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Federal Minister Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Wasim Akram, Dr. Farooq Sattar and other important personalities attended “Australia Day in Spring“ Celebration at the Avari Hotel Lahore
(Exclusive report & Photos for Sada-e-Watan Sydney)

The High Commissioner of Australia for Pakistan His Excellency Peter Heyward and his wife Susan Heyward

Australia Day in Spring returns to Lahore with the theme ‘Celebrating Australia’s Indigenous Culture’. The Australian High Commissioner, His Excellency Mr. Peter Heyward, introduced the premier Aboriginal music trio ‘Western Creation’ and inaugurated an exhibition of Indigenous Australian art called ‘Bush Medicine’ at the Avari Hotel Lahore on 10th April 2014.The musicians have flown specially from Melbourne to perform at Australia Day in Spring events. The group is a winner of United Nations Intercultural Award 2013 and they presented aboriginal musical performances including the “didgeridoo”.

Australian Girl Shaniera Thompson with her husband Great Wasim Akram

Alan Harris, elder of the Noongar tribe and his two fellow players Tristan and Azlan, of the Bibbulmann clan of Western Australia, are one of the most inspiring indigenous groups currently performing in Australia. Western Creation has performed extensively throughout Australia and internationally, promoting reconciliation and understanding between all people in Australia, into the hearts and minds of their audiences, using dance, music, song and history. ‘Bush Medicine’ comprises ten artworks by eight artists (six women and two men). The
artists all come from the Western Desert region and reflect that genre of contemporary Aboriginal art; it is common for Aboriginal families to share their Dreamings (that is, their spiritual beliefs that inspire the art). The ‘Bush Medicine’ exhibition was especially bought to Pakistan for Australia Day in Spring.

Pakistani Guest with Deputy High Commissioner of Australia to Pakistan Mr. Paul Molloy

“It is terrific to be able to showcase a central part of Australia’s cultural heritage in the form of these beautiful paintings. This is one of the first times an exhibition of Indigenous Australian art has been shown in Pakistan”, said the High Commissioner H.E. Peter Heyward in opening the exhibition.

Former Federal Minister Dr. Farooq Sattar, Member National Assembly of Pakistan attended the function

Indigenous Australian art is the oldest ongoing tradition of art in the world. Initial forms of artistic Aboriginal expression were rock carvings, body painting and ground designs, which date back more than 30,000 years. The quality and variety of Australian Indigenous art produced today reflects the richness and diversity of Indigenous culture and the distinct differences between tribes, languages, dialects and geographic landscapes. Art has always been an important part of Aboriginal life, connecting past and present, the people and the land, and the supernatural and reality. Indigenous Australian art is now shown all over the world, in famed galleries such as the Musée du quai Branly (MQB) which has a large permanent Aboriginal art exhibition, in addition to dedicated exhibitions in London, Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, Seoul and across the United States.

The High Commissioner of Australia for Pakistan His Excellency Peter Heyward

High Commissioner Mr. Peter Heyward was joined in Lahore by Australia’s Honorary Consul Mr Salim Ghauri (CEO of NetSol Technologies Ltd) and Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner for South Asia, Ms Nicola Watkinson, who is now a frequent visitor to Pakistan. This is a sign that Australia is serious about realising the strong potential in the trade and investment relationship with Pakistan. Australian-Pakistan bilateral trade is currently around AUD 800 million but has much potential to grow. Agri-business and agricultural science linkages continue to drive the Australia-Pakistan economic and trade relationship.

“Australians had a taste of Pakistani mangoes last year and we look forward to receiving commercial shipments this season”, Mr. Heyward said.

Australia and Pakistan’s links in the education sector are increasingly important, with around 10,000 Pakistani students studying in Australia at present. Australian High Commissioner Mr. Peter Heyward thanked sponsors BHP Billiton – operator of the Zamzama Gas Field and also the largest employer of Indigenous Australians - and Thai Airways. He also appreciated Netsol Technologies, SMEC, Bank Al-Habib, Pierlite, RMT Enterprises, AEO Pakistan, SlimTEL, Coca Cola and FedEx/Gerry’s.

DHC Paul Molloy Speaking with High Commissioner Peter Heyward, Minister Pervaiz Rashid and Mrs. Susan Heyward on stage

Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid said Pakistan and Australia enjoy cordial relationship and the present government will endeavour to further strengthen it for the mutual benefit of people of both countries. Addressing participants in the function, arranged by the Australia High Commissioner to celebrate “Australia Day in Spring 2014”, the Minister emphasized that the existing ties between the two countries should be further enhanced in the times to come.

The Minister Senator Pervaiz Rashid also appreciated Australian art and culture including language, music and aboriginal tradition, depicted in the paintings. He said the art and culture has always been hallmark of every civilization since ages. Senator Pervaiz Rashid said art helps in portraying true images, symbols, dynamics and traditions of any society in its particular social milieu.

Wasim Akram's wife Shaniera Thompson, High Commissioner Peter Heyward, Susan Heyward and Wasim Akram Chaudhary


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