House debates

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Constituency Statements

Chisholm Electorate: Cultural Diversity

10:52 am

Photo of Julia BanksJulia Banks (Chisholm, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I am proud to represent the people of Chisholm as part of the Turnbull government, which has always maintained a warm embrace of multiculturalism. Chisholm is the third most culturally diverse electorate. In the electorate of Chisholm on any weekend one can enjoy the richness and delights of so many different cultures, including the colour, vibrancy and warmth of the Chinese and Indian communities, and the life, movement and love of family events of the Greek and Italian cultures, to name a few.

The people of Chisholm contribute every single day by embracing different languages, foods and cultures, to create this diverse Australian way of life and the most successful multicultural nation on this earth. Quite often, festivals and events which are specifically aligned to different cultures are held in Chisholm, and they enable the people of Chisholm to celebrate in harmony and goodwill. These large community events require a lot of work, organisation and preparation by good, hardworking people who live in this diverse community of Chisholm, who give of their own time to make these events so successful.

A few weekends ago, I enjoyed two such amazing community festivals. Janaranjani 2016, the flagship event of the Telugu Association of Australia, was held at the Besen Centre, Burwood, which celebrated 25 years since its inception. A showcase of dance and superb entertainment—with over 200 participants of varying age groups: young children, teenagers and youth—was held. A feast for the senses, in the warm and embracing atmosphere of families, goodwill and friendship in the heart of Chisholm, took place this day. The people who worked hard to make this happen include President Dr Rama Rao Munuganti, Vice-President Mr Pavan Matampilly, and Reja Sekhar Guraja, Sharma Madiradju, Ali Mohammed, Ramesh Pathi, Shiva Pasumardi, Chandu Motupalli, Sumitrakaalyan Yerram and Anu Munganti and the other subcommittee members of this community.

The very next day I had the pleasure of attending the Greek Glendi Festival in Oakleigh, which is often fondly described as 'the epicentre of Greek culture'. Thanks to the passionate and dedicated President of the Greek Orthodox Community of Oakleigh and District, Angelo Sardellis, and his hardworking team, supported by the principal of Oakleigh Grammar, Mr Mark Robertson, there was a weekend of dance, culture, mouth-watering food and festivity, which was enjoyed by all. The warm and approachable Father George Adamakis, a man who is a wonderful, well-known member of the Oakleigh and surrounding community, was there, and many owners of small businesses added to the substance and buzz of the weekend, including the passionate Steve Robotis from Burnwood Barbecues and Sardellis catering. Many wonderful families, young children, grandparents and friends celebrated Greek culture in the heart of Chisholm. (Time expired)