August with the Leader of Opposition, The Hon Bill Shorten. The evening was
well attended by many community groups, individuals, state and federal MPs.
In the opening remarks Ms Kaila Murnain, NSW Labor Assistant Secretary
applauded the Subcontinent Friends of Labor (SFOL) team. Ms Murnain
highlighted the achievements of the group in the party and introduced the President
of SFOL, Dr Moninder Singh.
The President Dr Moninder Singh welcomed the guests. Mr Singh highlighted the
exemplary achievements of SCFOL group across the country. “We have been
instrumental in forming similar groups in Victoria and ACT”, he added. He
emphasised the importance and support extended by this group to various
candidates during and after elections to reach out to the community.
Blacktown, Mayor Stephen Bali welcomed the Leader of Opposition in his
Council. The Mayor Bali highlighted the valuable contribution of the subcontinent
people in his local Council. He admired the growth and multicultural environment
of in Blacktown.
Former State leader of opposition and MP from Blacktown Hon John Robertson
said, “It’s time to recognise the contribution of the subcontinent communities in
the decision making bodies”.
Mr Ejaz Khan, Vice President of SFOL was the MC of the formal part of the event
and introduced Hon Ed Husic Member for Chiefly and thanked his extended
support to SCFOL. Hon Husic, reiterated the contribution of the SFOL team to
promote Labor values. “Member of the SCFOL should be promoted to Local, State
and Federal Governments to reflect true representation of the sub-continent
communities”, he said.
Hon Bill Shorten in his speech acknowledged subcontinent communities
contribution in every walk of Australian life. He said, “The Labor fought against
the abolition of sec 18 of the Anti-Discrimination Act and raising of fees for the
Contributory Parent visa in the Parliament which could affect the life style of the
subcontinent communities in Australia”.
The highlight of the evening was the honour extended to Professor Nihal Agar
AM, President of Hindu Council of Australia who was conferred with the Member
of Order of Australia and former Premier of NSW Nathan Reece. The Hon Bill
Shorten, Leader of Opposition, presented shawls and thanked both of them for
Mrs Aruna Chandrala presented the Hon Bill Shorten with a plaque and miniature
statute of ‘Lord Ganesha’ the symbol of good luck, wisdom and success; chair of
women’s committee in SFOL.
Many communities supported this event SFOL secretary Mr Amarinder Bajwa
acknowledged their support. These organisations included Multicultural
Communities Council of NSW, Indian Crisis Support Agency, Sri Guru Singh
Sabha, Revesby Sikh Temple; Lions Club Blacktown, Ahmadiyya Muslim
Association Blacktown, Punjabi Council, Australian Sikh Council, Global
Women’s Network, Jeeyar Educational Trust, Unions NSW, Temple PadaYatra,
Islamic Association of Blacktown, Pakistan Association and LBY Foundation.
A number of ethnic media also attended and supported the event, these included
SBS Punjabi, SBS Urdu, Indian Down Under, Rabitah, Sada e Watan, Navtarang,
Punjabi Tribune (India), Daily Ajit Jalandhar (India), Jagbani (India), The Punjab
Herald Sydney, Punjab Express, Punjab Times, Radio SWR, Nepali Times, Asia
Times, Desi Australia and Hindi Gaurav.
Cultural performances; songs sung by Alysa and Ellie and cultural performance
from Gujarati dance group by Hiral Chabbra as well as enthralling Bhangra dance
performance by Varun Tiwari and team enhanced the celebration level.
The dinner was attended by the following state and federal MP’s, Hon Michelle
Rowland, Hon Ed Husic, State MP’s Prue Carr, Jihad Dib, Jodi Mckay, John
Robertson, Hugh McDermott, Shaoquett Moselmane MLC, Peter Primrose MLC
and Sophie Cotsis MLC.
Number of councillors attended the event from the area and beyond including the
Mayor and Councillor Stephen Bali, Khal Asfour, George Barcha, Karl Saleh,
Pierre Esber, Raj Datta and Susai Benjamin.
Kenrick Cheah, Community Relations Director; NSW Labor Party and members of
young Labor were also present at the event.
For information of any kind, contact-
Subcontinent Friends of Labour (NSW)