Aussies-Indian exhibition puts misperceptions of racial attacks in perspective: Envoy

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New Delhi, Dec 2 (ANI): Australia's High Commissioner to India, Peter N Varghese, has said that cultural ties between his country and India are improving and looking up, inspite of last year's adverse media reports on attacks on the Indian student community.

In interview given to ANI TV, on the sidelines of an exhibition on the achievement of Indian-Australians in Australia, Varghese said the event is being held to make the Indian audience more familiar with contemporary Australia.

"Well our objective with an exhibition like this is to make an Indian audience more familiar with contemporary Australia as we think one of the defining features of Australia that it is now a multi cultural community and when you look back at the problems we had with reporting on attacks on Indian students, one stream in that reporting has been projection of Australia as a country which is acting in a racially motivated way or which is unwelcoming to people from other countries from another races. I think what this does is to put some of those in my views misperceptions into some perspective," said Varghese.

He said that the exhibition titled 'Indian Aussies' by Melbourne based photographer Michel Lawrence showcases the ease with which Indians have become part of Australian society while maintaining their links with Indian culture.

The exhibition at the Australian High Commission here is celebrating the presence of over 3,00,000 Australians of Indian origin and their successes.

Varghese further spoke about the future programmes to be initiated by the Australia for strengthening bilateral cultural bonds between the two countries.

"Well we are hoping to significantly strengthen our cultural relation programme in India and we will be doing more things next year and then we will be doing a very major promotion of Australia culturally in 2012 in fact India will be the focus country for our global cultural relations programme," he said.

Indian Aussies is a unique creative project, brought to life with co-operative funding and support from both the Australian Government and a number of Victorian Government Departments.

The project comprises a series of larger than life-size photographs of Indians who have made Australia their home. And from the Sikh community in Woolgoolga who first settled in Australia in the 1940s, to talented musicians, to highly qualified professionals, to enterprising business people, to gifted students, the Indian community in Australia embraced the idea and generously welcomed the photographer Michel Lawrence into their homes, offices, churches and temples.

The result is Indian Aussies, more than 80 photographs depicting a vibrant, harmonious and in many cases, prosperous community, who now call themselves Aussies.

Lawrence said that the exhibition would be in India for a year, traveling to various cities like Kochi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad. By Ashok Dixit (ANI)

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