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A Division of Qld Multicultural Times Print Post Approved PP : 424022 1724 | ISSN 2652-6182

Volume 17, Number 6 Saturday, February 13th, 2021

As God is One, we respect all Religions

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• Local News ..................................4-28 • Real Estate ..................................... 30 • India News ..................................... 34 • Fiji News ......................................... 36 • Health & Well Being .................... 40 • Astrology ........................................ 42 • Business Directory/Classified ... 43 • Sports News ................................... 44 • Entertainment .............................. 46

A Division of Qld Multicultural Times Published Monthly OWNERS / PUBLISHERS: Umesh Chandra OAM & Usha Chandra ADVERTISING: 0430 193 715 sales@indiantimes.com.au JOURNALIST/ CORRESPONDENTS Ram Jattan (UK) / Thakur Ranjit Singh (NZ) Thilliar Varnakulasingham (NZ) Shalendra Prasad (Fiji) / Dhaval Vyas (India) Rama Gaind (Canberra) • ML. M. Nawaaz Ashram • Imam Muhammad Aslam • Pastor Joseph Dass • Haji Abdul Rahman Deen • Jitendra Deo • Nimisha Modi • Ranjita Pillai (Immigration Matters) • Peter Lane Rai • Awadhesh Sharma • Shailendra Singh • Gagan deep Tandon • Ravi Vastrad • Cartoon Corner: Merwyn Machado • Brian Sullivan (Photography)

From the Publisher Welcome to February, well under normal circumstances we would be saying “Love is in the air” for upcoming Valentine’s Day but now air is the problem. Who would have thought that a virus would bring the whole world to its knees? When we talk about the air, we have seen that hotels are taking extreme precautionary measures to ensure that the flow of air from one room to another is not contaminated, the opening of doors is controlled and staggered. I had to make a quick trip to Sydney, and it was quite a unique experience flying under these restrictions, the deserted airport looked quite sad – the lounge experience quite different I did not mind having the space, but the food and beverage package is highly compromised, with a limited choice on offer. The friendly staff did their best to serve everyone as the selfserve option is not allowed now. Congratulations is in order for Hindu Society of Queensland celebrating its 30 Anniversary – the 30th anniversary brought back many memories, especially of Guru Ji Late Pundit Salik Ram Sharma Ji, who had flown in for the opening. The society has come a long way since the official opening, and many committees have served since its inception maintaining the aims and objectives

Address: PO Box 197, Taigum Qld 4018 Ph: (07) 3192 5188 Fax: (07) 3865 5864 E-mail: prod@indiantimes.com.au Subscriptions: 12 months 6 months Brisbane Indian Times is a monthly newspaper published in English. No material, including advertisements designed by Brisbane Indian Times, may be reproduced in part or who without the written consent of the manager. Opinions carried in Brisbane Indian Times are those of the writers and not necessarily endorsed by Brisbane Indian Times. Brisbane Indian Times will not be held liable for any advertising / editorial content - Advertisers supply / approve content therefore should any content be deemed inappropriate it is the advertisers / correspondents responsibility. While every effort has been made to capture the true likeness to colour printing is an art and therefore we cannot guarantee an exact matching of product to image. Refund / Credit is not given as a result of the previous mentioned. All corresondence should be addressed to: Brisbane Indian Times, PO Box 197, Taigum Qld 4018. Ph: (07) 3192 5188 Fax: 3865 5864 / prod@indiantimes.com.au

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of the society as set out by the founders. I was humbled to receive the inaugural “community service award “by Dharam Guru Pujiniye Harsh Ram Tripathi ji” of Vishnu Maya Mandir. Their anniversary also falls on the 26th January, it was pleasing to see so many multicultural community leaders at the “Pratham Bhog”. It was agreed that from Next year the celebration would shift to the Sunday after 26th January. This decision was taken keeping in mind Australia Day and its significance – members need to take part in the celebration and should be encouraged to take part in Australia Day activities I was delighted to take part in the flag raising ceremony at Indian Consulate office in Taringa – Honorary consul of India in Queensland Mrs Archana Singh, and Professor Sarva Daman Singh OAM raise the flag, and both spoke well. Limited refreshments were served considering the Covid 19 restriction. FICQ held their Indian Republic day celebration at Sunpac on the same night. GOPIO Gold Coast held their Indian Republic day celebration on Saturday, this a good gesture as people could take part in both Australia Day on Tuesday and Indian Republic day on Saturday. The event obviously was conducted observing the Covid 19 restrictions

which included spaced seating and sealed boxed snacks. The stage items were well managed and presented and the function as well attended with good representation of all levels of Government and community leaders. What a pleasure it was to attend the VIP opening night of BrisAsia festival, Brisbane City council team did an amazing job of organising the event at Petrie Room, Level 2, Breakfast Creek Lifestyle Precinct. Brisbane River looking towards Kingsford Smith Drive provided a perfect backdrop though the glass walls. The well-timed event caught the Sun at the right time and angle to complete the picture-perfect setting. GOPIO Queensland In planning a fundraising dinner on the 19th of February, the cost of holding India Day Fair is quite high so it is always a challenging task for the committee to raise necessary funds to successfully hold the iconic event. The funding is via government grants, sponsorship, sale of stall spots and funds raised by GOPIO Queensland. India Day Fair 2021 is planned for 15th August, which will be a Sunday – but the committee decided that holding the event on 15th August itself will have significance. Some valentine’s day events have been organised in the last minute as people were not sure if the restriction would have been lifted by then. Bollywood Boat cruise, Dance clubs etc have been put together in the last minute, hope they all do well. Queensland Multicultural Council has a morning tea on the anniversary of National Apology Day. it is a significant day must be observed, the diversity within Australia is well celebrated, the celebrations vary dependant upon the commitment and drive from that community. So, while we enjoy our own cultures, we should never forget our first nations people, who should be given utmost consideration, appreciation and assistance. And now coming on to Holi, may the true spirit of Holi prevail, during Holi – people are forgiven, and friendships rekindled, it is customary to shed aside enmity and extend a hand of friendship to everyone. This vibrant festival of colour is gaining worldwide popularity, and ibn Brisbane is part of BrisAsia festival. Wouldn’t it wonder if the Farmers dispute was resolved during this auspicious period, it has long going and painful And finally wishing those who celebrate a very happy Lunar New Year, the year of the OX. The Ox is the second of all zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. The Ox was about to be the first to arrive, but Rat tricked Ox into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived, Rat jumped down and landed ahead of Ox. Thus, Ox became the second animal. I will finish off by wishing everyone Happy Holi, Happy New Lunar Year and Valentine’s Day lots of celebration for the shortest month of the year. I would like to put on record my appreciation for all our supporters, advertises, correspondents, distributors and most importantly you, who is reading this. Until next Month, Good Bye, Stay safe and happy reading. Umesh Chandra OAM



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Queensland State Migration The standard 491 and 190 program is currently open from 1st February 2021 through to 07th February 2021. Only onshore applicants, currently working in Queensland will be considered. The next skilled opening after this week will be in April 2021. The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Subclass 491 visa (65 points and above) Only onshore applicants working in Queensland are being considered for this visa. The Subclass 491 visa is open to COVID critical skill or sectors as outlined by the Department of Home Affairs in: • Air Ambulance, Critical Medical, Medical Technology, • Engineering, Critical Infrastructure, Supply Chain • Telecommunications, Film & Television Production, • Maritime Industry, Agricultural Technology Food Technology, • Mining, Emerging Technology, Financial Technology, and • Large Scale Manufacturing. Applicants must have been working for a minimum of 3 months in a regional location in Queensland and must have a job offer for an additional 12 Months from their employer in their nominated occupation. The Skilled Nominated (Permanent) Subclass 190 visa (80 points and above as

a priority) For this particular visa subclass only onshore applicants employed in Queensland are being considered. The Subclass 190 visa is open to the Department of Home Affairs Priority Skills Migration Occupation List (17 occupations in total). Applicants with 80 points and above will be considered as a priority, with applicants below 80 points being subject to quota places being available. Applicants must also have been working for 6 months and have a job offer for an additional 12 months from their employer in a nominated occupation. Queensland Masters and PHD graduates must meet the working in Queensland criteria as detailed above. Now is a good time to gather together the requirements to lodge an EOI and potential nomination application, including obtaining a skill assessment and sitting an English test. This will ready applicants for when the State/Territory programs reopen, as previous experience has shown that this may only be for a very short window of time. Migration Guru has assisted a vast number of clients and has more than 80 years of collective experience in the industry and a team of Migration Agents / Solicitors. With our vast experience and

