Members Statement: Hume Diwali Mela

Ms SPENCE (Yuroke) (14:05:28): It was a pleasure to attend the Hume Diwali Mela 2019 celebrations last Saturday at Craigieburn Anzac Park. It was great to chat to the hundreds of attendees, who were very interested in talking about projects underway locally, and I had the great honour of presenting trophies to the vitally important sponsors of the event. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for the opportunity to attend this fantastic day. Locally, this year’s event included a range of cultural food trucks, carnival rides, stalls showcasing local businesses, a live DJ, many terrific performances and—as is appropriate for the festival of lights—a dazzling fireworks show. Despite some poor weather, there was a huge turnout, with attendance by thousands of people from across our local community and visitors from right across Melbourne and Victoria. With a growing subcontinental community in my electorate, it is so important that these festivities take place so that these cultural traditions are retained and are celebrated by the community as a whole. This is the second year that we have had a major Diwali celebration in Craigieburn, and this is thanks to the extraordinary efforts and hard work of two local women, Raj Mann and Nikki Jain. Both Raj and Nikki generously volunteer their time and energy and should be immensely proud of the incredible success of this year’s celebrations. Congratulations to Raj, Nikki and all involved on a fantastic and successful 2019 Hume Diwali Mela. I look forward to joining next year’s celebrations with my local community.