News Release

Community Leaders join to Celebrate Diwali

Community leaders joined together at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney recently to celebrate Diwali, The Festival of Light. Guests included the Hon Mike Baird MP, Premier of NSW, Hon John Ajaka MLC, Minister for Multiculturalism, Mr B Vanlalvawna, Consul General of India in Sydney, Dr GK Harinath OAM, Chair of the Multicultural NSW Advisory Board and Elder Johnny Leota, Area Seventy from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The very name of this festival, Diwali reveals its meaning. Derived from a Sanskrit word it means a row of lamps. This festival of light is about lighting of tiny earthen lamps or diyas. Light being the symbol of hope and positive energy, indicates the victory of light over darkness, good over evil.

Diwali unifies cultures, religions and peoples of all nations across the world. From its beginnings as a Hindu festival of light, Diwali is now celebrated across the world by communities of Indian ancestry, shared by Hindus, Buddists, Jains and Sikhs. It is an occasion which strengthens friendship and goodwill among people of all communities and religions.


The sails of the Opera House were illuminated in orange and yellow depicting the flames of the lamps that are symbolic of the Diwali celebrations. “The lightning of the Opera House signifies that Diwali has now become a festival that can be enjoyed by families of all backgrounds” remarked the Hon John Ajaka MLC, Minister for Multiculturism.

The Hon Mike Baird MP, Premier of NSW expressed his feelings to the crowd assembled at The Museum of Contemporary Art; remarking, “I have been impressed by the spirit of the community that warms us all as well as the support for the NSW-India relationship.”

"The multicultural credentials of NSW and its commitment to celebrating cultural diversity and harmony are indeed commendable” remarked Mr B Vanlalvawna, Consul General of India. Elder Leota concured with all of the remarks made during the evening, concluding that “Diwali celebrates and unifies cultures, religions, and peoples of all nations; it was a great evening.”

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.