Modi, Albanese laud achievements of Indian-origin leaders in Australia

Sydney: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese on Tuesday lauded the achievements of Indian-origin leaders, Daniel Mookhey, Pru Car and Sameer Pandey, as they addressed a well-attended community event here.

Addressing the gathering at the Qudos Bank Arena, both leaders as well as Chris Minss, Premier of New South Wales, praised the Indian community’s contributions to Australia.

“You make our nation and our shared communities better. You make Australia stronger,” Albanese said.

Dwelling on Australia’s growing relations with India, Albanese said he wanted to see the bilateral ties to grow, including in the business and education sectors.

“We want to see more connections. More Australian and Indian students living and studying in each other’s countries, and bringing those experiences home,” he said.

He also said the location of a Centre for Australia-India relations in western Sydney was a “testament to the vitality of the Indian-Australian experience”, giving a shout-out to the new Parramatta Lord Mayor — Sameer Pandey.

“Congratulations,” Albanese said.

Pandey was elected to the position on Monday, becoming the first Lord Mayor in Australia to be born in India.

Pandey was first elected to the council in 2017 and in 2022, became the City’s first Deputy Lord Mayor from the Indian subcontinent, an official statement said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi praised several Indian-origins members, including Deputy Premier of New South Wales Car, New South Wales Treasurer Mookhey and Pandey, who have made great progress and are contributing to the public life in the country.

“I convey my greetings and congratulate all of them,” Modi said.

Car has as part Indian ancestory, the Australian Today reported.

She has served as a Councillor on Penrith City Council before running as the Labor candidate for Londonderry, successfully winning the seat off the Liberal Party. She is Minister for Education and Early Learning, and Minister for Western Sydney.

Modi also said that, while this event was going on in Parramatta, they were informed that a street in the City of Perth has been renamed to ‘Sailani Avenue’ in honour of Indian-Australian Anzac Private Nain Singh Sailani.

Modi conveyed his “best regards” to the administration of Western Australia for this gesture.

Private Nain Singh Sailani was killed on the western front in 1917. He was one of at least 12 Indians who served in the Australian Imperial Force during WW-I, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

Private Sailani had migrated from India to Australia in 1895 as a 22-year-old and initially lived in the town of Geraldton, about 400 kilometres north of Perth, where he found work as a labourer.

Also, Minns while speaking at the event praised Mookhey.

“The Indian diaspora is the nation’s fastest-growing. There are 7,50,000 people that have Indian ancestry in this country and that includes the treasurer of New South Wales Daniel Mookhey, who took his oath of allegiance on the holy Bhagavad Gita,” Minns, said.

“He was the first Australian minister to do so but he will not be the last,” he said.

Mookhey has become the first politician of Indian origin to become the Treasurer in any Australian state.

In March, Mookhey became the first Indian-origin politician sworn in as Treasurer of Australia’s New South Wales state. He was sworn in along with Minns and six other ministers.