Diwali, the biggest festival of India in Australia, has its own history. It started with a small group organising Diwali Fair soon after the India Australia Friendship fair. Soon the word spread about the importance of Diwali among the political circles in New South Wales. The popularity brought Diwali to NSW and then Federal Parliaments. Though no community association worked in this regards but one The India Club stands tall by campaigning and reminding the NSW Government and Premier Mike Baird of their promise to illuminate the Opera House this year as well and years to come.
We reproduce India Club’s letter to The Hon. Mr John Ajaka, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Disability Services, and Minister for Multiculturalism dated 21st September 2015.
Dear Mr. Ajaka,
India club earnestly initiated and intensely campaigned to illuminate the Sydney Opera House to
celebrate and widely spread the Diwali theme of joy, prosperity and Happiness. The Sydney
community was delighted and India Club members took pride in the Premier granting this wish
last year in 2014 and the Parliament recognizing the noble initiative.
Our elated Premier Mr Mike Baird delightedly lit the Diya candles as sails of the Sydney opera
house radiated in tricolour. The illumination continued till midnight, recognising the grandeur
of the Diwali festivity, conveying and strengthening the message of multiculturalism,
community unity and harmony in NSW and bringing worldwide praise to the Govt. of
NSW. The Premier also announced in his address that the Opera House would be illuminated again
next year on Diwali Festival.
The Premier hosted the ceremony at the Hickson Road Reserve with a few selected invitees. India
Club members cheered and celebrated the event with the wider community at the forecourt of the
Opera House with lively dancing and sweets distribution. People loved the lively display of cultural
diversity generating togetherness friendship and goodwill.
We are reminding that this year the Diwali is on 11th November and believe the illumination will be
on the 10th November evening. We sincerely suggest to host the official ceremony at the
forecourts of the Opera House, to make much bigger popular impact by sharing the celebration
with wider Indian, Australian and many other culturally diverse communities.
Whilst NSW Government also gives recognition to Diwali with a separate function held in the NSW
Parliament, it is strongly felt that the continuation of the illumination of the Opera House
for Diwali, welcoming wider communities participation, will greatly enhance image of
the NSW Government and supplements its initiatives as,
o It will be widely praised in India and abroad fostering Premier’s first ever “India Strategy”
boosting NSW, its attractions, investment expertise and capabilities, thus benefiting NSW
o India is one of this State’s huge tourism, trade and business investment markets.
This productive approach of inviting all people of NSW to celebrate experiences of happiness,
friendship and harmony, promotes “MULTICULTURAL NSW and communicates its message –
ENGAGE ENABLE ENRICH”, as well as showers delight with the iconic Opera House projecting
We look forward to your confirmation.
Shubha Kumar Dr Aksheya Kumar
President, India Club Inc. JP, Chairman: India Club Inc.