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Monday, 23 November 2015
Page: 13401

Ms McGOWAN (Indi) (16:21): I would like to tell the House about the North East Multicultural Association and the wonderful event they organised to celebrate Deepavali in Wangaratta on 15 November. The North East Multicultural Association has the purpose of raising cross-cultural awareness, supporting new and established migrants, identifying and raising issues and advocating on behalf of multicultural people in the areas of Benalla, Wangaratta and the Alpine, Indigo and Mansfield shires. They do this excellently. It was such a delight to be at Deepavali—beautiful food, colourful dancing, henna, textiles, a superb setting in the grounds of The Close, attached to the cathedral, and many Indian families. I have a particular love of India, and it gave me great joy to celebrate Deepavali with these people.

To Ben, Sue, Karen, Janny and to all of the committee, congratulations on the wonderful work that you do. I would also like to acknowledge not only Deepavali as one of your projects but also the work you are doing in Wangaratta with the CALD Mental Health Connections project, the New and Emerging Migrant Connections project, the organisational support and transport that you offer and all of the multicultural events that you do, including King Valley Connections. You make our community better and richer, and we are all very grateful to you for the work you do. I wish all of the Indians who live in Indi a happy Deepavali. Thank you for bringing your culture to our community.