skills, we are able to provide accurate migration or legal advice based on our clients’ personal circumstances. Our team may be contacted by via email on info at migrationguru.om.au or by calling 07 3036 3800. Readers are encouraged to follow us on Facebook for all the updates to Migration Law - https://www.facebook. com/migrationguru/ Migration Guru Pty Ltd, Level 18, 127 Creek Street, Brisbane, QLD. Phone: 07 3036 3800 Migration Guru Pty Ltd, 31002, 27 Garden Street, Southport QLD. Phone: 07 5606 6160 Migration Guru Pty Ltd, Level 1, 162 Macquarie Street, Hobart TAS. Phone: 03 6281 8008 Migration Guru Pty Ltd, Level 5, 490 Northbourne Avenue, Dickson, ACT. Phone: 02 6109 9110 Migration Guru Pty Ltd, Suite 160AC, Level 1, 1 Queens Road, Melbourne, VIC. Phone 03 6240 1930 Migration Guru Pty Ltd, Suite 8, Star Tower, Shahupuri, Kolhapur, Maharashtra 416001, India MARN 0324607, 1175591, 1382609, 1386041, 1683052 & 1466522. www. migrationguru.com.au Disclaimer: - The above article constitutes only generic information on migration issues, and does not constitute specific migration advice to any entity or individual.

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Rebalance your body, mind and soul at Pimalai’s Thai idyllic island retreat

By Rama Gaind

While 2020 is a year most of us would rather forget, by the same token our thoughts turn to overseas travel – some time in the not-toodistant future. Pamper, indulge, stay. If discovering new travel experiences is on your agenda, then look no further than Koh Lanta in Thailand. Now you can discover Koh Lanta’s best kept secret, nestled within the solitude and serenity of surrounding mountains. Pimalai Resort & Spa, the iconic five-star retreat, is inviting guests to rebalance their bodies and soothe their senses with a choice of heavenly wellness packages, valid for stays between now and 30 April 2021. After an extended period of time spent at home, what could be more rewarding? At Pimalai, more than 40 hectares of paradise will rekindle your love for nature amid lush tropical forests and the endless Andaman waters. The lush jungle, which cascades gently down to a 900-metre-long stretch of

Pimalai Resort and Spa, on Koh Lanta, is a natural wellness sanctuary that has won a World Luxury Spa Award. pure white sand at Kantiang Bay, Pimalai, is the perfect place to relax, revive and rediscover your equilibrium. Nestled at the heart of this tropical paradise, is the award-winning Pimalai Spa, a world-class wellness centre. This serene spa takes centre stage for the new Pimalai wellness packages, which blend several hours of blissful body treatments with private yoga classes, airport transfers, authentic cuisine, healthy beverages and more. According to Pimalai's general manager Patrice Landrein, at Pimalai “we understand that wellbeing is about more than just fitness and exercise”. “We take an holistic approach to wellness that energises the body, eases the mind and most importantly, stimulates the soul. The

Pimalai’s wellness packages include private yoga classes to help guests rediscover their physical and spiritual equilibrium.

Pimalai’s healthy drinks include a smoothie that contains natural yoghurt, pineapple, banana, mango and mint leaves. last few months have been challenging for everyone, but our Pimalai Wellness Packages will give guests many different ways to unwind and uncoil their physical and mental springs. Our soothing, stress-free

escapes will make your tension float away on the sea breeze.” Accommodation packages The iconic island retreat on Koh Lanta invites guests to

enjoy a serene two- or threenight package in paradise, including spa treatments, yoga classes, healthy meals, airport transfers and more. The award-winning Pimalai Spa is a natural wellness sanctuary where selective Pimalai wellness packages are available. Guests can unwind and enjoy soothing stays in a choice of spacious rooms, suites and villas. If you seek the highest levels of luxury, why not opt for the 110-square-metre onebedroom pavilion suite, a stunning 150-square-metre beachside villa or even an indulgent 204-square-metre hillside ocean view pool villa. Pimalai offers a collection of spacious accommodation, world-class restaurants and exceptional leisure facilities and activities, including the Pimalai Spa, sports centre,

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Pastor Suresh Dass Joseph josephdass@optusnet.com.au Dear reader, it is with much joy, we bring you the word of God. We will all have opportunities to let in every idea, every comment, every thought, and even people come into our lives all the time. While it may seem all good, it is important to know that, for you to reach your destiny, you have to be willing to limit and even close the door to those things that are no longer leading you into your future. This does not mean that you no longer love people, are too proud, but you have to realise that your time is too valuable and your destiny

too great to let distractions and hindrances keep you from moving forward. Some of these thoughts and associations were good for a season, they worked fine for some time, but you have to keep a lid or even limit some of these since their time is over. They are like chains, they were good for a season to keep you strong, but now they are holding you from going forward. In the scriptures (Genesis 4 v 7), God said to Cain, “Sin (anger towards his brother Abel), lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” Our minds, eyes, and ears are some of the doorways that allow things to enter inside us. I am sure there were times when things came into Cain previously that were good for him. He was happy for the creation he saw of God, the love he received from his parents, ideas on useful farming techniques since he was also a farmer, thoughts of being fair and happy, but when sin tried to get in, God came and warned him of the consequences.


Cain must shut the door to sin. Sin would damage his relationship with his family and separate him from God. It was something Cain had to keep a lid on and never allow it to enter in. In the bible we read (Genesis 39), after being sold into slavery by his brothers, Joseph ended up living and working in the house of Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt at the time. There were times when Potiphar’s wife asked Joseph to do things for her, and he obeyed. But when she asked Joseph to sin and commit adultery with her, he replied that he could not do such wickedness and sin against God. But one day, she pushed herself too far and caught him by his garment. Joseph escaped from her by running away but left his garment with her. Everything Joseph had, including the garment, was given to him by Potiphar, his master. Like the garment, you can get attached to people, for what they have done or given to you, where you are

expected to keep everyone happy. You are made to feel a victim and at guilt when you do not measure up to their expectations. But you have, to realise not everyone is a part of your destiny. Not everyone is going where you are. God is calling you to come up higher, enter, into a new season. The people you have looked up to, who have led and guided you were good for a season, but now it is time to put a limit to some of these associations so you can move forward. Some of the old methods and plans that worked in the past need to be changed and replaced with new techniques and ways of doing things. You have to be prepared to change with changing seasons and the unique challenges you will face. Some of you will move away from your location or the place where you were born because the people around you are not changing but are putting a limit on you. The scriptures talk about how our life is like a race. Instead of dragging, we are to run through life. Like Joseph, we

are to let go of things that are limiting and slowing us down from moving forward. Here are 3 things we can learn from Joseph. 1) When you limit or stop the wrong things in your life, you are making room for the right things to get in. After saying “No” to Potiphar’s wife’s demands, Joseph was falsely accused and imprisoned. In prison, he met the kings, butler, and baker. These men were instrumental in getting Joseph out of jail and into the palace to be the Prime Minister of Egypt. He said “No” to Potiphar’s wife and “Yes” to the king. 2) The doors you open and close each day will determine the kind of life you will live. Some people are not happy with themselves, where they are today. They spent too much time and energy with associations and thoughts that were not leading them anywhere right. So, choose today. Are you opening yourself to things that are not moving you forward? Are you allowing things to

come into your life that is limiting you? It could be an old habit, an addiction, a bad company, or an old contact. Remember, this is a new year and a new season for you. When you say “No” to things, you have the energy and power to rule over them. 3) Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, empowers you, and builds you. Potiphar’s wife was only going to limit him; she was a distraction, so Joseph left her and ran away. When you let things and people define and control you, that’s giving away your power. You cannot make the right decisions in a limited and controlled environment. Your health will not be the best. The best thing to do is to hold your peace and walk away. And remember, God knows what He is doing. When He asked you to shut the doors on some things, He moves you forward towards new doors and opportunities. God bless you

