Victoria Premier Denis Napthine has praised the Indian community, saying it has made an outstanding contributions in many areas including arts, science, education and business in the Australian state.
Napthine was speaking here at the gala dinner organised by Federation of Indian Associations in Victoria (FIAV) last night to mark the celebrations of Indian Independence day.
The event was attended by Melbourne Consul General of India Manika Jain, State Planning Minister Matthew Guy and other high-profile leaders and Indian community members.
"We are very proud of our Indian community. And we welcome Indian community into Australia as well Victoria. Indian community has made an outstanding contributions in the state in many areas including arts, science, education and business," Napthine said, as he gave away awards to several members of Indian community for their outstanding services.
"Infact, Indian community has the highest level of degrees and highest levels of PHDs of any community in Victoria," he said.
Stressing on the need to forge stronger ties with India, Napthine said, "Australia, Victoria and India have many things in common. Our Australia day and India's Republic day are both on the same day which is January 26th.
"We share love for cricket... We look forward to see the final game of ICC world cup next year when Australia and India will both be in the finals," he remarked.
"Victoria is not only sporting capital but also multicultural capital of the world...We are very proud of our state and its multiculturalism," Napthine told the gathering.
"This community has enriched and strengthened the Melbourne community and has made the place a better and stronger place," he said.
Victoria is actively engaged to increase its relations with India as the nation was the fastest growing economies of the world today, he said.
"We welcome those opportunities and as a coalition government we have set up at least 10 trade missions to India. We want to engage with India in business sense," he said.
Congratulating Indian diaspora, he said, "Independence day is a very historic day in Indian history. Its a day that certainly needs to be celebrated and remembered."
"It is the day that has pleasure of the establishment of the Independence day of India and also the pain and sufferings of partition and also the recognition of British involvement in India for the many centuries," he said.
"We also need to recognise many thousands of