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Monday, 13 February 2017
Page: 716

Mr LEESER (Berowra) (13:43): Today I rise to congratulate Dr Harry Harinath on receiving a Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award from His Excellency, Pranab Mukherjee the President of India on 9 January this year. The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award is the highest honour granted to non-resident Indians in recognition of their outstanding achievements both in India and overseas. Dr Harinath was one of 30 recipients selected unanimously by the awards committee in recognition of his service to the Australian-Indian community.

Dr Harinath is one of the leading figures of the Indian community in Sydney and is a strong supporter of developing closer ties between India and Australia. He is a great exponent of Indian culture and explaining Indian culture to the broader Australian community. It is through the breadth of his involvements in the Indian community and his work with the multicultural communities in New South Wales that I have got to know Dr Harinath. Dr Harinath serves as chairman of Multicultural New South Wales, where he is a worthy successor to Stepan Kerkyasharian and Vic Alhadeff. He is also chairman of Parramasala, the great cultural festival in Parramatta, and a well-respected general practitioner at the Eastgardens Medical Centre.

Dr Harinath and I also share a love of cricket. He was the first person of Indian origin to become a board member of Cricket Australia and is chairman of Cricket New South Wales. He was previously awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday 2008 Honours List for his services to cricket and the community. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr Harinath for his tireless work in a range of areas. I hope that he and his family take a full measure of pride in his outstanding achievement.