Ganesh Visarjan Festival, Hindu Temple at Helensburgh

Click here to watch Sharon's speech

Ms BIRD (Cunningham) (16:43): Just a moment ago, I took the chamber to the southern border of my electorate and the 20th anniversary of the Nan Tien Buddhist temple. I would now like to take you to the northern border of my electorate and the Helensburgh based Hindu temple, which I will be attending this Saturday for the Deepavali festival—the festival of lights, as some of my colleagues have reflected on enjoying in Canberra last weekend.

In August, I was there for the Ganesh Visarjan festival, which was a very joyous occasion. It was a beautiful afternoon, with blue sky, crisp air and a gloriously shining sun. I attended the temple for the Ganesh Visarjan festival. In true community spirit there was much cultural, spiritual and religious activity, all coming together for the festival. It marked the last day of Ganeshotsav, which is a spectacular festival honouring Lord Ganesha for 10 days in the sixth month of the Hindu lunar calendar.

The festival was unforgettable; it was shaped by very loud drum playing, clouds of coloured flour, dancing people and happy children. It was a truly successful day which included many activities that show the diversity of our cultural communities and the inclusion of all in the celebration at these significant events. I would like to thank the Sri Venkateswara temple in Helensburgh for hosting it, and for their hospitality to me.