The United India Association (UIA) executive committee worked tirelessly to put together another successful event, the ‘Friendship Fair’, for the community. You could say their efforts were rewarded with rain staying away despite all weather reports predicting a washout.
The executive committee pondered calling off the event and postponing the Friendship Fair but the major sponsor Waugh Global Realty’s Managing Director Dean Honan and its chairman cricket Legend Steve Waugh bolstered their spirit and good faith won the day.
UIA has been serving the community for more than 21 years promoting cultural diversity and building harmonious relationships.
UIA’s flagship event, held this year on 23 August, is much awaited by the community who look forward to the bouquet of excellent cultural performances, mouth-watering food, amusement rides for the kids and a glimpse into the new businesses seeking their patronage. Once again the community was not disappointed.
This year’s Fair was held at Blacktown Show ground, and as always, was an opportunity for Indian Australians to celebrate their cultural heritage and display the positive contribution they are making to the overall economic growth of their adopted country.
Several state and federal MPs attended the Fair and expressed their support for the Indian Australian community — Mayor of Blacktown Clr. Stephen Bali, Senator Concetta Fierravanti- wells, Hon. Chris Bowen MP, Hon. Matt Keen, MP, Hon Minister David Elliott, Hon. Opposition leader Luke Foley, MP, Prime Minister Modi’s representative Hon. Chaudhry Birender Singh, His Excellency Consul general of India to Sydney Sunjay Sudhir, Hon. John Robertson, Hon. Geoff Lee, Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr. Tim Soutpommasane, Ex premier Hon Barry O’Farrell, chief guest cricket legend Steve Waugh, Dr. GK Harinath OAM, Richard from GWS Giants, SBS chairman Nihal Gupta, Inspector Ormes Rod representing the Police Commissioner of NSW Clr. Susai Benjamin, Clr. Raj Datta and MPs from Federal and State.
“UIA is a voice for our communities and is in the forefront of every issue that our community comes across,” said John Kennedy, President of UIA.
He also stated that UIA has maintained a very good relationship with all political parties both federally and in NSW, never taking sides.
Consul General of India Sunjay Sudhir said that he appreciated the work of UIA in providing an umbrella of organisations coming from diverse backgrounds and representing different regions and states of India. UIA plays an extremely important role in ensuring that the local Indian community remains cohesive and effective.
In his message to the community, Premier Mike Baird congratulated UIA for strengthening the NSW-India relationship. NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley said the Indian community makes an enormous contribution to NSW and the UIA Friendship Fair is a chance to celebrate that contribution. Waugh spoke about his new business venture – Waugh Global — which is creating greater investment opportunity for Indian nationals living abroad.
This year, there was also kabaddi demonstration at the fair, showcasing the sport that is of late growing in popularity in India.