The 71st Independence Day celebrations for both India and Pakistan were held in Sydney organised by diplomatic missions as well as various community organisations.
The Pakistan Association of Australia (PAA) organised Pakistan’s 71st Independence Day celebration on Sunday 13 August was held at the Orion Function Centre in Campsie. Pakistan celebrates its Independence Day on 14 August.
The program was conducted as “Azadi Mela” which attracted people of Pakistani origin and others from all walks of life. There were various stalls for food and other merchandise, cultural entertainment including songs and speeches by guests.
The Consulate General of India marked the 71st Independence Day on Tuesday 15 August morning at their City premises by organising a flag hoisting ceremony followed by cultural performances and patriotic songs. The event was attended by 250 guests from Indian diaspora.
The same evening a reception was hosted by the Consulate to mark the 70th Anniversary of India’s Independence at ‘Pier One,’ overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge attended by around 300 guests.
The reception was graced by many dignitaries including Hon Ray Williams MP, Minister for Multiculturalism and Minister for Disability; Hon Victor Dominello MP, Minister for Finance, Services and Property; Hon David Elliott MP, Minister for Counter Terrorism, Minister for Corrections, and Minister for Veterans Affairs amongst other Members of Parliament and Members of Legislative Council, representatives from Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, local business representatives, mainstream and ethnic media and prominent members of the Indian community.
The chief guest at the PAA event was Hon Ray Willaims, Minister for Multiculturalism and Disability Services. He highlighted the many contributions of Pakistani community particularly enriching Australia’s Multiculturalism.
Shaoquett Moselmane MLA stressed the contribution of late Abdul Sattar Edi and all observed one minute silent in the honour of the great humanitarian philanthropist of Pakistan. Mr Jihad Dib MP and Geoff Lee MP appreciated Pakistani community’s involvement and contribution to the larger Australian society.
Sophie Cotsis MP and Julie Owens MP expressed their warm feelings for the Pakistani community and noted how t smoothly they integrated into the mainstream Australian society.
In the presence of the Consul General of Pakistan Mr Abdul Majid Yousafani and Vice Consul Ms Bushra Salam, Dr Ruth Pfau, the German-born medical missionary who dedicated her life in containing leprosy in Pakistan who recently passed away at the age of 87 was honoured.
A unique event was organised by the Saturday School run by Muhammadi Welfare Association to jointly mark the 71st Independence Day celebration of both India and Pakistan on Saturday 12 August that was attended by children of Australians of Indo-Pak origin.