Report: Parramatta turns Saffron
Participation by more than 50 speakers including 20 youth speakers made this conference unique and historical.
Parramatta, a city of elegant parks and historic sites turned saffron when a large number of volunteers and delegates furled saffron scarfs and name tags around their necks during the 3rd Australian National Hindu conference.
The conference with the theme ‘Serving Australia Serving Community’ was organised by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (Australia) on 26-27 April, 2014 at Parramatta, New South Wales. The conference attendees included Hindu organisations, temples Hindu associations and other community organisations.
The aim of the conference was to collectively present the efforts of the Hindu temples, organisations and associations in providing various services to the Australian society to encourage and motivate more volunteers in serving the community. Representatives from the Buddhist and Sikh community also attended the conference.
The conference began with the welcome to the land by respected aboriginal elder Mr Brian Freeman, Wiradjuri Tradition and lighting of the lamp alongside Vedic chanting from the students of Sydney Veda Pathashala and Sikh prayer by honourable Ajmer Singh Gill. Later Mrs Akila Ramarathinam, General Secretary of VHP Australia initiated a discussion on “Australian Hindus serving at the forefront of serving the community. Various sessions included discussions on “Australian Hindus serving at the forefront of serving the community”; ‘temples serving the community’; ‘role played by Hindu organisations and associations in serving society’ and; “the role of Youth development in shaping future leaders.”
The first day finished on the note that more work needs to be done by all organisations to reach out to the wider community and that better organising skills are required by the Hindu community to gain a powerful voice in Australia.
In the main conference, sessions were devoted to “Youth development and shaping future leaders”. As many as 16 youths from Hindu youth Australia, Bala Samskar Kendra, Sydney Veda Pathashala, Vedic Maths Academy, Brahmakumaris Australia, Mr Prashanth Ramasubramanian, Mr Sanjeev Pragash, Mr Sivaram Prakash spoke about youth development and experiences through their association with their organisations.
Towards the end of the two day long conference, Mrs Kala Rao, conference event coordinator of VHP Australia, proposed a vote of thanks and Shri Subramanian Ramamoorthy, President of VHP Australia said that ‘The conference has brought out what needs to be done for the betterment of the future of the Hindu community in Australia. It stresses the need to maintain the Hindu identity whilst also contributing plentifully towards the community via social service as per the teachings of Hindu Dharma.’ A forum Hindu Organizations Temples and Associations forum (HOTA) was also launched by Swami Vigyananand, International Coordinator and Joint General Secretary of VHP Bharat.