Tag: The World/Australia

Australian Human Rights Commission slams India flight ban as raising ‘serious human rights concerns’

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By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, May 2, 2021: Thew Australian Human Rights Commission has slammed Australia’s inbound flight ban from India as raising ‘serious human rights concerns.

While supporting the continuation of aid to the Indian Government as it copes with the current COVID-19 crisis, the commission holds deep concerns about these extraordinary new restrictions on Australians returning to Australia from India.

It says, “The need for such restrictions must be publicly justified. The Government must show that these measures are not discriminatory and the only suitable way of dealing with the threat to public health.

The Commission urges Parliament’s Senate Select Committee on COVID-19 to review these new restrictions immediately.

The Commission is approaching the Australian Government directly with its concerns.

The Commission has previously provided a detailed analysis of the human rights implications of COVID-19 emergency measures – and what principles are important to consider.”

Overcoming barriers among Asian-Australians in politics ( Webinar VIdeo)

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The webinar in progress.

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 8 April 2021: A webinar was held today on the under-representation of Asian-Australians in politics and how it can be overcome. Organized by the Asia Institute, Melbourne University, Asian-Australian politicians Gladys Liu MP, Federal Member for Chisholm, Kaushaliya Vaghela MP, State MP for Western Metro Region, and Daniel Long Nguyễn, Former Mayor of the City of Yarra.

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Kaushaliya Vaghela MP at the webnair.

The Asia Institute’s Dr. Surjeet Dhanji presented a summary of her recent research on some of the individual, community, and systemic barriers faced by Indian Australians seeking to enter politics. The welcome address was by Professor Andrew Rosser, Deputy Director and Professor of Southeast Asian Studies, Asia Institute, The University of Melbourne, and the moderator was Melissa Conley Tyler, Research Fellow, Asia Institute, The University of Melbourne.

Many interesting facts and observations came up in the webinar. Dr. Surjeet Dhanji talked about the use of Asian-Australians as “election fodder” (offering them un-winnable seats) and the tough “hurdle” of pre-selection of candidates in Australian political parties.

Kaushaliya Vaghela MP revealed how the Little India trader’s issue in Dandenong pushed her into community activity and later politics. “I wanted to serve the community. So, I became an MP.”

Gladys Liu MP revealed her step-by-step entry into politics and then a Member of Parliament.

WATCH WEBINAR VIDEO BELOW:

- Inputs from the Melbourne Asia Review.

Gaura Travel Flight after flight: 50 unstoppable charter flights to India

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Photo- Supplied

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 30 March 2021: Home is the best and that is where Gaura Travel makes you reach. On 19 March the mission of repatriating people back to India became stronger, Gaura Travel crossed another benchmark of operating 50 unstoppable charter flights. In collaboration with Singapore Airlines, the 50th charter flight took off on 19 March 2021 from Melbourne Airport carrying 200 people to New Delhi.

At the onset of the pandemic, Australia shut its borders to the world to fight the deadly COVID-19 virus. No one saw 2020 coming. Panic clenched people as they suddenly found themselves stranded in Australia. Gaura Travels arranged the first flight to India on 22 July 2020 from Sydney. The Gaura Travel team provided incessant support to all those on that flight leading to a seamless journey.

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Photos- Supplied

On 5th February 2021 after 8 months of sheer hard work and courage, Gaura Travel accomplished the milestone of reuniting 10,000 families. Statistically, 18,000 passengers flew out of Melbourne: 15,000 by chartered flights and 3,000 under Vande Bharat Mission with Air India flying 17 sorties. From the 15,000, Gaura Travel accounted for 10,000.

There was joy in the air, but the directors of Gaura Travel, Ashwini Sonthalia, and Abhishek Sonthalia, knew that more had to be done. They resonated with the longing of those stuck in India, and now are back with a bang! On 27 February 2021, Gaura Travel announced the great news of special charter flights from India to Australia!

The skies have not yet opened and Gaura Travel is continuing to unite loved ones across the seas. New flights to India are in the offing with all the love from Gaura Travel.


