This weekend I attended our annual Cabramatta Moon Festival. It’s hosted by Fairfield Council and provides a wonderful showcase of multicultural Australia, bringing together the community for a day and night of fantastic food, music and cultural events for young and old.
I'm honoured to represent one of the most multicultural communities in Australia. It makes me proud to know multiculturalism — our diversity and ability to live in harmony — works best in communities such as mine. I'm also privileged to represent one of the largest Asian communities outside of Asia itself. This privilege has given me the opportunity to learn much about Vietnamese and Chinese cultures. The moon festival is a harvest festival, bringing together families and friends to celebrate the end of the season or a bountiful harvest. It’s widely celebrated in China, Vietnam and other Asian countries when the moon is at its brightest, at the height of mid-autumn in that part of the world. It was celebrated in our community this year with an array of cultural performances, traditional lion and dragon dances and moon-cake eating and a wonderful display of fireworks.
Multiculturalism here in Australia is all about a shared sense of nationhood forged through mutual respect, common values and a commitment to fairness and decency. Events like this festival help forge cross-cultural understanding in our communities and certainly break down negative stereotypes.
I'd like to acknowledge the hard work of Cheryl Bosler, at the council, and of the organising committee, who do an excellent job ensuring the festival is a key event in our community. Thanks, too, to all the volunteers and sponsors. It’s one of Australia's largest cultural events, attracting about 100,000 people over the weekend in Cabramatta. This year's celebration was particularly important because it marked the 20th moon festival in our community. I commend the council for its efforts in promoting the spirit of multiculturalism throughout our community. Well done.