The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), and Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley recently hosted a morning tea for Diwali celebrations at Government House in Canberra.
The celebrations were organised by the Hindu Council of Australia which completed 25 years this year.
The celebrations began with lighting of the lamp ceremony followed by chanting of Sanskrit Shlokas.
Governor-General Hurley spoke about the contribution of the Indian diaspora in Australia and said that the message of Diwali is timeless.
Indian High Commissioner to Australia, Manpreet Vohra, also spoke about the significance of Diwali and emphasised the achievements of the Indian diaspora in Australia at the celebrations.
Fiji’s High Commissioner to Australia Ajay Bhai Amrit spoke about love, compassion and forgiveness.
The programme was conducted by HCA Vice President Kanti Jinna. Faith leaders across religious communities also attended the event.
During the celebrations members of the Indian-Australian community presented Governor-General Hurley with a sculpture of ‘Nataraj’ (Hindu God Shiva as the Cosmic Dancer), a plaque with ‘Ṇamōkāra mantra’ (most important mantra in Jainism) written in gold and two books on Sikhism.
Former President of HCA and veteran community leader Nihal Agar and HCA ACT Chair Santosh Gupta present the ‘Nataraj’ to Governor General Hurley
Vice President HCA, Surinder Jain, gifting plaque with ‘Ṇamōkāra mantra’ to Governor General Hurley
Dr Sunita Dhindsa and Harjinder Singh Dhindsa present books on Sikhism to Governor General Hurley
The celebrations also included a dance by Dr Tanima Banerjee on the significance of the Sanskrit Shloka ‘Asato Ma Sadgamaya’
However, in a remarkable gesture, Mrs Hurley won everyone’s hearts by singing a special song for Diwali.
This year Diwali falls on the 12th of November but the festive spirit is already in the air.
L to R (Sai Paravastu, National Secretary HCA, Prakash Mehta President HCA, Governor General David Hurley, Mrs Linda Hurley, Kanti Jinna Vice President HCA, Santosh Gupta ACT Chair HCA)
Mrs Hurley then donned a Saree that was gifted to her by members of the community during the celebrations.
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