India – Australia Day 2018 – A celebration with full fervour
By Navin Kumar, Festival Co-ordinator
The combined celebration of 69 th Indian Republic Day and Australia Day was celebrated with
full festive fervour on the 26 Jan 2018 at the “Lighthouse Events Centre”, Forest Lake.
The event was organised by the Federation of Indian Communities of Queensland (FICQ)
which has been in the forefront of conducting the event from 2012 with full support from the
Queensland Government, Brisbane City Council (BCC) and other Local Governments
Councils, Australian Federal Government, Indian High Commission for Australia and all
Indian and Indian origin communities and associations.
The Master of Ceremonies for the event was Ms Prathana Thevar –Brink who was
exceptional in managing the event all through the evening. The celebration began with the
singing of the Australian and Indian National Anthems and welcome to the country ceremony
by Indigenous Australian elder – Uncle Albert Holt and the Wirri-Wakka Dancers,
Indigenous Australian Dancers.
Distinguished dignitaries, community and business leaders from Australia and India were
present to celebrate the function. This included the new Multicultural Affairs Minister, Hon
Stirling Hinchliffe representing the Premier of Qld, newly elected Member of Parliament for
Mt Ommaney Ms Jess Pugh, Cr Angela Owen, Cr Charles Strunk, Sen Claire Moore, Sen
Murray Watt, Cr Kim Marx, Federal Member for Oxley – Mr Milton Dick, Qld Police
Commissioner Mr Ian Stewart and Mr Steven Biddle, Regional Director, Department of
Home Affairs. The celebration was also graced by the presence from Indian High
Commission Canberra represented by the Counsellor Mr Sonal Bajaj and Hon Consul of
India in Qld Mrs Archana Singh.
The messages from all of the distinguished guests from Australia and India was in summary
to celebrate the Unity in diversity and multicultural Australia for the betterment and
community prosperity and harmony
The celebration involved spectacular cultural programme performances from the Sitar
Maestro – Mr Saikat Bhattacharya, Nadananjali School of Dance and Bhavana’s Dance
The celebration this year was well supported by Forest Lake Ward Cr Charles Strunk and
BCC Lord Mayor Graham Quirk.
The event was a grant success with FICQ and its executive team working together with the
greater Indian and Multicultural communities in bringing one-ness, unity, peace and
harmony. Delicious and scrumptious Indian dinner was organised to all the present.
FICQ as a whole, led by the current president Mr Palani Thevar takes immense pride and
thanks everyone in continuing to celebrate this event with uniting all the Indian and
Australian Communities year after year. Visit updates and details www.ficq.org.au
Photo and Videography for the event was done by Mr. Redson for FICQ