|Fourth Hindu Conference strengthens bond among Hindus in Australia|
Vishva Hindu Parishad of Australia organised the 4th Australian National Hindu Conference with the theme ‘Organising Community Strengthening Australia’. This Conference was organised on September 26 at Bayview Eden Hotel, Melbourne, Victoria.
Ms Judith Graley, Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Premier and Member of Parliament from Narre Warren South, representing the Premier of Victoria, inaugurated the conference. Shri Subramanian Ramamoorthi, president of VHP Australia, shared the work done by the organisation for the benefit of Australian Hindu community. Dr Anil Kumar Asthana, vice president of VHP Australia (Victoria chapter), provided statistics of Hindu community and their contributions to Australia in terms of economy, education and professional contribution compared to other communities and Australian national average. The data showed that Hindu population is the fastest growing community in Australia (86 per cent growth between 2006 and 2011). Hindu population has higher educational qualifications and representation in high profile professions. Smt Geeta Devi, president Victoria chapter, delivered the keynote speech on ‘Vision for Australian Hindu Society’. She said Hindus from many countries are moving and settling in Australia in reasonably large numbers. They are a contributing community and have contributed immensely in the field of economy, science, technology, health, administration, education and culture”.
She added that it is time that Hindus in Australia need to position Hindu society so that Hindus can live with dignity and respect. She said that Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia had once written to the organisation that he was proud of the achievements of Hindu Australians.
The first plenary session was on ‘Working with Government Agencies’. This was chaired by Shri Chidambaram Srinivasan, Commissioner, Victorian Multicultural Commission. The panel members included Ms Kriss Mckie, Manager of Social Development, City of Wyndham; Mr Anthony Silva, Superintendent of Victoria Police; and Shri Vasan Srinivasan, Member Australian Multicultural Commission.
The second session was on ‘Collaboration among Hindu Organisations, Temples and Associations’ (HOTA). This session was chaired by Swami Vigyananand, International Coordinator and Joint General Secretary of VHP Bharat. Ms Pritika Sharma, Joint General Secretary of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) New Zealand, spoke about the success of organising Hindu community through HOTA in New Zealand. Swami Vigyananand explained the purpose of HOTA in a very convincing manner. Following his excellent discussion, 25 organisations became member organisations of HOTA, and over 20 persons became volunteers of HOTA. Shri Nagabhushan Sharma Betanabhatla volunteered to shoulder the responsibility of the secretary of HOTA forum for Victoria.
The third plenary session was on ‘Hindu Organisation and Association : Serving the Society’. This session was chaired by Professor Guna Magesan, Vice Chancellor, University and Institute of Advanced Research, Gujarat. Twelve Hindu organisations such as Sankat Mochan Samiti Inc., Amma Ashram, Hindu Society of Victoria, IndianCare, Arya Prathinidhi Sabha and Arya Samaj of Melbourne, Brahma Kumaris Australia, ISKCON Melbourne, JET Australia Foundation, Wyndham Diwali Inc, Kerala Hindu Society of Melbourne, VHP Australia and Sewa Australia took part in the session.
The fourth plenary session was on ‘Bridging the Gap among the Hindus coming from different countries’. This session was chaired by Dr Jayant Bapat. Also to showcase the rich cultural heritage of Hindus, it was decided to organise the festival of Raksha Bandhan annually.