Richmond: As part of Harmony Week celebrations, the AFL Richmond Tigers brought the AFL Premiership Cup 2017 to the Indian community. The idea was to have the AFL Ambassadors, and community members spend some time with the Premiership Cup as part of community outreach and engagement program.
A dinner event was organised on Sunday, 18 March at the Jai Ho Indian Restaurant in Richmond for the AFL Indian Ambassadors, and their friends/family by former Ministerial Adviser Mr Nitin Gupta, who has been helping the Tiger’s with their AFL India program for last few years now.
There was a small formal part as well in the mostly informal networking night. Neelam Rai and Sonnika Sha spoke about how being an AFL Ambassador has helped them in their professional lives. Sonal Sharma recited a Hindi poem about AFL. Neha Soudagar talked about her upcoming beauty pageant—Don Bella as well.
Greg Hannan the Senior Vice President of Victorian Liberal Party also briefly spoke about how knowing AFL can be of an advantage in Victoria. Rana from the Richmond Tigers thanked all the Ambassadors for their continued patronage of the club.
There was extended photo session with the Premiership Cup by AFL Ambassadors and community members, with food literally taking a bit of back seat. The event was compered by Shruti Malviya and Jeyashree Nishtala. Vote of Thanks was delivered jointly by Nitin Gupta and Aravind Putta.
Of all the AFL Clubs, the Richmond Tigers has been the most active when it comes to extensively engaging with the Australian Indian community. Good wishes and messages for the event were sent by Honorary Members of Richmond Tigers—Prince Lakshyaraj Singh Mewar and South Indian actress Khushbu Sundar.
The event was supported by KPG Taxation (Parampreet Singh Rajput); AIFI (Darpan Mittal and Niti Mittal); Don Bella Beauty Pageant (Neha Soudagar); Joshi Lawyers (Pallavee Joshi); I Inovate (Tarun Singh); Aaina’s Makeover Place (Aaina Sandeep Dhammi); Degani Café (Riversdale Rd, Camberwell Junction); and Bikram Yoga (South Melbourne).
Forum for Indian Australians (FIA) was the supporting community association; No Hunger was the Charity Partner; and The Indian Sun was the media partner for the night.
Long waiting lists and shortage of tickets for VMC Harmony Week Gala Dinner was one of the hot topics for discussions during the event. When community members raised the above issue with Mr Gupta, he suggested that the solution lies in holding an additional VMC Gala Dinner in the regional areas as well, on the lines of Shadow Cabinets and Regional Parliaments that take place across different Victorian towns.
Mr Gupta has passed the suggestion to Victorian Opposition leader Hon. Matthew Guy who thinks it would be a fantastic idea to take VMC Gala Dinner to regional areas as well.
Other local and global issues like Little India precincts in Wyndham and Cranbourne, the Batman By-Election results, and Indian politician Rahul Gandhi’s proposed Australian visit.