A plaque formally proclaiming the business district of Harris Park as Australia’s first Little India was unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to celebrate the Indian diaspora in Australia. The plaque was unveiled by PM Modi along with PM Albanese at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena where thousands had gathered for a community reception for the Indian Prime Minister.
This follows the allocation of $3.5 million last year to formally establish the Little India cultural precinct, honouring an election commitment made by the Federal Member for Parramatta Dr. Andrew Charlton MP.
The Little India cultural precinct will help grow the business district of Harris Park, and support its continued development as a premier destination for authentic subcontinent culture in Sydney.
Also announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit is the $42 million Centre for Australia-India Relation’s (CAIR) location in Parramatta.
The establishment of the CAIR and establishment of the Little India cultural precinct are further examples of the Albanese Labor Government’s commitment to strengthening bilateral relations with India and the Indian diaspora.
In attendance at the event will be Lord Mayor Sameer Pandey, who was elected last night as the first Indian-born Lord Mayor in Australia.
Opening later this year, the CAIR will focus on promoting further bilateral relations between Australia and India, across government and non-government institutions through enhanced policy dialogue.
The CAIR will support existing institutions and mechanisms to strengthen Australia-India engagement and represent the centre of gravity for the bilateral relationship.
“This is a massive milestone for Australia India relations and a sign of how far we have
come in building this relationship.
The Centre will also administer over $20 million in Maitri (friendship) initiatives.
Federal MP from Parramatta and Chair of the Parliamentary Friends of India Group, Dr Andrew Charlton said,
“India and Australia are natural partners. Not only do we have strong people-to-people links and shared interests in the Indo-Pacific, but we have a huge opportunity to grow our economic ties.”
“Parramatta has the largest Indian diaspora community in Australia, with over 33,450 Indian-born residents calling the local area home. I am delighted to see Parramatta recognised as a key cultural hub for the Australian-Indian community with the establishment of the Little India precinct and location of CAIR.”
“I am a huge advocate for Little India, and I acknowledge the work of local community leaders in this space, including Gurmeet Tuli with Little India Australia, Parah Shah, Nitin Setia, Lord Mayor Sameer Pandey and Sanjay Deshwal with the Little India in Harris Park Business Association.”
Indian origin Lord Mayor of Parramatta Sameer Pandey mentioned that this was an exciting moment for the Australian-Indian community.
“The location of the Centre for Australia India Relations in Parramatta and recognition of the Little India precinct in Harris Park cements Parramatta’s place as a cultural hub for the Indian-Australian community.
“This announcement and progress follows months of hard work and advocacy by the Federal Government through the Member for Parramatta Dr. Andrew Charlton, community groups and the City of Parramatta Council.”