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Spirituality is not a moral code — Sadhguru, Isha Foundation If your spirituality is time-bound, from five to seven in the morning or whatever, you are just trying to be spiritual. There is nothing spiritual about you. If you have made the conclusion that being spiritual means speaking kindly to everybody, you are mistaken. If someone is communicating with different aspects of life in different ways, out of their understanding, out of their sensitivity, out of their own experience – they know how to communicate with a baby, a buffalo, a mountain, they know how to speak to the bus driver – they know it out of this awareness, then it is wonderful and fine. That is how life should be. If someone, out of their so-called spirituality, is trying to speak with whatever they believe is kindness or goodness, to every aspect of life, they are just moralistic and stupid. Maybe they are good people, but they have no sense of life. There is no inner experience. It is just coming from their goodness and morality. They may make good citizens, but they will not know anything of the beyond. If someone has a pattern of addressing something kindly and another aspect of life

There was a yogi, sitting in the forest, absolutely blissful, but if people came anywhere near him, he threw stones at them.

rudely, then you know it is coming from ignorance. It has nothing to do with spirituality. Spirituality is not a moral code. Spirituality means, you are beginning to experience that which is beyond the physical. It has got nothing to do with the way you communicate

If someone, out of their so-called spirituality, is trying to speak with whatever they believe is kindness or goodness, to every aspect of life, they are just moralistic and stupid. Maybe they are good people, but they have no sense of life. There is no inner experience. It is just coming from their goodness and morality.


and handle the world around you. The way you do that is just a question of your capability, your intelligence, your exposure, your inclination, and what kind of objectives you have in your life. How you communicate with the world is in no way an indication of your spiritual process. There was a yogi, sitting

in the forest, absolutely blissful, but if people came anywhere near him, he threw stones at them. He never hit anybody, but he madly threw stones at them. As far as people were concerned, he was a madman throwing stones. It was only much later, when people looked back, they were able to see, that not once did he hit

anybody. He threw stones, always making sure that they did not hit anybody. He just did not want people around him. He knew that if people came, they would ask for things, and because of the way he was – his energy was in a certain state – naturally things would happen, miracles would happen. Then people would gather and

mess up his whole life. So, if people came anywhere near him, he would throw stones at them. If you go by one’s behavior, about what he’s doing or what he’s saying, then you will definitely come to a wrong conclusion, a wrong judgment. How you operate is just a question of your inclination, your intelligence and your exposure, and things like that. It has got nothing to do with your spirituality. Ranked amongst the fifty most influential people in India, Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, visionary and bestselling author. Sadhguru has been conferred the "Padma Vibhushan", India’s highest annual civilian award, by the Government of India in 2017, for exceptional and distinguished service.

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Today, Taigum Child Educare Centre is my second home and my pride As a child growing up with dreams of being a doctor, the thought of me living in Australia and running a childcare centre was as likely as living on the moon. My name is Daphne Schokman, and I have been the licensee of Taigum Child Educare Centre for the past 24 years, but it’s a world away from where my journey started. I was born in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in 1937 when it was still a British colony. My father was a Sri Lankan-born Burgher and a Major in the British army. My mother was a pretty local girl who caught his eye and they were married when she was seventeen. She became a mother soon after that, and they eventually had seven children together. I studied very hard at school, partly because it was expected, but more so because I wanted to enter medicine and help the less fortunate that I saw around me every day. With my dream driving me, I excelled and won many academic medals and my name is still on my school’s honour board to this day. Unfortunately, sometimes dreams and hard work are not enough. Despite my good grades, my family could not afford to send me to medical school. It was a bitter disappointment but, determined to still be in the medical field, I started work in the lab of a Swiss pharmaceutical company. The wages weren’t high and life was tough. I still lived at home and wore clothes that were all homemade by my mother. I was working there when I met and married my husband at the age of 21. We both moved in with his family for just a few weeks before we decided that we should move to Australia. Australia! What did I know of Australia? The place was just a name to me. I had no idea of what to expect, what the culture was like or even the climate of Melbourne (which was where we were heading). During this time the White Australia policy was restricting the immigration of nonEuropeans. Unless you could prove you had a white, European background, had enough money and a sponsor who could collect you from the boat when you landed, your chances of emigrating were very slim. Thankfully, we had worked hard to save the money and my husband knew somebody who could sponsor us. Our combined Burgher heritage was enough to allow us to get passage over. Even though we had

Daphne Schokman 1958 - Aged 21

Daph & Janine 2020 ticked all the boxes, our journey to Australia was not easy and we weren’t made to feel welcome. Unlike white European travellers who got a significantly reduced fare to entice them to Australia, we were expected to pay full price. The boat trip was also the first time that I had encountered racism towards me because of the colour of my skin and where I was from. To this day it was one of the most horrific experiences of my life. We eventually landed in Melbourne in the middle of winter. I was totally unprepared for how cold it would be. I had come straight from warm and sunny Sri Lanka without even a cardigan to my name! People assumed I was either Italian or Greek— there seemed to be no knowledge of my culture or where I had come from. I had no understanding of local food brands and found it very hard to find things that I would normally cook. When you combined all this with the freezing weather, Melbourne felt like a very isolated place. Thankfully, I was blessed with some lovely neighbours who took me under their wing and help guide me. I remember them inviting us to a backyard barbecue and being told to ‘bring a plate’. I didn’t realise they meant ‘bring a plate’ of food, to share, and not just an empty plate! I needed a job and was able to get one as a stenographer, only because I taught myself


shorthand on the boat trip to Australia. But the Australian accent was so foreign to me and hard to understand. I quickly got used to it, though I never understood everyone’s fascination with the weather. “Noice dah terdahy” people would say – every day in Sri Lanka was a nice, warm day. By now it was the 1950s and I was pregnant with my first child. I had to hide my growing belly as long as I could because, in those days, as soon as it was found out a woman was pregnant she had to stop working. In December 1959, my husband drove me to the hospital, dropped me off (alone) and I went in to give birth to my first child. No one spoke to me about what to expect, or about what giving birth would be like. The nurses seemed not to care or to have the time for a quiet, little Sri Lankan girl who wasn’t aware of what to do next. Nature waits for no-one though and my daughter was welcomed into the world. I loved motherhood but I was used to being in a house full of other children, noise and laughter, plus a bit of chaos. Now I found myself alone, stuck in a cold Melbourne house with the wrong clothes, only a single bar heater for warmth and a case of chilblains. Things needed to change for our little family and an opportunity was sent our way. My husband worked in a credit facility and came across a corner store that was for sale

very cheap. “Why not?” we reasoned. We could work for ourselves and live in the back of the shop. Of course we had never done anything like this before and the learning curve was huge! We worked from 5 am to 10 pm, 7 days a week and were exhausted and still homesick at times. I had little time to spend with my daughter who alternated between playing in the back of the shop and being looked after by a family friend. Not being able to give her all my attention wore on me but I had a home to maintain and a business to run. We did well enough with the business though, that I was able to sponsor my younger brother to come to Australia and from there we were able to slowly bring over the rest of my family. It was the 1960s now – Australia was changing and jobs were easier to find. For the first time my family started to have money to spend. Time for us to take the next big step. We sold the shop, bought a caravan and went to a place I had heard was always warm like back home – Queensland! I loved it here. I needed to get as far away from cold, cold Melbourne as I could. We continued setting up our own shops, selling them and moving on because it was what we knew. It worked well but was a busy, hectic life that stopped me from spending time with my child. So, when my second daughter was born in 1970, I was determined to change

It was the 1990s and very difficult for a woman to get a bank loan without the permission of her husband or for him to co-sign. It was made doublydifficult to get a loan because we hadn’t run this sort of business before and most of the banks laughed us out the door. The only reason we finally secured a loan was because we met with a female bank manager at the Commonwealth Bank who believed in us. things so I wouldn’t miss out on her childhood as well. We sold our takeaway food business and decided to go into farming. Another area we had no experience in! We developed a large property, put in a lot of hard work and grew the business to a point where we could sell it and semi-retire. For so long all I had dreamed about was staying home and watching Mike Walsh on the TV at midday. I hadn’t had a day off in years so to go from that to sitting still all day, I really thought I was going mad. By the time my second daughter has finished school I was a single

mother and ready to get back into a business again. My daughter studied early childhood teaching at university and we thought it would be a wonderful to build and run our own childcare centre. It would be purpose-built and focussed on quality care and education, something that was not the norm back then. It was the 1990s and very difficult for a woman to get a bank loan without the permission of her husband or for him to co-sign. It was made doubly-difficult to get a loan because we hadn’t run this sort of business before and most of the banks laughed us out the door. The only reason we finally secured a loan was because we met with a female bank manager at the Commonwealth Bank who believed in us. Today, Taigum Child Educare Centre is my second home and my pride and joy (apart from my family, of course). All the experiences in my personal journey have allowed us to build a place where cultural values and diversity is respected and promoted. Children are treated with love and kindness and are part of a wonderful, embedded educational experience. My life may have had some rough patches and diversions, but I truly believe that in Australia you can achieve your goals with hard work and determination. The opportunities are there, so grab them and I hope your life’s adventure is as wonderful as mine. Daphne Schokman

Call: (07) 3192 5188




famous 1959 K.M.Nanavati Vs State of Maharashtra court case shook the entire India and the judicial system of the country. It was all about extra martial affair that triggered a murder. Indian Naval Officer Kawas Manekshaw Nanavati, who killed his wife’s lover and still managed to walk out of the jail a free man. The system declared him NOT GUILTY. Read on to know why! The Nanavati murder trial was not just one of the most sensational crime cases in India, it also triggered the end of the jury system. Six decades later, it is the role of Sylvia, whose adultery led to the crime, that needs to be realistically assessed. On the morning of 27 April 1959, the handsome, 6ft-tall naval commander Kawas Nanavati and his beautiful English wife, Sylvia, ran some chores together. Kawas had just returned, nine days ago, from a two-month voyage at sea, serving in the Indian Navy. Together they took their dog to the veterinary hospital in Bombay’s Parel, bought tickets to the matinee show, and returned home to their spacious flat in Colaba for a lunch of gravy-cutlets and riceprawn curry. But all was not well. Sylvia was distant, cold and aloof. As she would tremulously tell the court later: “My husband came and touched me. I asked him not to do it as I did not like him." Then she was forced to make a brutal confession: She had been having an affair with their flamboyant and rich Sindhi businessman friend, Prem Ahuja. Later that afternoon, Kawas went to Ahuja’s home, armed with a revolver. He barged into Ahuja’s bedroom, and shut the door behind him. Ahuja had just emerged from a bath and was combing his hair in front of his dressing table mirror; he had nothing but a towel on. Three gunshots were heard going off inside the room. When Kawas came out, Ahuja was sprawled on the floor in a pool of blood. As modern India’s first upper-class crime of passion, the Nanavati case held the nation in thrall. It didn’t send only runaway teenage hormones into overdrive. Adults too could talk of little other than the “heroic" Parsi naval commander and the “villainous" Ahuja, who had lured Sylvia, the unwitting victim, to his bed. Through the initial sessions court murder trial by jury, Kawas’ legion of worshippers cast him as Lord Rama enjoined by his dharma to slay Ravana, The

who had abducted his innocent wife. The editor of Blitz, Russy Karanjia, drew this analogy frontally. The defence team did it more obliquely, presenting Kawas as the ideal man: a decorated naval officer away at sea for months in the service of the country, forced to leave his wife vulnerable to the machinations of an evil man with no patriotism on his CV. We eagerly lapped up the portrayal the defence painted of Ahuja—a pervert who would ensnare his prey with drinks in prohibition-era Bombay. Blitz even produced a Mrs X to claim that Ahuja would use a sinister, special yellow powder as a “love potion" on unsuspecting women, endorsing what Kawas told the court—“Ahuja had an evil influence on my wife". The defence put on full display letters written to Ahuja by his besotted lovers, and the bacchanalian trove recovered from his flat: one bottle of gin, two bottles of whisky, two bottles of rum, 10 beer bottles, a bottle of brandy, a bottle of Benedictine, and several empty bottles of alcohol. In an essential corollary, Sylvia was portrayed as the helpless victim of Playboy Prem. She, really, was the key player. Her adultery triggered a murder case which ended the jury system in India; set off a fractious turf war between the judiciary and the executive after the Bombay governor suspended the high court’s sentence; necessitated the sitting of a full constitution bench of the Supreme Court to clarify the boundaries of the governor’s powers of pardon; and even forced prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru into that maelstrom. Sylvia is central not just to the case, but also to its hold on our imaginations. Projecting her as the innocent victim of sinister manipulations, turning the murder victim into the villain and the killer into the hero, was the only way for the defence to save her

10 — THE BRISBANE INDIAN TIMES, February, 2021

husband. But nearly six decades have passed, and our ideas of gender equations have evolved. It’s time to allow for new perspectives. Even more than the romanticized Kawas Nanavati and the demonized Prem Ahuja, it is Sylvia who needs to be realistically assessed. The real-life Sylvia suffered an embarrassment of extremes. While the defence team painted a picture of blamelessness, the hysterical crowds outside the court defamed her. They accused her of being a “typical" amoral, sex-hungry English Lady, jumping into an adulterous bed with no thought of her valiant husband sailing the seas in defence of the nation, and no care for the children neglected because of her uncontrolled desires. She was even reportedly spat upon. Her husband would arrive with a full naval escort. Her physical defence was left to her brother-inlaw, stonily walking in front of her like a shield. Sylvia and Kawas had by then made up; she had moved into her in-laws’ home with the children, determined to save her marriage and appear in court in Kawas’ defence. Inside the sessions court, the public prosecutor called her little short of a selfserving liar, saying she was defending her husband only because her “lover is now dead". More significantly, when the case was referred to the high court by the sessions judge, who had declared the jury’s verdict of not guilty as “perverse", justice J.M. Shelat’s judgement read: “She is a self-confessed sinner whose words did not inspire confidence. She had kept her husband under deception… and had committed the grossest breach of faith with her husband who had given her devotion." The accused, K.M.Nanavati, was an upright, moral and patriotic person serving the country. There were all

the evidences that he had committed murder after being provoked and had no economic benefits in it nor was he a career criminal. And he had willingly surrendered himself afterwards to the police. The incident both shocked and riveted the entire country. Influential Parsis held regular rallies in Mumbai, with the largest being an event held at Cowasji Jehangir Hall, to support the Governor's decree that suspended Nanavati's life sentence and put him under naval custody, until his appeal was heard by the Supreme Court. At that rally, 3,500 people filled the hall and around 5,000 stood outside. Nanavati also received backing from the Indian Navy and the Parsi Panchayat. Much more then than now, it was considered inconceivable that a wife should want something more from a marriage than deemed sufficient by her husband—let alone such a handsome, hurrahed one. But it’s time to give her agency for her actions, see her as a woman with the will or the courage to follow her heart, whatever the consequences. If Sylvia was a victim of anything, it was of neglect, a danger more commonplace but no less insidious. Yes, it’s scripted into the part of a naval wife. But Sylvia suffered from loneliness even when Kawas was by her side. The pretty English woman and the handsome six-footer with strong Parsi features were head-turners the moment they entered a party—on board, on shore, or on Civvy Street. But friends confided that it was the commander who would cause a flutter. “Women would gravitate towards him as eagerly as decency allowed. The quiet Sylvia would often retreat to the wives’ corner." So, while the dominant description was that of a “perfect couple", there was a disruptive undercurrent.

As too many wives of celebrated men might vouch for, it wasn’t always pleasant to keep having to retreat to the sidelines. Sylvia was really just a simple “Portsmouth girl" despite her “smart frocks and gaily bobbed hair", as The newspaper Indian Express had described her, etching a contrast with the sober white sari she donned during the trial. Her life as a navy wife was sequestered. So, though she was only 28, she was already a mother of three, and she was not wise to the ways of bachelor dandies. Her extramarital engagement went deeper than the adventurism of lunchtime sex. The court was told of her visits to his flat. There was an overnight trip to Agra, albeit with Ahuja’s sister Mamie as “cover". Ahuja’s employees spoke of her coming to his office. A member of Mumbai’s United Services Club spoke of her being closeted in its phone booth for long, low conversations. Her plaintive missives to Ahuja, submitted as evidence, show that she was deeply in love and hoped for a future with this unapologetic playboy (in open court, she had to read out the letter of 24 May 1958, “Last night when you spoke about your need of marrying, about the various girls you may marry, something inside me snapped and I knew I could not bear the thought of your loving and being close to someone else"). She clearly wanted more than what she was getting in her own marriage. By all accounts, Sylvia had steered the family ship admirably. In 1949, the shy Miss King had met and soon married Kawas in her hometown of Portsmouth where, like all Indian naval officers in the early years, he was undergoing training at a Royal British Navy facility. They had returned to Bombay within the year. The strongest endorsement of her place in the family is the unqualified support she got from her in-laws. As soon as they heard about the shooting, they dispatched a close family member to the Metro cinema hall. Kawas had dropped her and the children there for the matinee of Tom’s Thumb, before going to requisition a revolver from his naval ship and then to Ahuja’s flat for that fatal showdown. She was brought to Southlands, the home of his parents, Mehra and Manekshaw. She spent most of those difficult years with them. Sylvia took small steps towards normalcy for herself and her children— they even went with Kawas’ uncle for holidays to a

Matheran bungalow he rented for the summer. Sylvia’s resolve helped her maintain a sense of restorative normalcy for her traumatized children; Pheroze, her eldest, suffered psychological scars for a long time. She did not heed her own parents, who implored her to return to Portsmouth. Home is where the heart is, and for Sylvia it was decidedly in Bombay. It is tempting to be cynical about the couple’s reconciliation after Ahuja was shot dead and Kawas was taken into custody. Or the fact that Kawas “took her back" because his lawyers convinced him that without her cooperation, their elaborate and essential damnation of Ahuja would be a non-starter. But there is enough later evidence to the contrary. She stuck to him and the defence story. She faced the abuse outside the courtroom, and the humiliations inside, with dignity. She lent her quiet presence to Blitz’s highoctane campaign, first in support of the governor’s controversial order suspending Kawas’ sentence, and then demanding an executive pardon. The pardon came through within just three years of his being jailed. Then, Kawas’ friends in high places helped him, a convicted murderer, get speedy emigration to Canada along with his family. The Nanavatis packed their bags, and jettisoned the baggage. Among Toronto’s welcoming Parsis, Sylvia and Kawas built a new life—not on guilt and bitterness over torpedoed naval ambition, but on the realization of what both had meant to each other in the past, and still did. In fact, their love seems to have emerged stronger. The few friends who could be persuaded to part the zealously drawn veil of privacy dropped no hint of frisson. To quote one of them: “The Nanavatis were a happy normal family with children, grandchildren and a beautiful Irish setter." Kawas died in 2003. In 2015, at 83, Sylvia moved from their long-time Burlington home to an assisted living flat, still a devoted “mum" and doting “gran", as can be gauged from her Facebook posts and conversations with close family members. Everybody deserves a second chance, but not everyone is strong enough to seize it. Sylvia was, and did so in Canada. Together with Kawas, she had freed herself of her past. We too need to free her of the baggage we have forced upon her for almost 60 years. This is a true story of 1959.

Call: (07) 3192 5188


THE BRISBANE INDIAN TIMES, February, 2021 — 11

Arya Pratinidhi Sabha of Queensland

Patron Re’t Justice Pandit Devendra Pathik “Arya Ratn”

Trustee Mr. Sukarm Pal Singh

Trustee Mr. Mul Chand

Samaj Havan Yajna Satsang at Queensland Vedic Cultural Centre

GOD is the supreme power WHO has provided us with whatever we have in our life and we are devoted to GOD and we express our gratitude towards HIM in the form of our praises,good honest righteous deeds and prayers. GOD is the efficient cause of all true knowledge and all that is known through knowledge. GOD is existent, intelligent and blissful. HE is omnipresent, formless, omniscient, just, merciful, unborn, endless, unchangeable, beginning-less, unequalled, the support of all, the master of all, immanent, unaging, immortal, fearless, eternal, holy, and the master of all. HE alone is worthy of being worshipped. Worship of GOD based on the VEDIC scriptures is called Ishwar Stuti Prarthana Upasana (ईश्वर स्तुति प्रार्थना उपासना). The word Ishwar means Supreme Master of all the spiritual and physical wealth of the universe, Stuti means appreciating and understanding the attributes of GOD, Prarthana is a prayer to GOD to be our guide and adopting virtuous practices of life, and Upasana literally means getting close to GOD through the practical and spiritual yoga (meditation) The VEDAS were revealed by GOD to the four Rishis Agni, Vayu, Aditya and Angira in the beginning of the human shrishti. Among all men those four Rishis alone were purest in heart, therefore, GOD revealed the true knowledge to them only. The message revealed was not in any country’s language as it is for the whole of humanity and not for a particular country or sect. Hence it was revealed in Sanskrit. The VEDAS were then taught to Maharishi Brahma Ji by the four Rishis making him the first teacher to know and preach all four VEDAS. The main purpose of VEDAS is to experience GOD and become enlightened by knowing the truth. Materialistic and Spiritual

ओ३म ् GOD ईश्वर परमात्मा

knowledge in VEDIC hymns is given only for this very purpose. Hence, the primary object of physical sciences as well is to understand the Creator through His welldesigned creation. कण कण में जो रमा है , हर दिल में है समाया उसकी उपासना ही कर्तव्य है बताया, दिल सोचता है खुद वह कितना महान होगा ,हर वक़्त बन के साथी रहता है साथ सबके इतना महान जिसने संसार है रचाया हर वक़्त बन के साथी रहता है साथ सबके ,नादान उसको तू अब तक न जान पाया कण कण में जो रमा है , हर दिल में है समाया उसकी उपासना

12 — THE BRISBANE INDIAN TIMES, February, 2021

ही कर्तव्य है बताया ओ३म ् ईश्वर का मुख्य नाम ओ३म ् है ,ईश्वर के गुण ,सच्चिदानंदशस्वरुप, निराकार ,सर्वशक्तिमान, ,न्यायकारी , दयालु अजन्मा और अन्नंत ,निर्विकार, अनादि, अनुपम, सर्वाधार, सर्वेश्वर, सर्वव्यापक, सर्वान्तर्यामी, अजर, अमर, अभय, नित्य, पवित्र, सृष्टि-कर्ता, सृष्टिहर्ता और मोक्षदाता है । जगदीश, परमात्मा, प्रभु, विधाता, भगवान ,ब्रह्मा, विष्णु, शिव, गणेश, महादे व, विराट, अग्नि, विश्व, हिरण्यगर्भ, वायु, ईश्वर, आदित्य, परम पुरुष, प्रजापति, इन्द्र, प्राण, ब्रह्म, रूद्र, दिव्य, सुपर्ण, गुरुत्मान ्, मातरिश्वा, भूमि, आदि सब उसी एक ही ओ३म ्

