Tenth Anniversary of the National Sikh Council Of Australia ( Formerly known as Sikh Council Of Australia Inc) was celebrated on 20th July 2013 in the Pioneer Hall Castle Grant Community Centre Castle Hill. The guests started arriving at 6.30 pm and by 7.15pm the hall was almost full with about three hundred guests. It was a great show of support for the National Sikh Council of Australia form the general public, its member Associations across Australia and members of other ethnic Associations and interfaith groups.
Chief guest of honor was Senator The Hon. Bob Carr Foreign Minister who accompanied by his wife. Sikh Council being the National body representing the Sikhs in Australia, parliamentarians from both political parties of Federal and States were invited and those who attended the dinner were, Mr. Laurie Ferguson MP, Ms.Michelle Rowland MP,Senator The Hon. Matt Thilstelwith, Senator The Hon Lisa Singh & Mr Colin Grubb, Mr. Michael Daley MP & Mrs. Christina Daley, Dr. Geoff Lee MP, Ms. Julie Owens MP, Mr. Dominic Perrottet MP, Mrs Louise Markus MP, David Bradbury MP, Mayor Of Liverpool Hon. Ned Mannoun.
Counsellor Joraver Singh Arken, Deputy Mayor of Coffs Harbour, acting as the MC gave a brief history of the Sikh Council and opened the program with a cultural solo performance by Ms. Cheral Khurana of CK Performing Arts. It was stunning performance. While the entre’ were being served the President Mr. Ajmer Singh Gill welcomed the guests and gave a comprehensive history of how and why the Sikh Council was established and how from a mere State representative body of the Sikhs it evolved into a peak Nation representative body of the Sikhs in Australia and its achievements since its inception in 2002. One of the biggest achievements worth mentioning was to secure the right of the Sikh ex service men and women to March in the annual ANZAC Day March. Year 2014 being the centenary year of the ANZAC and will be celebrated with great pump and show , the President requested the Hon. Bob Carr to contact his counterpart the Indian Foreign Minister to explore the possibility if the Indian government could send the Sikh Regiment’s Military Band on 2014 ANZAC Day march so that the ex servicemen of the Sikh Regiments and the serving service men and women could march in the ANZAC Day march behind the Sikh Regiment Military Band.
This was followed by an address by the Senator The Hon. Bob Carr Foreign Minister. In his inclusive speech he touched on various issues and problems the Sikhs had faced when he was the Premier of the New South Wales and the amendments to the Knife legislation so that the baptised Sikhs could go about their daily business without the fear of being harassed by the police. He also talked about the Sikh soldiers who fought alongside the Australian forces in Gallipoli and were killed and made reference to the book entitled “Die in battle; Do not Despair” about the ANZAC and the Sikh soldiers in Gallipoli, which Professor Peter Stanley is writing and who was also an invited guest at the dinner.
This was followed by a very entertaining performance by the group called Road to Bollywood followed by a speech by Dr. Geoff Lee MP member for Parramatta . followed by a short cultural program. Mr. Michael Dailey MP member for Maroubra represented Mr. John Robertson MP Leader of the Opposition and addressed the gathering, followed by a short cultural program and finally a speech by Mr. Dominic Perrottet MP representing Hon. Barry O’Farrell MP Premier Of New South Wales.
Dinner was served at 8.45pm and while the dinner was being served the Jhajja Dance Group stagged a colourful performance to entertain the guests. After the dinner Hon Bob Carr and other VIP’s mingled with the guests for casual talks and photo session while the Aziff dancers entertained the guest and later everybody joined in the dance.
Finally MC Counsellor Joraver Singh Arken thanked the caterer Billu of Billu’s Eatery, one of the award winning restaurants for the sumptuous dinner and the entertaining groups and the guests for making anniversary a big success. The function closed at 10.45pm.