House debates

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Constituency Statements

Fowler Electorate: Cabramatta Moon Festival

10:53 am

Photo of Chris HayesChris Hayes (Fowler, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Last month I had the pleasure of attending the Cabramatta Moon Festival, an event which is held annually and is certainly very significant in my electorate of Fowler. We attracted in that one weekend over 90,000 people to enjoy this wonderful festival. The event was hosted by the Fairfield City Council and provided a wonderful showcase of multicultural Australia, bringing our community together, day and night, with fantastic music, food and various cultural activities for the young and old alike.

I'm very privileged to represent one of the largest Asian communities outside Asia itself. That is a privilege that's given me the opportunity to learn much about the Vietnamese and Chinese cultures. Traditionally the moon festival—or, as it's sometimes called, the Mid-Autumn Festival—is a harvest celebration that celebrates the unity of family and communities as they bring in a bountiful harvest. The moon festival is widely celebrated in China, Vietnam and others of our Asian neighbour countries, and is traditionally celebrated when the moon is at its brightest and roundest in that part of the world, at the height of the autumn climate.

The Cabramatta Moon Festival was celebrated this year with an array of cultural performances, dragon dancing and lion dancing, mooncake eating, amusements and rides. It was a wonderful day for everybody, capped off with fantastic fireworks. The event once again reiterates the importance of nurturing the multicultural nature of this community. Multiculturalism in Australia builds a shared sense of national identity. It's built through mutual respect, common values and a commitment to fairness.

I'd like to acknowledge the great work by Cheryl Bosler from the Fairfield City Council and her organising committee. They do an excellent job every year to put on this fantastic event. It is one of the highlights of my community and an event which very much celebrates our multicultural country and the part of the world we have the honour to live in. I'd also like to acknowledge the work of Superintendent Wayne Murray, from the Cabramatta police, together with Detective Inspector Darren Newman and all their officers in keeping our community safe. As I said, this particular moon festival attracted over 90,000 people, which has significant challenges, but our police rise to the occasion each and every time. Finally, I'd like to thank all the volunteers and sponsors. Without them, this event would not be possible. It was our opportunity to show the rest of Sydney what multiculturalism is really about.