के विभिन्न नाम हैं -ईश्वर के कार्य- १. ईश्वर सृष्टि की रचना करते हैं । २. ईश्वर सृष्टि का पालन करते हैं | ३. ईश्वर सृष्टि का संहार करते हैं | ४. ईश्वर वेदों का ज्ञान दे ते हैं । ५. ईश्वर अच्छे बुरे कर्मों का फल दे ते हैं | ६. ईश्वर योगियों को मोक्ष प्रदान करते हैं | ईश्वर हम सबका उत्पन्न करनेवाला, पिता के तुल्य रक्षक, सूर्यादि प्रकाशों का भी प्रकाशक है । हमारा प्रभु सर्वशक्तिमान ्, न्यायकारी, दयालु, पवित्र ,अजन्मा, अनन्त, निर्विकार, अनादि, अनुपम, सर्वाधार, सर्वेश्वर, सर्वव्यापक, सर्वान्तर्ययामी, अजर, अमर, अभय, नित्य पवित्र और सृष्टि का रचयिता व पालक है । ईश्वर भक्ति के रास्ते में कौन कौन सी बाधाएँ हैं ,जिनको पार कर हम इस मार्ग में अग्रसर हो सकते हैं ?उत्तर:- योग दर्शन में विस्तार से उन बाधाओं का वर्णन किया गया है ।जिनमें से पाँच मुख्य है जिनसे बचना अत्यन्तावश्यक है । प्रथम कारण - ईश्वर भक्ति में दृढ़ विश्वास का न होना अर्थात ् मन में संशय का होना यथा ईश्वर है कि नहीं,भक्ति से कोई लाभ होगा की नहीं इत्यादि संशय जब तक मन में है ,भक्ति की और बढ़ना कठिन है । दस ू रा कारण - विषयों का सेवन तथा राग,रं ग, नाइट क्लब , शराब घर ,सिनेमा,थियेटर आदि का आकर्षण है ,इनसे ब्रह्मचर्य का नाश होता है और भक्ति में मन स्थिर नहीं होता। तीसरा कारण शरीर का निर्बल वा रुग्ण होना अथवा स्वास्थय का ठीक न होना है ।धर्म और भक्ति का सिद्ध करने वाला सर्वोत्तम साधन शरीर है ।इसकी कभी उपेक्षा नहीं करनी चाहिए। चौथा कारण - अनियमितता है -अर्थात ् कभी ध्यान में बैठना कभी न बैठना,अतः नियमपूर्वक,दीर्घकाल तक तथा श्रद्धा के साथ भक्ति करना आवश्यक है । पाँचवां कारण - अभिमान का होना है ।ईश्वर भक्ति में किसी प्रकार का भी अभिमान सबसे बड़ी बाधा है ।क्योंकि अभिमान किसी प्रकार भी ईश्वर को नहीं भाता। जीवन में, श्वास में, आशा में ,विश्वास में, याद तुम ही आते हो सर्जन रचना में, विनाश में, निरं तर विकास में,सत्य के आभास में, याद तुम ही आते हो दरू आस-पास में, पीड़ा में उल्लास में,पृथ्वी में, आकाश में, याद तुम ही आते हो जीवन में, श्वास में, आशा में,विश्वास में, याद तुम ही आते हो ओ३म ् ओ३म ् ओ३म ्

President Dr. Sukhvir Singh

Secretary Mr. Hari Chand

TreasurerMrs. Suman Chand


Significant milestone 86th Birthday celebrations Sunday 03/1/2021 at Queensland Vedic Cultural Centre ,very well attended and successful program. Eighty six years of memories, time for reflection. Experiencing life for 86 years means that respected Pandita Usha Rai Ji has seen and experienced a lot in her lifetime. Congralutations Very Happy birthday to one of the most incredible, most inspirational, most captivating 86 year old. All members are sending their very best wishes that’s wrapped up with all our love and we hope you enjoy many more beautiful years ahead of you. We wish you tremendous love, luck, and laughter may you only know the joy, peace and excellent health that comes with a life well lived. हार्दि क शुभकामनायें, बहुत बहुत बधाई जी Thank you very much to all members of Arya Pratinidhi Sabha of Queensland Inc and the general public ओ३म ् ईश्वर की कृ पा आप सभी पर सदै व बनी रहे

72nd India Republic Day hosted by GOPIO Gold Coast

Gold Coast celebrated the 72nd Indian Republic Day on 30th January 2021, which was attended by about 100 people from the Gold Coast and wider Indian Community. India Republic Day represents the true spirit of independent India and on this occasion, GOPIO GC hosted the celebrations with a display of varied cultural performances as a tribute to India; it’s unity in diversity and rich cultural heritage. His Worship, the Mayor of the city of Gold Coast, Cr. Tom Tate and Mayoress Mrs Ruth Tate, along with the Honorary Consul of India QLD, Mrs Archana Singh, were honoured as the chief guests. The event was also graced by the presence of Federal


India Republic Day represents the true spirit of independent India and on this occasion, GOPIO GC hosted the celebrations with a display of varied cultural performances as a tribute to India; it’s unity in diversity and rich cultural heritage. member for Moncrieff Ms Angie Bell, QLD MP for Gold Coast John-Paul Langbroek, QLD MP for Bonney – Sam O’Connor, FICQ President – Mr Shyam Das, GOPIO QLD founder – Mr Umesh Chandra, Gold Coast City councillors and a number of other dignitaries

and representatives of the many Indian communities within Gold Coast. The highlights of the event included the singing of the Australian and Indian National Anthem and Shloka chanting led by BSK, a classical Bharatanatyam dance by Devika and Meera Nair, A bhangra

performance, a patriotic dance medley by Aleesha and Anika, a beautiful folk dance from Punjab and a unique dance piece showcasing the strength of unity in diversity across the different cultures within India, by the Rhythm India School of Dance. All of the attendees

received a delicious snack pack from Indian Empire Restaurant, which they enjoyed while mingling at the conclusion of the formal proceedings. The GOPIO GC Indian Republic Day event was a wonderful opportunity to bring together the people of Indian origin and proudly

display their culture and heritage to the wider community. The event was kindly sponsored by: Gaura Travel, Netvision, Education Embassy, Ash Chawla from RayWhite, VETA – Vocational Education Training Australia and Indian Empire Restaurant.

GOPIO Queensland AGM and new committee GOPIO Queensland held its

annual General Meeting on 20th January 2021 at Sitar Indian Restaurant, Sandgate Road Albion. Sitar Indian Restaurant has a historical connection with GOPIO Queensland, it is the birthplace of GOPIO Queensland – so to say. It was here that Umesh Chandra OAM, the then secretary of FICQ found out about GOPIO. As the secretary of FICQ he was charged with the task of arranging a dinner function for Dr Thomas Abraham. The dinner function was organised and was attend by a small number of people, Dr Thomas Abraham did a presentation on GOIO International. Intrigued by the concept of an “Global organisation of people of Indian Origin” irrespective of their country of birth, Umesh Chandra followed up with Thomas Abraham and filled in in LOI (letter of intent). The then chairperson of GOPIO International Late Inder Singh visited Brisbane and after a series of meetings with Umesh Chandra, Call: (07) 3192 5188

Pars Ram Punj, Dr Maha Sinnathamby and others, he gave the go ahead for a Chapter, Mr Pars Ram Punj organised the first dinner

of the soon to be launched chapter at Tattersalls club Brisbane – rest as they say is history. Sitar Indian Restaurant

is also the venue were the then Minister for Multicultural Affairs Anastacia Palaszczuk, in the presence of


two Mayors, Police commissioner, regional director of DFAT and Indian High Commissioner Mrs Sujata Singh and other

community leaders had appointed Umesh Chandra as the International Indian Students Liaison officer. The following were appointed to office the AGM: Immediate Past president Vinita Khushal, Rakesh Sharma – President, Vivek Chopra – Vice President, Veena Merz – Vice president, Irene Balydon- secretary, Sukhbir Chadha- Joint Secretary, Arpit Singh – Treasurer, Tanvi Goel – PRO and assistant Treasurer, Pravinita Singh Pillay- Chairperson Women’s Council, Umesh Chandra OAM – Chairperson– Business Council, Mayuresh Lande – Chairperson Youth Council. Usha Chandra as a non-EC member will be in charge of sponsorship and will assist with events. Before the AGM Umesh Chandra OAM did a slide presentation on the history of GOPIO and the formation of GOPIO Queensland. The returning officer was Yousuf Alikhan, who diligently conducted the AGM, after which everyone enjoyed dinner.

THE BRISBANE INDIAN TIMES, February, 2021 — 13


Thakur Ranjit Singh, FIJI PUNDIT As you still carry memories

of India Republic Day, 2021 and raised the tricolour, Indian flag Tiranga, hope you could remember many unsung heroes and freedom fighters who fought for Bharat Azaadi-India Independence, before Nehru and Gandhi. Please give salutation to our heroes like MANGAL PANDEY, SUBHASH CHANDRA BOSE, SARDAR BHAGAT SINGH, CHANDRA SHEKHAR AZAAD, SHIVARAM RAJGURU, SUKHDEV THAPAR, and JHAANSI KI RANI, among others who Indian history appear to have side-lined or ignored. Are Nehru and Gandhi deserving of the credits we give to them? Or they merely stole credits from these earlier heroes who gave their lives for Bharat Mata….Please read on……… As a child of third generation Fiji Indian growing up in Fiji in 1960s, we were falsely made to believe that India got its Independence because of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Songs were made which said the Angrez or British were chased away with Gandhi’s laathi (walking stick) and Nehru was instrumental in achieving India’s Independence.

