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January 26 is celebrated as Australia Day throughout the country and one of the highlights of the day is our Citizenship ceremonies.
On this day, Australia Day Ambassadors volunteer their time and energy to inspire pride and celebration in various communities residing in Australia.
Ambassadors for this day are chosen from various fields who are high achieving and proud Australians.
Ambassadors display the opportunities that Australia gave them to grow and achieve and thus inspire the new citizens who will take their oath of citizenship today.
Indian community in Australia is represented by three Australia Day Ambassadors. Noted film director Anupam Sharma, Justice of Peace and Community Liaison Officer and community worker Deepak Vinayak and the only Indian woman and SBS Hindi’s Executive Producer Kumud Merani.
Kumud Merani, SBS Hindi’s Executive Producer:
Kumud Merani is the multi-award winning Executive Producer of the SBS Hindi Radio Program. Kumud built her media career on firsts as India’s first female TV anchor, and then upon migrating to Australia, SBS Worlds News’ first female anchor of an Asian background.
She also devotes her time to community work, in particularly the maintenance of Indian art and culture in Australia. She has produced, directed and acted in several Indian theatre productions in Sydney like “Lafda”, “Toba Tek Singh” and “Jis Lahore Nayee Dekhya”. An English musical ’The Nautch Girls” based on the life of Indian courtesans intricately woven in with the story of an Australian girl was written and enacted by Kumud. All Theatrical events hold the theme of Harmony and Unity.
Her richly researched documentary "The Story Untold" was awarded Best Feature of the Year in 2015 at NSW Premier Multicultural Media Awards and Best Human Interest Story in New York Festivals’ International Radio Program Awards 2015.
As we celebrate our 40th anniversary, here is a conversation with SBS Hindi's Kumud Merani, who has been working with SBS since 1985... She shares many memories - in a very special interview in Punjabi! Here's a podcast of her interview with SBS Punjabi's Manpreet K Singh, in case you missed hearing it on our program!
"THE STORY UNTOLD" PART 1 By KUMUD MERANI IS A MULTI-AWARD WINNING DOCUMENTARY. The links between us all as a race of human beings are ancient and run deep - and our similarities have fascinated scientists, archaeologists and anthropologists for hundreds of years. The continent we now call Australia was first populated 40-thousand+ years ago and it was once thought that the First Nations here, had limited contact with other people and other cultures. However, anthropological evidence has begun to point to greater, and older connections. Last year, in 2013, a new DNA study rocked the scientific world - with new evidence that people from the Indian subcontinent people may have come to Australia around four-thousand years ago - an event also possibly linked to the first appearance of the dingo. They call it the Australia-India link - and provides another insight into our ancestries.
"THE STORY UNTOLD" PART 2 By KUMUD MERANI IS A MULTI-AWARD WINNING DOCUMENTARY: The links between us all as a race of human beings are ancient and run deep - and our similarities have fascinated scientists, archaeologists and anthropologists for hundreds of years. The continent we now call Australia was first populated 40-thousand+ years ago and it was once thought that the First Nations here, had limited contact with other people and other cultures. However, anthropological evidence has begun to point to greater, and older connections. In 2013, a new DNA study rocked the scientific world - with new evidence that people from the Indian subcontinent people may have come to Australia around four-thousand years ago - an event also possibly linked to the first appearance of the dingo. They call it the Australia-India link - and provides another insight into our ancestries. Kumud Merani has produced a two part composite documentary on these links
Anupam Sharma, Film Director:
Australia’s leading Indian cinema authority and practitioner, Anupam Sharma is a filmmaker, speaker and author. With a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Films and Theatre, Anupam wrote a thesis on Indian cinema from UNSW apart from authoring a number of research papers.
He is currently directing a feature length film which documents Australian adventurer Pat Farmer’s test of human spirit and behind the scenes drama as he runs the length of India upto 85 kilometers a day for 64 days with the backdrop of colourful, enchanting, challenging, organized chaos of India.
Anupam recently directed the much publicized Australian feature unINDIAN starring cricket legend, Brett Lee, and internationally acclaimed actress, Tannishtha Chatterjee. The film had its world premier at Montreal Film Festival in September 2015 .
Deepak Vinayak, Community Leader, Mentor:
Deepak Vinayak is an award winning community leader from Victoria. Coming from the South Asian-Indian Community Mr. Vinayak has made significant contribution in engaging with the newly arriving migrants and the broader Australian communities. Coming from India, he has deep understanding of issues related to multilingualism, multiculturalism and multi-faith practices. He is fluent in Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu and English and understands Sanskrit as well. His association with the diverse faith communities including that of Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus, Jews and Christians has given him adequate training and experience to deal with issues of faith with sensitivity, sincerity and respect.
His experience of living through difficult times during his initial years in Sydeny and then in Melbourne has made him familiar with similar problems that may come from financial constraints, emotional disturbances and lack of community support. He has been very concerned about the wellbeing of the people who are less fortunate and who may struggle on a daily and weekly basis. Then he decided to create platforms with likeminded people who are ready to extend hands of support. That is how he has focused his energy in training the next generation and has slowly started building institutions like SACLG and SAYCA.