Tuesday 07 February, 2023

Mr Speaker, over the weekend I had the pleasure of attending a very special ceremony. A celebration marking the 75th anniversary of Sri Lankan Independence.

The Sri Lankan community is one which boasts a long history and a rich culture. I am fortunate to have such a proud and sizable Sri Lankan community in my electorate of Hartley.

I remarked at the ceremony on Sri Lankan resilience, that time and time again they have proven that adversity and challenges will not defeat them. We of course know that last year Sri Lanka faced devastating floods and landslides which uprooted many families and tragically resulted in the loss of many lives. But, Mr Speaker, in the face of such hardship the Sri Lankan community rose above this devastation stronger than ever. It is an invaluable quality in any culture, Mr Speaker.

This spirit- this culture, Mr Speaker, is clearly reflected in my local Sri Lankan community, who have also shown me the remarkable Sri Lankan hospitality. I can always rely on a warm and friendly welcome from my Sri Lankan community. It is always a great pleasure to attend the many Sri Lankan food festivals and celebrations of culture not only in my electorate of Hartley but right across the state.

Sri Lankan culture is strong and rich. They share a special similarity with Australia as a society rich with multiculturalism. The Sri Lankan community here in Australia contribute to our diversity and our rich multiculturalism, and I look forward to the continuing growth of the Sri Lankan community here in South Australia especially, Mr Speaker.

They are one of the fastest growing communities in my electorate of Hartley and have contributed greatly to the increasingly rich culture of my electorate. They contribute their culture’s deep spirituality and delicious cuisine. Hartley boasts one of the most culturally diverse communities, which brings in many people from across South Australia for a taste of what we have to offer. I am proud that the Sri Lankan community Is becoming increasingly a part of that family.

The excellent turnout at the 75th Anniversary of Sri Lankan Independence Day was truly a testament to the growth of the Sri Lankan community not only in my electorate but right across the state.

It was both an honour and a privilege to speak at the 75th Anniversary of Sri Lankan independence, and I look forward to attending many more events with my Sri Lankan community.