STATEMENT FOR DIWALI 2021
I send my best wishes to Australians celebrating Diwali today.
The Festival of Lights celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.
While different communities observe Diwali in different ways, we can all embrace its ideals of friendship and belonging. In Australia, Diwali also provides an opportunity to reflect on how our diversity has enriched our society.
Nearly 700,000 people of Indian ancestry call Australia home. Last year alone, more than 24,000 permanent skilled visas were granted to Indian citizens, making the Indian Australian community one of the fastest-growing in Australia.
Indian Australians have made a tremendous contribution to building modern Australia, succeeding in many fields of achievement – including medicine and law, education and academia, the arts, sport, business; to name a few. Thanks to you all, Australia is the most successful multicultural nation in the world.
Celebrations such as Diwali are made more meaningful because they are shared with family and friends, which is why I was so happy to recently share the news of easing international border restrictions for fully vaccinated Australians.
You can listen to the Home Minister’s message here:
After more than 18 months, fully vaccinated Australians can now leave Australia and travel safely overseas without needing a travel exemption.
We’ve made it easier for people to safely leave Australia, to reunite with friends and family overseas, for business, or even to take a holiday.
Now is the time to get your passport ready, download your COVID-19 proof of vaccination certificate, and check Smartraveller for the latest country specific advice – including on travel to India.
At the same time, we’re also welcoming back to Australia the parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents.
I know these parents have missed out on so much during the pandemic, but now they can once more reunite in Australia, hold their grandchildren, visit for weddings, and gather in person to share life’s most significant milestones.
These changes are possible because many millions of Australians, including those in the Indian Australian community, have rolled up their sleeves and been vaccinated.
As Australia’s vaccination rate continues to climb, I look forward to further easing travel restrictions over coming weeks and months.
Thank you, and I wish you a happy and a safe Diwali.
Minister for Home Affairs