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Seminar on Sikh History in Western Australia to commemorate 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji

Consulate General of India


Media Release

22 February 2019

Seminar on Sikh History in Western Australia to

commemorate 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji

1. A lecture presentation on “Sikh History in Western Australia” was organised by the Consulate, in collaboration with the Australian Sikh Heritage Association (ASHA), at its premises on 22 February 2019. The presentation was the first event being organised by the Consulate with Sikh community associations to commemorate the celebration of 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji.

2. In his remarks inaugurating the event, Consul General Amit Kumar Mishra outlined the steps being taken by Government of India and Indian Missions abroad to celebrate the 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji. He also made a presentation on historic links between India and Western Australia, highlighting that ‘Australind’ town in Western Australia was an amalgamation of names of two countries, and town had its origins in two-centuries old plans of a private entrepreneur to use the place as breeding ground for horses to be supplied to the British Indian Army.

3. Mr. Tarun Preet Singh from the Australian Sikh Heritage Association, Perth-based volunteer-based organisation which conducts research on the history of Sikhs in Australia, made a 45-min presentation highlighting the documented instances of Sikh presence in different parts of Australia. Sikhs played an important role in economy of regional towns in Western Australia where they worked as farmers in Wheatbelt settlements and brought in supplies as hawkers and cameleers. Sikh community was also politically active and managed to get a law enacted by the Parliament of Western Australia in 1929 granting Sikh community a land plot along Canning river for funeral rites. Sikh community also joined Australian military with nineteen documented cases of Sikh Anzacs participating in two World Wars. The presentation was followed by an Q & A session with the attendees.

4. The event was attended by select audience including several members of Parliament of Western Australia, Mayors, City Councillors, officials from Office of Multicultural Interests and members of Consular Corps. The objective was to enhance awareness among these officials about the long history of Sikh presence in Western Australia and their contribution to all spheres of the State’s multicultural society of the State. The participants appreciated the presentations and information displayed in standees and posters exhibited by the Australian Sikh Heritage Association in the Consulate premises.