The idea of Australian Alumni Singapore (AAS) collaborating with PA/PMET to embark on a community project was first mooted towards the end of last year. It was not until the beginning of this year that planning began. At every meeting, our Committee expanded as we incorporated co-partners, sponsors and well-wishers. Marine Parade Community Club (MPCC) provided the venue, supported by Marine Parade GRC Chairman, Committee and volunteers.
Staff of the Australian High Commission, staff and students of James Cook University (JCU) and Avondale Grammar School as well as Australian companies, Red Dot Gallery, Spotlight and Hogs Breath Cafe helped to provide the Australian feel and flavours to the event, aptly called “Colours of Australia”. The sumptuous buffet dinner was sponsored by CPA Australia.
On the evening of 23 May 2013, more than 300 participants including residents of Marine Parade GRC and guests were welcomed by Australian Indigenous piped music as they walked into the meticulous Down-under set- up on level 3 of MPCC. Guest-of-Honour, Emeritus Senior Minister, Mr Goh Chok Tong who is also the Grassroots Adviser, played host. Together with Special Guest, Mr Seah Kian Peng, Deputy Speaker, HE Mr Philip Green, Australian High Commissioner to Singapore and one of the AAS Patrons, and Mr Loh Hoon Sun, AAS President, ESM Goh mingled with participants as they enjoyed the Aussie fare and sausages paired with Australian wines before the formal programme began.
In his Opening Address, ESM Goh warmly welcomed all participants especially the Australian community and spoke of the close relationship and people ties between Singapore and Australia. He recalled with fondness his long-standing friendships with former Australian Prime Minsters whom he cultivated when he was Prime Minister of Singapore. HE Mr Philip Green, who had succeeded Mr Doug Chester as Australian High Commissioner to Singapore end of last year, was delighted to co-organise this event and showcase Australian culture, music, education, food and wines.
Dr Anita Lundberg, Senior Lecturer at JCU who specialised in Anthropology, traced the early networking patterns of the Aboringinal people in Australia in her presentation on “Australia-Asia: Networks Across Centuries”. This was complemented by the lovely Aboringinal Art pieces from Red Dot Art Gallery that were displayed in the hall. The enthusiastic song and dance performances by students from Avondale Grammar School and JCU had participants waving their hands and gyrating to the music.
In his Closing Address, AAS President Loh Hoon Sun said that the months of planning “are worth it when we witness our community at Marine Parade coming together to fellowship and learn more about the Australian culture through the cultural presentation, music and food”. He thanked the VIP Guests, partners, sponsors, volunteers, participants and each and everyone who had in one way or another contributed to the success of this event.
The following photos say it all.
Some of the 15 beautiful Aboriginal Art pieces sponsored by Red Dot Gallery.
Colours of Australia