Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan): Millions of Indians across the world celebrated Diwali on 27 October this year.
Over the past few weeks I have had the pleasure of attending many Diwali celebrations with different parliamentarians not only in Western Metropolitan Region but across the city of Melbourne as well as regional Victoria. This year the Diwali celebrations started with the Diwali event in Parliament by Baps Temple.
I was delighted to represent the Minister for Multicultural Affairs at the Federation Square Diwali organised by Celebrate India. There I was joined by our Premier, Daniel Andrews, and also Minister Luke Donnellan. I attended the Subcontinent Friends of Labour Diwali at Victorian Trades Hall. On the very next day I attended the Stockland Point Cook Diwali. I joined Natalie Suleyman, MP, for the Radio Haanji Diwali and later attended the Knox Diwali Mela organised by Shree Swaminarayan Temple in Boronia. I attended the Diwali events at Swinburne University and also the Diwali in Albury-Wodonga. I represented the Minister for Multicultural Affairs at the SMVS Diwali and Annakut celebrations. Last weekend I attended the Wyndham Diwali with Minister Jill Hennessy.
I am delighted to see the interest the people of Victoria have shown in Diwali celebrations and in Indian culture. I appreciate the heartfelt Diwali message the Premier shared with the people of Victoria, and I am sure the multicultural spirit of Victoria is getting stronger under the leadership of our Premier and the Minister for Multicultural Affairs.
For those who have not had an opportunity to attend a Diwali before, I strongly encourage them to attend their local Diwali next year to share in the celebrations of the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance.