Fundraising Dinner In Support Of The Establishment Of A Memorial To Those Australians Of Indian Heritage Who Served In The Australian Defence Force.
Australian Indian Heritage committee organised the first fund raising dinner on, 28th May, 2016 at RSL Sunnybank to initially raise $30,000 towards building monument to honour serviceman and women of Australian Indian origin who fought in World War I & II .In attendance were chief guest Hon Minister Grace Grace MP and other dignitaries were Hon Minister Mark Bailey MP, Mayor Paul Pisasale, Cr Kim Marx representing Lord Mayor ,Graham Perrett MP, Cr Angela Owen, Capt Chetan Chand grove representing Indian High Commissioner , former Indian military officers, President –RSL Sub branch Hugh Polson and others over 160 attended the dinner it was a Hugh success . About $15,000 were raised on the night.
Mr Surendra Prasad said that the idea came to his mind to form a body to discuss with RSL and Indian community about honouring Australian India Heritage soldier when he first read an article in the Courier Mail dated 24th March, 2015 about Indian army’s involvement in world war I and in Gallipoli and it was much later that he found out that Australian Indian Heritage soldiers were also involved.
“Indians were very concerned that there was no acknowledgement about AIH soldiers involvement in ANZAC or in any other way and moreover it is over 100 years and sadly no one came up with this concept in Queensland to recognise our men and women who fought side by side with Australian solders in both the wars”, he added.
Australian Indian Heritage Committee was formed in late 2015 to initiate discussion with RSL Sunnybank Sub branch and the Indian community in Brisbane. Mr Surendra Prasad OAM was elected Chairman of AIHC.
The agreed outcome of these discussions with Sunny bank RSL was the establishment of a memorial within the Sunnybank Veteran’s Memorial Garden. This memorial would honour and commemorate the servicemen and women of Australians Indian heritage who fought in World Wars and have served in the Australian Defence Force. Research has already begun to assemble the names of these sailors, soldiers and airman.
Surendra said, “The Griffith University Students has been involved to design memorial which will be subject of a competition within Griffith University. The competition, conditions and procedures have been drawn up and accepted by the University. The final drawing will be submitted to the judges by 15thOctober, 2016 by University. We are anticipating another event in November 2016 to announce the winner of the monument design competition by the Judges.
A secondary outcome of this project is a plan to structure annual student bursaries in a number of secondary schools in the region to keep their memory alive.”
Over 160,000 Indians gave their lives over the first and Second World War Many more were wounded and invalided. There were also significant numbers of Australians of Indian heritage who sacrificed so much for our country.
The chairman Surendra Prasad and committee members of AIHC invites you to join hands to honour the servicemen and women of Australian – Indian origin who fought in World war I &11. The proposed monument will be first in Queensland and will also create a collective public memory. To make this dream a reality your contributions is needed. We need support from grassroots level or otherwise towards this project. “We like you all to become part of this memorial by even donating one dollar will make you feel part of this memorial.” Mr Prasad said.
You may make direct donation online bank details below or send cheque made to RSL of Australia Sunnybank Sub Branch and post to 19 Gager Street, Sunnybank 4109. Bank Details: Bank- Westpac, Name- RSL of Australia Sunnybank Sub Branch, BSB- 034-076, A/C No 520358.
For further information you may contact Surendra Prasad on 0413004100, Robin Jaggessar on 0416150911 or write an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.