By Pallavi Jain, Jai Bharadwaj and Amit Sarwal
Sydney’s Qudos Bank Area seemed like the venue for a rock concert as thousands gathered to attend the community reception organised for the Prime Minister of the world’s largest democracy. Australian politicians across the spectrum attended the event where the depth of the bilateral ties between India and Australia was visibile in the warmth between the Prime Miinisters of the two countries.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese called the Indian PM boss in a gathering of Indian diaspora representing all corners of India. He mentioned that PM Modi was a friend who had met six times since he became PM last year.
This is PM Modi’s first visit to Australia in almost a decade the last being in 2014. He greeted the crowd with ‘Namaste Australia’.
The camaradarie between the two leaders did not go unnoticed as the areana reveberated with chants of ‘Modi Modi’.
Prime Minister Modi announced the opening of a new consulate in Brisbane, made references to Indian street names in Sydney and also suggested to the diaspora that they should get a friend along to India the next time they visit. He also joined PM Albanese for the foundation stone laying ceremony of ‘Little India’ Gateway to be built in Harris Park, Parramatta, Sydney.
The Australia Today’s Editor Jai Bharadwaj exclusively spoke to several prominent politicians who were attending the event including Opposition Leader Peter Dutton, NSW Treasurer Daniel Mookhey, Senator Simon Birmingham and Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs Jason Wood.
Earlier in the day PM Modi met with top business leaders and public figures in Sydney. They included Gina Rinehart, Executive Chairman of Hancock Prospecting, Dr Andrew Forrest, Founder of Fortescue Metals Group and Paul Schroder, Chief Executive, AustralianSuper.
He invited them to invest and partner in India’s growth story.
Prime Minister Modi also met eminent public personalities including Nobel Laureate Prof Brian Schmidt who is also the current Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University (ANU), Scientia Professor of AI at UNSW Prof Toby Walsh, quantitative comparative sociologist and Associate Professor at The University of Sydney, Dr Salvatore Babones, Artist Danielle Mate, Singer Guy Theodore Sebastian, celebrity Chef Sarah Todd and ‘Toilet Warrior’ Mark Bella.
Prime Minister Modi landed in Sydney on 22nd (May) night and is on a two day official visit (22-24 May) to Australia. If there was one picture to sum up the activities of the first day of his official visit then this would be it. As they say sometimes a pictiure speaks a thousand words.