Subhash Chandra Bose - a very bold Indian freedom fighter who seem to have mysteriously disappeared. He had laid very firm paths to India’s freedom from British. However, from an early age, I suspected that Gandhi and Nehru took credit from other freedom fighters who started this fight and movement for India independence long before these two came into the picture. While growing up, we were told the glories of Nehru Chacha (uncle) who was very favorite with children. Children’s programmes of 60s and 70s glorified Nehru as universal uncle of India, Chacha Nehru – a very loving person. Indeed, also very loving to British honey trap, Lady Edna Mountbatten, aunty (Mami) of the heir to British throne, Prince Charles. British spy agency M16 recruited this bed-hopping wife of viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten to use her as a honeytrap to distract and neutralize Nehru who was negotiating independence for India. In simple crude language, I have said so many times, while Nehru was (screwing) having an extramarital love affair with this British honeytrap, the British screwed India. This resulted in an easier partition, the pains of which are still felt today, with very ungrateful neighbors.

Nehru, a known womanizer, never deserved to be given that honour of Chacha of the children of India. This was the biggest lie - and neither was he instrumental in bringing Azaadi to Bharat. Fight for India independence was like a long marathon relay run, where batons are passed by the starter runners to consecutive runners in front. And in case of victory, the glory goes to the whole team and not to the last few runners. But exactly the opposite happened in case of India where the last people in the Independence relay, Nehru and Gandhi, undeservingly and wrongly took the credit from those early freedom fighters who started the battle many decades before, and were ignored by media and history, in favour of the last persons holding the baton. Nehru made some poor decisions which still affect India today, and gave India very undeserving legacy of dynastic leadership still affecting India today, with a very wanting history of Congress rule. While Mahatma Gandhi may have gained international accolades,

MANGAL PANDEY started his freedom fight a century before India’s independence. applause and status for his quotations and views on non-violence, at home in India he is still found a wanting leader who made some crucial errors of omission and commission. He could have intervened and saved Shaheed Bhagat Singh from hanging, but maintained silence. And the biggest blunder was to favour a womanizer and underserving Nehru as Prime Minister instead of a dedicated and charismatic leader Sardar Patel after India Independence in 1945. And today India is poorer for those very unfortunate judgmental errors of Gandhi. I was lucky to have known about some early freedom fighters. As my Aaja (paternal grandfather) Bansi descended from a Rajput family of Prithvi Raj Chauhan and coming from Rajasthan, he was very interested in India’s fight for freedom. He played Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s play on his 78 RPM (rounds-per -minute) key-winding gramophone record (plet Baja) when I was growing up. And I knew the earlier freedom fighters fought and gave their lives for Bharat while credit has been wrongly taken by Nehru and Gandhi. And Nehru and Gandhi

never gave India the good transition and succession after independence in 1945, with very nepotistic decisions. Unfortunately, Nehru Dynasty and Congress legacy has left India bereft of dignity and many things Nehru promised over seven decades ago. For some seventy years after Independence, Congress leadership left a great deal to be desired in India -and we are poorer for that dereliction of duties by succeeding dynastic NehruGandhi leadership in the Congress Party. Thank God for the Lion of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, who is seen as an incarnation who will rid India of the vices that have been nurtured by India's past corrupt, distracted and wanting leadership. Bharat needed a Hindu nationalist leadership movement that has been long overdue. It appears to have been delivered now. And that work shall continue under a credible leadership that took 70 years in coming. And we are proud that India today is in better hands than ever been so, under Narendra Modi. And shall we pray that he will be able to wrest

back the dignity India once commanded domestically and internationally. The economic development of the last 70 years have not trickled down to the common people. There is a lot more that needs to be done, where social justice needs to be delivered to ALL the Indians. And as we raise the Tiranga, the tricolour flag of India on its Republic Day, we pledge to emulate the dreams of our freedom fighters who brought freedom to India and salute many committed and respectable heroes who outnumber many Nehrus and Gandhis, and who paved the path for an independent BHARAT long before them. Nehru and Gandhi merely walked on the path paved by many unsung heroes and freedom fighters before them, some notable ones, among others being MANGAL PANDEY, SUBHASH CHANDRA BOSE, SARDAR BHAGAT SINGH, CHANDRA SHEKHAR AZAAD, SHIVARAM RAJGURU, SUKHDEV THAPAR, and JHAANSI KI RANI who Indian history appear to have side-lined. SHAT SHAT NAMANSALUTATIONS TO ALL PAST GREAT UNSUNG HEROES OF INDIA’s FIGHT FOR FREEDOM JAI HIND - BHARAT MAA KO PRANAAM [ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Thakur Ranjit Singh, based in Auckland, New Zealand, is a third generation Fiji Indian. He was born in Fiji Islands. His Aaja, paternal grandfather, Bansi came as an indentured labourer to Fiji in 1915 from Karouli, Rajasthan, India. Thakur is a media commentator and a journalist who runs his blog, FIJI PUNDIT. E-mail: thakurjifj@gmail.com]

Pic. Courtesy: dailyverses.net/images

Jesus said “Arise and Shine…” There is only One Good News for 2021! Key Scripture:

Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow— not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth be-low—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Dear Reader,

We are exited to bring you the greatest good news on this planet. Our theme simple and clear. It is to make God simple and personal. And to make God very real person so you can know and relate to Him. God is not an object or an image or imagination of human mind. God is a living and loving person. We find this amazing revelation in the pages of Holy Bible. Keep reading with an open heart and humble spirit. You will encounter your Creator

today. You don’t need a thousand years for your Salvation (Mukti). You can receive your greatest miracle ‘Mukti’ today. This is the confidence you can have in Christ alone. There is only one way to make your new year a good year. You need to know the true source of Good News and embrace it into your heart. If your past years were filled with pain and failure, don’t look back. Look to the Good News, It is here and it is waiting for the humble and sincere seeker

14 — THE BRISBANE INDIAN TIMES, February, 2021

of God; Author of life has given you an unfailing invitation to a genuine relationship. For I am absolutely convinced that finding and receiving God’s love is the most significant purpose of your life. No religion or tradition can give an unconditional love, and a supreme love offered by Jesus Christ. “Maha Bali” means Supreme (Great) Sacrifice, who is that person in the history of humanity has done this sacrifice? If you may search whole

universe for a story, it will ultimately bring you to the Good News of Jesus. Jesus not only talked and showed love to all humanity and ultimately demonstrated His love as “Maha Bali”. Why? To pay for the sins of all humanity. For everyone on earth have sinned, and fallen short of God’s glorious standards (Romans 3:23). Not a single person on this planet ever lived or living can stand and say I am pure and holy before God. For the wages of sin is

death, but free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23). But the Good News is here, for you and me. Nothing can come between you and God’s love, including death and demons. All your fears and worries can be turned to simple faith and worship. No power in the whole universe has the capacity to pull you out of God’s grip. Do you want to experience such a perfect love and security? Millions of dollars or millions of good work can't earn

you God’s love. All you need is simple and humble heart which is ready pray and be healed by power of Christ’s love To know Jesus as The Lord mean to know author of your life. And to walk in His ways mean journey through this life by faith in His Word and in His finished work on the Cross. He is the most loving person you will ever know on this planet. Therefore, we invite you to pray this with a sincere heart; “Dear Father God, today I thank you for your word that has touched my heart. I repent of my wrongs and I confess with my mouth ‘Jesus is Lord’ and I believe in my heart that Jesus died for my sins, God raised Jesus from the dead for my Mukti (Salvation). Now help me to know Jesus more and more so that I can grow in the knowledge of your grace and mercy. Teach me your ways so that I can be person who will learn to honour you and learn to love each other. Amen. Please email to us your encounter experience, so we can help you to grow in the understanding your Creator and Redeemer. navig8grace@gmail. com

Rotary Club of Brisbane International celebrated Australia Day Rotary Club of Brisbane International celebrated Australia Day and R100 in a very traditional, enjoyable and with a taste of Bollywood, recognising that is was Indian Republic day as well. Guests were greeted with “Aussie styled” sausage sizzle and entrée’s before the crowd was entertained by a welcome dance by Bhavna. Our Past President Abdul Azam sang the Australian National Anthem, and how good was to see on stage the diversity of the club, truly embracing Australia. Krishneel Maharaj took a session on reflection of gratitude of our beautiful home, Australia as he moved a toast to Australia and Queen, followed by a very well informed toast to Rotary International by club Secretary Sunil Datt.

