The India Australia Association of Canberra (IAAC) has existed in Canberra since the 1970s, serving to remove barriers and facilitate relationships between the Indian and Australian cultural communities.
The volunteer team involved in the Association work tirelessly to create inclusive events, promote understanding between a collection of cultures, and offer support to Indian migrants who are settling in the region, or require assistance with disability, aged care and other community services.
The IAAC is also invested in the bilateral relationship between Australia and India, and promoting the evolving cooperation and friendship between the two nations.
Sandi Mitra, President of the IAAC, says “Australia and India share the same common values, and we both approach life with the same Westminister system of democracy. The IAAC has created a legacy of bridging the two cultures here in Canberra, and we hope to continue doing the same with bigger and better agendas.”
Sandi says that because Australia Day is also India Republic Day, it is the perfect opportunity to bring people from both cultures together to connect, talk, eat, dance and create friendships. “We are welcoming anyone who wants to come along to our India Republic Day and Australia Day celebration in Weston Creek Community Centre on February 3, 2018. We are expecting a number of esteemed local guests, and there will be live music, dancing, food and drink for all. Entry is free.”
The India Republic-Australia Day is just one of many events the IAAC are involved in throughout the year. They are also currently promoting “India in the City”, which features cultural performances from four Indian states and will be held on 17 February, 2018 opposite the ACT Assembly.
Sandi notes that their most popular event of the year occurs in March, and coincides with India’s Holi Day and Australia’s Harmony Day.
“The Festival of Colour is an amazing event, and will be held in Glebe Park this year. The event literalises the coming together of Australians and Indians to create a truly multicultural and diverse society. At the Festival, people are sprayed with dry paint as they dance to amazing live music, watch Bollywood and folk dancing, poetry and singing. We have a fantastic time!”
The IAAC were the recent recipients of a $500 grant from Calwell Bendigo Bank’s 15th birthday celebration. The grant was the result of nomination and voting by Tuggeranong residents.
Sandi says the funds will be used to help the Association organise events and provide the support they have been extending to the local community for four decades. “We are so grateful to the Community Bank Group, as they have been ongoing supporters of the IAAC. We share the same values of connecting with our communities, and helping those in need, and we can’t thank them enough for their generous support and encouragement.”
The Australia Day/India Republic Day event will be held on February 3, 2018 from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Weston Creek Community Centre on Parkinson Street.