Tag: Dandenong

Mural’s add spice to Little India, Dandenong (See Video)

Source: Greater Dandenong website

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE: Geoffrey Carran, contemporary artist and Rowena Martinich, abstract expressionist painter take us through their journey (see video above) of visiting local Indian traders and their shops to sample the beautiful textiles on offer and gain inspiration for their mural ‘Adornment’, created as part of the Indian Cultural Precinct street art program.

In 2017, the Hon Robin Scott Minister for Multicultural Affairs announced that Dandenong is the home to Victoria’s first ever Indian Cultural Precinct with a funding commitment of $500,000.

The funding is being administered by the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship under its Community Infrastructure and Cultural Precincts Program.

In 2016 an Indian Cultural Precinct Taskforce was established to inform the precinct’s direction and prepare a community vision.

The task force includes representatives from the Department of Premier and Cabinet (Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship), Places Victoria, City of Greater Dandenong and ten community leaders with culturally specific perspectives on business, faith, community, festivals and youth interests.

Since the 1990s Dandenong has been home to Melbourne’s Indian community, with an active and authentic Little India Cultural Precinct, and other Indian businesses in the activity centre.

Since the Revitalising Central Dandenong project started in 2006 the face of central Dandenong has changed enormously, with vastly improved public spaces, numerous new office buildings, Harmony Square, and library. These developments have attracted increasing numbers of workers, students, and visitors into the area. Dandenong’s Little India Cultural Precinct is located in the midst of all this, and directly next to Dandenong Railway Station where 2.6 million commuters per annum are exposed to Indian culture and commerce each day as they walk to and from the station.

The Little Indian Cultural Precinct, centered on Forster Street, Dandenong, is Melbourne’s longest standing and the most authentic cluster of Indian and subcontinental culture and commerce.

The city of Greater Dandenong is home to a large number of Indian businesses, with 62 shops in central Dandenong, including 33 businesses clustered in the Little India Cultural Precinct itself. These specialists shops include eateries, groceries, general retail and most famously, fashion and traditional wear.

More than 12,400 Indian born residents currently live in the City of Greater Dandenong. The regional population of Indian born residents in Melbourne’ south-east reached 52,000 in 2016.

PHOTO used below heading in site: http://www.mikeeleven.com/indian-cultural-precinct/

Council survey rejects Gandhi statue in Dendenong

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Mural of Mahatma Gandhi by Julian Clavijo in Little India, Foster Street. Photo: @julianclavijosart

By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 29 July 2018: A proposal by the Federation of Indian Associations of Victoria (FIAV) to install a life-size statue of India’s father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi opposite the Dandenong Station and adjacent to Little India, Foster Street shops has been shot down in a community consultation survey which closed on 7 June 2018.

According to a reliable source, more than 900 people participated in the survey commissioned by the Dandenong Council with more people saying no to the proposal. The survey information and other matters came up recently before a meeting of the Indian Prescient Task Force led by Gabrielle Williams, MP, Dandenong.

SAT contacted the Dandenong Council to know about the outcome of the survey and was told by Anya Murray that the information collected in the survey has been submitted to the Indian Prescient Task Force for a decision and the Council is likely to issue a media statement on the issue in a few weeks in August 2018.

FIAV leader and member of the Indian Prescient Task Force, Vasan Srinivasan talking to SAT said, “The Indian Prescient Task Force decided not to have any statue including that of Mathama Gandhi in the area.”

“I am not willing to take the proposal to another level, “Mr. Vasan told SAT.

Mr. Vasan also said, “We do not need any money for the Gandhi statue but the Dandenong Council needs to take leadership on this issue. Gandhi is more popular than anyone else in India and hence I do not support any other statue there.”

Another proposal to install a statue of Basava, 12th-century Lingayat philosopher and social reformer also did not succeed at the Task Force meeting. Though this was not part of the Council survey.

Interestingly, three largescale artworks including one on Gandhi were commissioned and completed by the Dandenong Council in Little India, Foster Street to celebrate the Indian and subcontinent flavor of the area.

The Council website says,” Melbourne’s south-east region is home to more than 52,000 people of Indian origin. Approximately 12,400 first generation Indian residents currently call the City of Greater Dandenong home.”

Only recently the Immigration Museum with the support of the state government hosted an exclusive exhibition ‘Mahatma Gandhi: An Immigrant, an interactive exhibition from 5 April to July 2018. The highlight was the visit of Gandhi’s granddaughter Ela Gandhi, a former member of parliament in South Africa.

Indian Cultural Precinct work takes off with a splash of colour

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By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 21 April: One key location among the three chosen for injection of color and vibrancy on the streets of Little India, Dandenong has taken off. Two artists Rowena Martinich and Geoffrey Carran have started creating a beautiful colorful mural on the wall just adjacent to Little India’s main parking area.

Today these two young artists could be seen with their brushes and colors in action at the wall which can be seen from the road as well.

Talking to SAT, Geoffrey Carran said, “the design has been created after seeing Saree designs and the color schemes from the local traders. This design will represent the traders and Indian culture.”

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“Uplifting the area with colour will give an identity to the area”, Rowena told SAT.

“The second mural to be painted by Mike Eleven across the road will have the Gandhi theme which will synchronize with the Gandhi exhibition on at the Immigration Museum now,” says Geoffrey.

“The contemporary artworks are expected to speak to old and new audiences alike creating great photo opportunities for sharing and promoting the precinct,” says the Dandenong Council bulletin on the Indian Cultural Precinct.

