Exhibition to tell Australians tales of India’s contribution to modern Australia

Pooran Dabee Singh
Courtesy: Australian Indian Historical Society Inc

3 Sep 2016: The City of Melbourne will soon host a historic exhibition that will lay bare the contribution hardworking Indians made to a country that became the Australia you see today.

The event, to be run from 12 to 16 September, is the result of a painstaking and relentless research carried out by the Australian Indian Historical Society Inc (AIHS).

To be hosted at the Parliament House in Melbourne, the event will highlight the history and contribution the Indian diaspora has made to Australia – long before world class computer engineers from the South Asian nation began emigrating to Australia.

Anyone, and there are plenty of them, who may naively think that the Indian migration to Australia is a recent phenomenon catapulted by the booming education industry must attend the event. According to AIHS, the exhibition will, among other things, showcase India’s involvement in mounting the very First Fleet and the “role of Indians and Anglo Indians in the discovery of Bass Strait in 1797”. 

The event will be an eye-opener for those who are ignorant of the role Indians played in shaping Australia’s multicultural fabric and the role they played in the most formative years of modern Australia. For instance, the AIHS, which was founded by Len Kenna and Crystal Jordan, has posted a picture on its Facebook page of an Indian who was a cab driver in Brisbane in 1860s. Now, that’s a few years before you were born, wouldn’t you agree?

“Among many others things on display will be a Sundar Gutka which was used to do last rites of Sikh hawkers at their funerals (its photo is attached along with a few others). Len and Crytal have spent 25 years of their life each and now with the support of Victorian Gurudwaras have been working for another 6 years. So in short this work consists of 31 x 2 = 62 years of contributions,” coordinator of the exhibition Jasvinder Singh said in an email.14102709_10209072833051354_8574482019443605305_n

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