Australia and India.

We have such a vibrant, dynamic, Indian-Australian community in Canberra, many of whom are new arrivals. As Canberra’s Indian community continues to grow, I am confident that their contribution to Canberra’s culture and vibrancy will also continue to grow. Talking of Indian culture, however, does not do justice to the many cultures of the Indian subcontinent. We already enjoy a variety of festivals in this city celebrating the diverse cultures of India that together form a great multicultural nation.

In Australia we are one, but we are also many cultures. As we strive to ensure our many cultures flourish in Australia, this exhibition is a timely reminder of the historic

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