Video- Supplied

Victoria’s first Indian community centre in Rowville inaugurated by Alan Tudge & Michael Sukar

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An outside view of the community centre.Photo-SAT

By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 26 March 2021: It was a proud moment for Indians in Victoria with the inauguration of the first ‘Australia India Community Centre’ in Rowville. The years of failed attempts and attempts finally bore fruit with Aston Alan Tudge MP Minister for Education and Youth & Federal Member for Aston and Michael Sukar MP, Federal Member for Deakin and Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Housing opened the place with great fanfare in the presence of hundreds of guests. A Bollywood dance item performed to celebrate the event enthralled the audience present.

SEE BOLLYWOOD DANCE VIDEO

The Centre was partially funded by the Australian Government with $2.5 million funding in addition to funding by the seven Trustees of the Australian Indian Community Charitable Trust. Mr. Vasan Srinivasan, who heads the Centre told SAT, ” The State Government has promised another $ 95,000 which has yet to come.

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MR. Vasan Srinivasan addresses the audience. Photos-SAT

He disclosed the two-story Center has a built-up area of 1040 sq Meters and lots of parking. An application has also been made for permission to hold events at the Centre.”

” The backside of the Centre will soon have sports facilities and the first floor now has the ‘Dr. Dinesh Parekh Museum India’, shifted from Foster Street, Dandenong. The Museum is a highlight of the Centre with Dr. Dinesh Parekh’s collections of paintings, photographs, stamps, coins, and books. Dr. Parekh died last month and today his wife, son, and daughter-in-law were present to grace the occasion.

Among those who addressed the gathering were Minister Alan Tudge, Michael Sukar MP, Mr. Raj Kumar, India’s Consul General in Melbourne, Dr. Parekh’s son, Mathew Guy, and Vasan Srinivasan. Mementos were also given away.

In his address, Alan Tudge said that once final council approval is complete the two-story building will be used as Victoria’s first Indian Community Centre, and include multiple assembly halls, a commercial kitchen, meeting and storage rooms, a car park, an administration, and reception area, offices for three Indian community peak bodies as well as a secure area for Museum India which showcases India’s rich history and heritage.

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Mr. Alan Tudge addresses those preesent. Photos-SAT

“This was an election commitment of the Morrison Government and I am so pleased to see it up and running,” Mr. Tudge said.

He also read out the message of PM Scott Morrison. ” This Centre, I know, will give much – not only to this community, but to the wider community, and to everyone who passes through its doors. I foresee many gatherings, full of color, family, friendship, and of course food!
My congratulations and very best wishes for the long life of the Australia India Community Centre,” he said.

Chair of the Australia India Community Charitable Trust Vasan Srinivasan said he was truly excited for the community centre to officially opened.

“I wish to thank the Morrison Government and our Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Michael McCormack for the funding and approval of this project, along with Hon. Alan Tudge and Hon. Michael Sukkar for their support to see this project formalized and delivered,” Mr. Srinivasan said.

“I am also excited to see the Community Centre become the new home of the Museum India, which will be named in memory of Dr. Dinesh Parekh – the collector and curator of the museum’s collection.”

The community centre is situated at 16-18 Kingsley Close, Rowville, Victoria 3178.

(The story will be updated soon with more text and photos)

Sara Kirlew is Australia’s new Consul-General in Chennai

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By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 19 March 2021: Ms. Sarah Kirlew is Australia’s next Consul-General in Chennai. This was announced by Hon. Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Women, and the Acting Defence Minister, says a media release.

Ms. Kirlew is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She has previously served overseas in Beijing, New Delhi, and Cairo. In Canberra she has worked in a range of Indo-Pacific focused foreign and economic policy roles within the department, including on Australia’s strategy for the Indo-Pacific and geo-economic issues.

Ms. Kirlew holds a Master of Public Policy and Management from the University of London; and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney.

Ms.Kirlew will replace outgoing Consul-General Susan Grace who has been holding the post in Chennai since 2018.

The Consulate-General in Chennai is located on India’s Indian Ocean coastline and plays a key role in pursuing Australia’s strategic, trade and investment interests in the southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and the Union Territories of Puducherry and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Our consular officers in Chennai have been central to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s support for Australians seeking to return during COVID-19, with five flights facilitated from Chennai alone since 23 October 2020.