Diwali really came to fruition for the Ballarat Hindu community when the Liberal party -during its Diwali 2022 celebrations announced that a Matthew Guy led Liberals a Nationals Government will provide $875,000 to deliver the Indian Cultural Centre for Ballarat’s Indian community.
Member for Ripon Louise Staley joined members of the Ballarat Indian Association, Ballarat Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre Committee (BHTCCC), and the Ballarat and Grampians region Indian community to make the announcement.
Ms Staley said the new centre would be a place for Indians from right across Ballarat and the Grampians region to come together.
“Ballarat’s Indian community is thriving and growing. Until now, many Ballarat and Grampians region Indians have had to travel over 100kms, often by public transport, to partake in Indian cultural practices and traditions,”
“The new Indian Cultural Centre will be a fantastic centre for the Ballarat Indian community and those across the Grampians region to come together to meet and celebrate,”
“I congratulate the Ballarat Indian community for all its work on this project over the past six years, your current facilities are not big enough, and our commitment will deliver the centre that your community needs for years to come.”
“The broader Ballarat community has embraced the Indian community. The recent Ganesha Charturthi festival attracted more than 7,000 visitors over five days. We look forward to many more celebrations and festivals in years to come.”
BHTCCC President Harisankar Parippaayillam welcomed the funding commitme.
“The BHTCCC appreciates the funding commitment from Louise Staley and the Liberal Party towards our Indian Cultural Centre dream.”
“Ms Staley has met with us several times and visited the site. She also attended the recent Ganesha Chaturthi festival and is with us again to celebrate Diwali, and we appreciate her deep commitment to delivering for the Ballarat Indian community.”
Ballarat is the most popular regional settlement city for new migrants, with migrants of Indian Hindu heritage, the largest population. There are currently around 6,000 residents in Ballarat of Indian heritage, and, the city is a hub for migrants from the broader Grampians region.
The Indian Cultural Centre will be delivered in two stages. The first stage involves renovating the existing property owned by the community at Ross Creek to establish a place of worship, and the second stage involves expansion works to include a new commercial kitchen, new dining area, solar system, community garden and landscaping and a children’s playground.