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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 273


Mr COLEMAN (Banks) (13:46): On 25 January, I attended the Resourceful Australian Indian Network's annual general meeting and Pongal celebrations. Pongal, of course, is a thanksgiving celebration of a successful harvest and is one of the biggest festivals in South India. It is a time that many Australian families of Indian background come together to celebrate the beginning of the new year. It was good to celebrate this occasion with the members of RAIN.

RAIN is one of the most remarkable and active community organisations anywhere in the Banks electorate. It is to be commended for all of its activities. The group coordinates programs for seniors groups, disability groups and older people in our community of an Indian background and helps them to stay active and involved in the community. It also provides support services, home visits, information sessions for carers, language classes and a whole range of other activities at the centre in Penshurst, which the group purchased a number of years ago. In 2015, the government, through the Stronger Communities fund, was able to assist RAIN in purchasing some training equipment and technology that will continue to assist the group in its very important services. I would like to thank Dr Sudha Natarajan, the CEO of RAIN, who is a charismatic and great leader of real integrity in the group, for everything she does and for everything that RAIN contributes to our community.