GOPIO Queensland India Day Fair 2017, was by far the biggest ever, the successful event in its sixth year attracted record number of people this year. History was created when two Brisbane land marks; City Hall and Victoria Bridge were lit up in the Indian Tricolour; this gesture was applauded by Indian High Commission and Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs. This initiative of GOPIO Queensland was executed and managed by Akashika Mohla.
GOPIO Queensland India Day Fair is recognised by three levels of Government, Brisbane City Council is a major supporter and so is Queensland Government. Queensland Premier and Minister for Multicultural Affairs released the following media statement.
“Roma Street Parklands today came alive to the sounds, taste and visual delights of Indian culture as the India Day Fair gets underway.”
Attending the celebrations today, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said this year’s Fair was particularly significant as it also played a major part in helping celebrate 70 years of Indian independence.
“It’s such a delight to be here today to join with the Indian community and hundreds of other Queenslanders immersing ourselves in Indian culture,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Whether you’re here for the fantastic cuisine, the colourful parades or the joys of watching and maybe even participating in some Indian dancing, today’s Fair has something for everyone.”
The Premier said the Fair also celebrated Queensland and India’s strong relationship which has gone from strength to strength over the years.
“This close and enduring relationship is enriched by cultural exchange, strong ties in education and business, and significant bilateral trade and investment,” the Premier said.
“Today, India is one of Queensland’s biggest export markets, with our exports to the country representing more than 61 per cent of Australia’s total exports to India.
“India is also now the second-largest source country for international students choosing to study in Queensland and our State boasts around 74,000 residents of Indian ancestry.”
Minister for Multicultural Affairs Grace Grace said the Indian community has a long established presence in Queensland and can be found in all areas of Queensland life including business, education, hospitality, sport and entertainment.
“The Indian community is a great example of how multiculturalism enriches this state and brings many benefits to all of us through a greater awareness and understanding of other cultures,” she said.
“There could be no better location for a celebration of Indian culture and their independence day as well, as the fair is taking place alongside a statue of Mahatma Gandhi unveiled by the current Indian Prime Minister in 2014.
“This event is just one of many that are currently taking place throughout Queensland as we celebrate Queensland Multicultural Month.
“The Queensland Government contributed $6,000 towards this year’s and next year’s India Day Fair through the Celebrating Multicultural Queensland grants program.
“Events such as these are a great example of how we can celebrate the many diverse cultures in Queensland by coming together in a spirit of community,” Mrs Grace said.
“The smiles on the faces of all those here today are clear evidence of Queensland’s embrace of multiculturalism,” Ms Grace said.
GOPIO Queensland President Usha Chandra, said she was very pleased with attendance this year, especially by the presence of Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, her presence really added to the event.
Another exciting addition this year was Mumbai Born ABC TV Presenter Del Irani as the main MC for India Day Fair. Del handled the event very professionally and in a delightful manner. Del said she was very happy to have been a part of India Day Fair 2017.
The show stopper this year was Lakhwinder Wadali, Lakhwinder has a very large fan following, his performance attracted a huge crowd; everyone was eagerly waiting for his performance.
All the performances throughout the day were all of very high calibre and the stage was very well managed.
The India Day parade had a longer run this year; the parade began at the top end of the stalls and travelled the full length of path in from of the stalls before joining the VIPS at Sunset Glade.
The VIP reception in Sunset glade was another good idea, which worked well the decoration by Dream Style Decorators was amazing, even the gusty winds did not deter their efforts.
The sponsors got very good exposure via the big screen placed at the top end of the amphitheatre. The screen was originally planned to be on the stage, but with the high wind prediction and for safety reasons it was moved.
The recipient of GOPIO Queensland’s lifetime achievement was Professor Sarva Daman Singh. A very worthy recipient, recognised for his contributions and service to Queensland Indian Community.
A variety of food stalls did roaring trade with customers lining up to be served. The venue has uneven surface which makes it very challenging. The stall holder’s benefit from the limited space available for stalls means less competition for them.
The grand finale fireworks were once again spectacular and well managed. The event was supported by many local performers and volunteers.