Members Statement: Craigieburn Festival & Holi Festival

Ms SPENCE (Yuroke) (09:50): In what seems a lifetime ago, it was just a few weeks ago that I had the pleasure to attend both the Craigieburn Festival and the Holi festival, which were held at Craigieburn Anzac Park. Craigieburn Festival was once again a huge success, with local residents coming along to enjoy entertainment, rides and market stalls. Of particular importance was the Torchlight Parade, the hallmark of the annual festival, when the community showed respect and gratitude to our many emergency service workers and volunteers, who protect our community all year round and who worked tirelessly during the devastating bushfires over summer. It was also the end of an era, with volunteers from the Craigieburn community emergency response team, or CERT, participating in the parade for the last time. CERT volunteers have served the Craigieburn community as it has grown from a small suburb to well over 50 000 residents, responding to medical emergencies and saving countless lives.

It was also wonderful to attend the Hume Holi festival, or the Hume Colour Fest, in Craigieburn. Local residents from a range of backgrounds were able to eat some delicious food and be entertained with a wide range of dancing, games and entertainment. This was the first time we have had a Holi celebration of this size in my electorate, and this important cultural celebration was very well attended. I would like to acknowledge the outstanding efforts of Pooja Punjabi, Kiran Sood and Raj Mann, executive directors of the Australian Women’s Association. They are three terrific women who put in a huge amount of work in organising this event. I look forward to being able to attend these important events again next year. They were all well attended, and they were all greatly appreciated by the Craigieburn community.