Gellibrand is the gateway to Melbourne’s thriving western suburbs. If you haven’t lived in Melbourne’s West before, you’ll find that it has a real sense of community here. Here people know their neighbours, participate in countless volunteer groups and celebrate together in an extraordinary range of cultural festivals.
Gellibrand is also one of the most diverse electorates in the country. Nearly 2/3rds of the residents of Gellibrand were born overseas or have a parent born overseas.
The local MP Tim Watts (Federal Member for Gellibrand) from Melbourne’s west is always up for Indian Events. Weather it’s about dressing up in Indian Outfit to Dandiya night or taking selfies with our famous Bollywood star Anil Kapoor. He never spares a chance to be out there in knowing about our culture and respects our beliefs.
Tim Watts is a very strong supporter for Indian Community in Parliament. He is always about raising awareness of great things happening in the Indian community. That can be reflected in his speeches from time to Time at Australian Parliament House about Indian Culture and festivals. Whether it is about sharing his experiences of attending various Indian Festivals in Melbourne’s west or whether it’s about bringing up the issue of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi on Beer Bottle. He has always stood by the Indian community.
“It is our responsibility as a progressive society to stand up for emerging communities – to try and understand cultures other than our own and, ultimately, to show respect”, Tim was quoted as saying.
Tim Watts has actively participated in various Indian festivals; appreciating the Indian festival of lights, Diwali said, “For anyone that hasn’t attended a celebration, the festival of lights is a fantastic experience, one that is celebrated differently by different communities, but which has a continued emphasis on “the awareness of the inner light”. Thanks to a decade of strong migration to Australia from India, Diwali is here to stay as a celebration across the cities and suburbs of Australia.”
His take on events like the South Asian Food Festival where he said, “These festivals are testament to the diversity and multiculturalism Australia is renowned for, and the contribution the Indian-Australian community is making to Australian society and Australian culture”.
Showing admiration over the new India- Australia relationship, Tim added, “Last year Narendra Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Australia in 28 years, whipping up a storm of excitement in the community unlike any other we’ve seen for a state visit to our country. This year also marked the inaugural Australia India Leadership Dialogue, an important forum designed to bring together government officials, senior politicians and business people from both countries to deepen engagement and develop connections.”
In June Tim Watts MP hosted a business forum for local Indian business owners. The forum provided an avenue for business owners and managers to speak directly about how government of all levels could facilitate more local-business friendly policies.
Also, in August a Fundraising event for Tim was organised by Multicultural community in Melbourne’s west. Event was attended by major community leaders and social activist for the support of their Favourite Melbourne’s west MP.
To make his ties stronger with Indian Community Tim is travelling to India in January to be part of Fifth Conference of the Australia India Youth Dialogue – Between 27th – 30th January. He will be travelling to Delhi, Mohali and Bengaluru .