Australia Day Celebrations


The Australian Consulate General for South India celebrated major achievements in the bilateral relationship over the past three years with an Australia Day function held on 3 February. Australia Day falls on 26 January, the same day as India’s Republic Day. The Chief Guest was Tamil Nadu Minister for Finance, Human Resources Management, Planning & Development, Economics & Statistics, Dr PTR Palanivel Thiaga Rajan who delivered an address on the potential for Australia-Tamil Nadu relations.

Speaking at the event, Australia’s Consul General for South India, Ms Sarah Kirlew highlighted the closeness of Australia-India and Australia-Tamil Nadu relations and said, “The Australia-India relationship is at an all-time high. The close bonds between the two countries are cemented by shared strategic goals, economic complementarity, strong people-to-people links and of course a mutual love for cricket. The entry into force of our Free Trade Agreement, the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) is already enhancing two-way trade and we see significant potential for growth.”

Ms Kirlew was pleased to announce that Australia will join with Tamil Nadu as an Innovation Partner for the inaugural Umagine summit, to be held in March. “Australia is committed to expanding the cooperation and growth between our technology and innovation sectors and we recognise the strengths of Tamil Nadu in this field. We hope to encourage collaboration between our startup sectors and see more two-way technology investment” she said.

Ms Kirlew invited alumni of Australian institutions to apply for the Australian Alumni Grant Scheme, which recently opened its fourth round. “Education ties are one of the strongest areas of our bilateral relationship and we want to maintain our partnership with those who have invested in an Australian education.” she said.

Ms Kirlew also recognised the significant contribution of the Indian diaspora to Australia’s proud multicultural society, noting that the Indian diaspora is the fastest growing in Australia.

The Australia Day celebrations in Chennai saw a mix of Government Ministers, officials and armed services personnel, key business leaders and Australian alumni, and diplomats from other missions come together to celebrate the relationship between Australia and India. Guests were treated to a traditional Australian barbeque, featuring Australian lamb; premium Australian wines; and Australian-style desserts such as pavlova and lamington. Under ECTA, globally reputed Australian food and beverage products will enter Indian market at eliminated or reduced tariff.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here