SPEECH: Diwali

Over the last week, Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities in Australia and around the world have been celebrating Diwali. On behalf of Labor, I extend my warmest wishes to everyone on this occasion. Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, is a celebration of the triumph of good over evil. The lighting of traditional earthen diyas or candles around the home symbolises the illumination of hope, wealth, peace and prosperity.

Over four days, families and friends adorn their homes with colourful decorations, share sweet dishes and perfume their homes with incense in celebration of good health, knowledge and wealth as a triumph over darkness, ignorance and hate. Around Australia, lights have been shining brightly and skies have been filled with fireworks—from Canberra to Parramatta, Martin Place and Adelaide—over the past week. It is an important time to reflect on those less fortunate and to be grateful for the rich traditions our modern, multicultural society has come to represent.

As the steady light of the diya shines across Australia and in homes this week, may it serve as a guiding compass for all of us towards the path of unity and be the beacon with which we as a nation continue to celebrate our success as a modern, multicultural Australia. 

Tony Burke