Parliament of Victoria, Minister for Multicultural Affairs &Citizenship and BAPS ShriSwaminarayanMandir, Melbourne jointly hosted Inaugural Diwali and Annakut celebration at Parliament of Victoria in Melbourne on 16th October 2014 in the presence of over 110 guests.
The celebrations were attended by Hon Dr Denis Napthine (Premier of Victoria), Hon Matthew Guy (Minister for Multicultural Affairs & Citizenship), Mr M C Bhagat (Vice Consul from Consulate General of India, Melbourne), MrTelmoLanguller MP (Representing Opposition leader Hon Daniel Andrews), Mr Craig Ondarchie, Hon Lily D’ambrosio MP and prominent business & community leaders from Indian community.
The festivities began with few Thaalgaans to offer 150vegetarian sweet & savory delicacies to deities of BhagwanSwaminarayan, AksharbrahmaGunatitanand Swami, ShivParvati, ShriRadha-Krishna, ShriSita-Rama & Guru Parampara. Other celebration activities included lighting of the ceremonial lampamid Vedic chanting, speeches by chief guests, arti, vote of thanks, Hinduism Speech & Video Presentation, Prasad and informal networking time.
In a very inspirational speech Hon Dr Denis Napthine, Premier of Victoria, said one of the greatest strength, asset & advantage we have in Melbourne & Victoria is our diverse, harmonious & peaceful multicultural community. “In more recent times broader Indian community has been one of the great community that continues to add enormous positive contribution to Melboune and Victoria.”, he said.
“We share much in common. We love cricket. We share the same national day. We share a great love of education and it is interesting that the Indian community here has the highest rewards of degrees and PHDs of any community in Victoria and Australia.”, he said.
“Tonight is a great way that we come together and share this great festival. So on behalf of all Victorians, Thank you for being part of our great city and our great state. Thank you for being a part of our great diverse multicultural community. And Can I wish everybody here tonight a Happy Diwali”. Premier Dr. Denis Napthine said.
MrSiteshBhojani, Trustee & Volunteer for BAPS SwaminarayanMandir, added to Premier Denis Napthine’s message by highlighting that this inaugural Diwali&Annakut celebration at Parliament demonstrates in meaningful way celebrating unity in diversity.
At the end of this special inaugural Diwali and Annakut celebration event all the guests & members of parliaments were presented with bag includes Annakut PrasadBox, Calendar 2015 & Hinduism Booklets to take home with them to share with family & friends.