The upcoming paintings are part of the Indian Cultural Precinct Framework endorsed by the Taskforce established by the Victorian Government led by Hon. Premier Daniel Andrews, Hon. Robin Scott MP, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and the City of Greater Dandenong to oversee the project and monitoring the $500,000 grant expenditure which has now been made available, in part to the Council, to commence priority works in the precinct.

Labor’s masterstroke: Victoria’s first Indian Precinct in Dandenong

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By Neeraj Nanda

Melbourne, 2 Dec 2015: The fast growing Indian community in Victoria will soon have its own first cultural precinct in Little India, Dandenong. A second precinct will also be established in Melbourne’s West, after a feasibility study, which will decide its location and form.

The announcement has come after Premier Daniel Andrews announced the setting up of an Indian precinct during the last years (2014) Diwali celebrations at Federation Square. This was followed by community consultations and a feasibility study.

The issue was a hot topic during the previous Coalition Government and Little India traders had launched a signature campaign followed by a rally outside the Victorian parliament. The spark being Places Victoria’s decision to redevelop the area and the fear of traders loosing their livelihood and rendering hundreds unemployed.

The Daniel Andrew government’s decision to have Indian precinct’s in the south-eastern and western (later) suburbs is being seen as a master stroke balancing act and a political bonanza for the ruling Labor Party. The issue first raised by Labor MP, Jude Pereira, in the Victorian Parliament, had seen heated exchanges with the Coalition calling it Labor mess.

Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Finance Robin Scott made the announcement at the Dandenong Civic Centre amidst clapping by leading community members, MPs and Council officials.

The 2015-16 Victorian budget included $ 500,000 to create Melbourne’s first Cultural Precinct.

Mr. Scott said, “ This Precinct will become a hub of activity – hosting festivals, a draw card for tourism, supporting small businesses and boosting the local community in Dandenong.

“We will also create a second Indian precinct in Wyndham to grow and celebrate the large and thriving Indian community in Melbourne’s West,” he said.

The Minister also expressed his desire to attend the opening of the Precinct in Dandenong and celebrate the occasion with the Indian community.

Dandenong Member of Parliament, Gabrielle Williams said, “ We listened to the community members and groups to determine the best location for this precinct, and it’s a huge win for the people of Dandenong.”

Both Precincts will recognize the important contribution the Indian and South Asian communities continue to make to Victoria every day,” she said.

Talking to SAT, Minister Scott said, “ I want the Indian community to enjoy their culture and activities at the new Precinct just like the Chinese, Italian and Greek communities do in their precinct’s.”

The ‘Feasibility Study On A Location For An Indian Cultural Precinct’ by Acil Allen Consultants & SGS Economics & Planning said about Greater Dandenong, “ …The municipality best met the assessment criteria, in particular demonstrating a strong reediness to commerce.”

“ In contrast, at present Wyndham does not yet have a critical mass of co-located Indian and South Asian themed businesses that could form the foundation and basis of a cultural precinct in the traditional mold,” the Study says.

The campaign for Little India which culminated into the announcement of Victoria’s first Indian Precinct was backed and supported by many community activists and leaders including Mr. Manoj Kumar, ALP activist and leader and former Federal ALP candidate for Menzies, Mr. Aakash Kumar and Mr. Alok Kumar among others. Many others from non South Eastern suburbs also worked actively in the campaign. Though, Little India traders who were the effected party played an importanf role in the struggle.

Victoria is the home to Australia’s largest Indian community, with more than 111,700 India-born Victorians.

- SAT News Service.

Dumb, Drunk and Racist: Gupta defends his position


Mr. Gautam Gupta (left) and others in ABC2 serial ‘Dumb, Drunk and Racist’ SOURCE: ABC2

By our reporter

Melbourne, 10 July: Mr.Gautam Gupta, a practising hearing specialist and former leader of the Indian youth movement in Melbourne has defended his position on the controversial ABC TV series ‘Dumb, Drunk and Racist’. The series is exploring the notion if Australia is racist from an Indian perspective. The next part of the six-part series will be telecast on Wednesday 11 July on ABC2. It explores the Australian binge drinking culture.
Mr. Gautam Gupta has highlighted in one of the episode that in 2009 Indians were over-represented as victims of crime by almost 4 to 1. Joe, the presenter said that he was bashed in Dandenong and that Dandenong was unsafe in general. Gautam clarified that what Joe lacked in understanding was that the diversity and ethnic mix of Dandenong was very different when Joe was growing up. Indian students acted as a buffer and were, in fact, protecting the mainstream majority from being bashed. Hence the statistical over-representation.
He was questioned whether Melbourne was more unsafe than many Indian cities such as Meerut. To this Gautam replied that Australia cannot be compared to any under-developed or developing country. Melbourne in the most liveable city and it should be most liveable for everyone.
Some sections of the Indian community are concerned thinking Mr.Gautam Gupta has belittled India. SAT queried Mr. Gautam Gupta to clarify his position. He says his statement was not about India. It was about Melbourne and only Melbourne. He suggests India faces issues faced by many developing nations such as clean drinking water, corruption, lack of infrastructure etc.Most of these issues are absent in Melbourne. On most liveability indices, Melbourne is rated amongst the best in the world and hence Melbourne should be compared with only with cities such as London, Zurich and Oslo.
Mr. Gupta further said that he has always defended Indians and India for their achievements. I will continue to defend the right of every Indian in Australia he told SAT.
The serial can be viewed at http://www.abc.net.au/tv/dumbdrunkracist/episodes/ep03.htm.