Australian Consulate-General
Chennai, India

Media release

21 March 2016                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                PA-CN/16/10    

 Australian Consulate reaches out to Indian-Australians on Harmony Day


To celebrate Australia’s Harmony Day, the Australian Consulate-General in Chennai has launched an ‘Australians in South India’ Facebook Page to improve its communication with the thousands of Australians, most of them Australians of Indian origin, living in South India.

“Harmony Day is about celebrating the vibrant, cohesive and inclusive nature of Australia,” the Australian Consul-General for South India, Mr Sean Kelly, said today.  “Our cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths, and is at the heart of who we are as a nation.”

“Australians of Indian origin have made an enormous contribution to Australia,” he said.

“We want to engage more closely with our Australian family in South India, particularly the quite large numbers of Indian-Australians who have returned to India for work or personal reasons,” Mr Kelly explained.  “To make this easier, I am pleased today to announce the launch of an ‘Australians in South India’ Facebook Page, a platform for sharing information about services available to Australian citizens and events that may be of interest to them.”

The ‘Australians in South India’ Facebook Page will include a wide range of useful information, from Consulate services and information about election arrangements in India to Australian cultural events and interesting milestones in Australia-India relations.

“The ‘Australians in South India’ Facebook Page will provide all Australians with a one-stop shop for everything they need to know when living here in South India,” Mr Kelly said.  “I encourage all Australian citizens to ‘like’ our page!”

There are around 600,000 people in Australia of Indian origin.  In 2014-15, India was the top source country of permanent migrants to Australia, and in Australia’s most recent national census, Hinduism was identified as the fastest growing religion in Australia.

Harmony Day is celebrated throughout Australia on 21 March, which is also the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  Australia is one of the most culturally-diverse countries in the world.  Since 1945, more than 7.5 million people have migrated to Australia.  We identify with about 300 ancestries and almost half of all Australians were born overseas or had at least one parent born overseas.  Australians speak about 300 languages, including Indigenous ones, and four million Australians speak a language other than English at home.