A message from the Australian Minister for Social Services SCOTT MORRISON
Republic Day is a day worth commemorating. It is the day in which India not only became an independent republic, but the world’s largest democracy.
India moved toward its independence through peaceful, non-violent resistance, famously inspired by Mahatma Gandhi.
This part of India’s history should never be left to gather dust. It stands instead as a gleaming example to us all of the power of peace – a lesson as valuable today as it was then.
Ties between India and Australia have gone from strength to strength ever since Indians began settling here in the early 1800s.
This year, the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign during World War I, it is worth remembering that Indian regiments fought alongside Australian troops.
Thousands of Indian troops fought at Gallipoli during the eight-month campaign that is so significant to Australia’s history.
The diverse Indian community here in Australia is one of our fastest growing, and has made many significant contributions to Australian society.
India is one of our top three sources of migrants and our trading relationship was worth $15.2 billion in 2013.
Deepening this relationship through a joint Australia-India Free Trade Agreement is a top priority for the Government, fostering closer economic ties helping to provide prosperity for both our nations.
Australia’s Indian community is an important part of our social, cultural and economic fabric, and it makes particular contributions to our nation through its work in IT, and as engineers, accountants, cooks and toolmakers.
Australia is a major destination for Indian students with more than 36,000 studying here, making India our second-largest source country for overseas students.
The depth of our relationship was highlighted by the recent visits by Prime Minister Abbott to India and Prime Minister Modi to Australia. On both occasions the natural warmth between our two countries was on display. This is the same warmth and friendship that is demonstrated every day in the cities and towns of Australia that Indian-Australians call home.
The Indian community will continue to be a vital part of Australia’s future prosperity.
I hope you all enjoy Republic Day celebrations. I would also like to extend the Government’s best wishes to all Australian Indians on the occasion of Republic Day.
The Hon. Scott Morrison MP
Minister for Social Services