With inspirational speeches from P Soko, Pastor Ada and PDG Chris Wright, our MC Raj Padarath was as always Articulate and funny. Our charter president Jitendra Prasad shared his

journey to Australia having arrived here 40 years ago, to date 26th January 1981. With District Governor Rotary District 9630 Patrice Robinson finishing the program with her DG speech the day concluded

with sumptuous lunch, with famous butter chicken and chicken curry by our own Pardip from Dawat's catering. The chair of the organising committee Jitendra Deo was very

proud of the event and humbly thanked everyone for this effort. He also acknowledged the efforts of Soneel and Ravneel as part of their duties of DJ. Thank you everyone

who attended and thanks for being part of the journey. After the clean-up, members joined in to cook again, pack and distribute around 100 serves of food for the disadvantaged at Roma Street Parklands, certainly, pushing boundaries after the gallant effort with the Australia Day celebrations. Offcourse, Rotarians are ordinary people doing extra ordinary work We call Australia home, and the theme Reflect, Respect, and celebrate, was resonated throughout the day. And indeed we are one, but we are many and from all the lands on earth we come. We'll share a dream and sing with one voice. I am, you are, we are Australian.

Titan of Fiji Sugar Passes Away Brisbane lost a trailblazer and a giant of the Fiji sugar industry on 30th December 2020, with the passing of a long-time Brisbane resident, Rasheed Akhtar Ali. Rasheed was appointed as the first-ever local Managing Director of the Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) in May 1980, making him the then senior most business executive in Fiji. This was only 7 years after FSC had taken over the running of the sugar industry from the Australian-owned Colonial Sugar Refining Company (CSR), who had run the sugar operations in Fiji for over 90 years. Barely two years after Fiji’s independence in 1970, the CSR threatened to move out of Fiji after the 1972 crushing season, claiming it would be unprofitable to continue operations in Fiji after the Denning Award. Given that sugar was the vital industry and major revenue earner for Fiji’s economy, Fiji’s first Prime Minister, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara made a bold move and through an Act of Parliament in 1972 created the Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) to take over the operations of the mills and to run the industry. In 1st April 1973, FSC took over the running of the industry despite the marked decline in cane and sugar production and the lack of experienced locals in managerial positions who could run the industry. Rasheed a young lad who hailed from Ba, where his father was a headteacher at Ba Muslim School, had begun his career with the FSC as an accounting officer at the Labasa Mill in 1964. By 1973, he had gathered hands-on experience at all four mills, and was brought to FSC Headquarters as the chief accountant. He joined the FSC Executive Management Group and accelerated the on-the-job management and technical training geared towards accelerating localization plans. Rasheed guided the expansion and growth of industry to record levels of sugar production and profitability. He was successful in

Call: (07) 3192 5188

Rasheed Akhtar Ali, CBE 14th February 1940 – 30th December 2020 changing much of the old culture and helped introduce significant mill expansion and automation such as introduction of the bulk sugar terminals. He invested in capital works to undertake the modernisation and expansion of the mills to increase capacity and efficiency. He also headed FSC’s diversification into the distillery business and the sale of excess power to the FEA national grid. With Rasheed’s capable leadership, supported by major industry reforms including the guaranteed preferred sugar price under the 1975 Sugar Protocol of the Lome Convention and the 30-year land tenure under ALTA, enabled the sugar industry to flourish. The Seaqaqa scheme was conceived and successfully completed during Rasheed’s tenure. Rasheed Ali holds the distinction of leading the industry to reach a record sugar production of 501,000 tonnes in 1986. This is three times the current levels of Fiji’s sugar production. According to the 2020 Fiji Sugar Corporation Report, the sugar production for the 2018 and 2019 has been 162,000 and 169,000 tonnes respectively. Hundreds of thousands of people relied on the sugar industry for

their livelihood. The growth of the industry brought huge prosperity to the entire Fiji population. The economic multiplier from the sugar industry had a positive and profound impact throughout the country. Rasheed increased the publics participation in FSC equity and paid regular dividends during 10-year tenure as MD. In the tribute written on the passing of Sir Ian Thompson, who was the then long-term independent chairman of the Sugar Industry, it was recognised that the 1980’s were “the golden years of the sugar industry.” The tribute states that “repositioning it in the wake of the departure of the Colonial Sugar Refining Company, the dynamism of Rasheed Ali and his colleagues at the Fiji Sugar Corporation, co-operation of the cane farming organisations, political stability provided by Ratu Mara's leadership and the wise stewardship of Sir Ian was a formula for success” Rasheed Ali was held in very high esteem by all the stakeholders and received tremendous encouragement and personal support from Ratu Mara. He became a respected confidant of the Prime Minister and accompanied him on several international trade meetings. They even attended a breakfast session at the White House during the Presidency of Ronald Reagan. After his illustrious career and contribution to Fiji, he resigned in May 1990, exactly 10 years after taking office and migrated to Australia with his family. But not before he had mentored his successor Managing Director Jonetani Galuinadi and the new Executive Management Team. Rasheed was immediately head-hunted by Booker Tate Ltd, an international Agri- Business Company to open and head their South East Asia/Pacific regional office based in Brisbane with responsibility for their businesses in Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, China, Vietnam and Indonesia. Rasheed was also appointed Director on the Boards of the


two sugar companies in China and also in Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea. He was also made a member of the Executive Board of the Company in the UK. Rasheed was involved in the acquisition of the Bundaberg Sugar Company by Tate and Lyle and did most of the ground work for the takeover. Rasheed went on to assist Tate & Lyle to on-sell Bundaberg Sugar Company to Finasucre of Belgium. Rasheed carried out studies to streamline the sugar companies in Barbados and Jamaica and helped to restructure the businesses to reduce costs and return them to viability. He led a team to identify and evaluate sites for the establishment of a sugar mill for Tate and Lyle in Vietnam. The mill was successfully established and is operating profitably and successfully. After retiring from Booker Tate at age 62, Rasheed became a retained Consultant for the group with specific responsibility for Sri Lanka and PNG. He was appointed a Director of Ramu Sugar Ltd in his own right and became Consulting Director responsible for operations and diversification. He successfully oversaw study for establishment of Oil Palm plantation and factory at Ramu and growth of cattle business into a herd of over 18,000 cattle with feedlot and abattoir. Rasheed resigned from the Ramu Sugar Board in August 2008 along with all the Board when company was taken over by Malaysian owned Oil Palm interests. In 2004, Rasheed was appointed a Board Member of FSC, as a nominee of the Leader of the Opposition, Mahendra Chaudhry. Later in 2009, he was appointed by the Bainimarama administration to head a team to review the financial and operational viability of the Corporation and the Sugar Industry. He served under 5 of Fiji’s Prime Ministers, obviously having the acumen to walk the fine tightrope between politics, strong unionism, growers organisation

and commercial reality, while ensuring profitable outcome for the industry. Rasheed Ali holds the distinction of being the first non-practicing accountant to be appointed President of the Fiji Institute of Accountants. He was the President of the Institute from 1982 to 1984. He served on various boards and statutory organisations including the Reserve Bank of Fiji, Fiji National Provident Fund, Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji, Fiji Sugar Marketing Co Ltd, Sugar Commission of Fiji and Chairman of South Pacific Distilleries Ltd. Rasheed was a long-servicing Board Member and Chairman of the Society for the Blind in Fiji and long-serving Board Member of Guide Dogs for the Blind Association of Queensland. From 1994, Rasheed had been the Patron of Queensland Association of Fiji Muslims, which was involved in the development of youth and culture and raised funds for education of needy children in Fiji and for sick people who sought medical assistance. Rasheed continued to be held in very high esteem by the members of Brisbane Community and was always available to provide guidance to those who sought his advice. Rasheed was bestowed the British CBE (Commander of the British Empire) award “in recognition of his exceptional work and service to the sugar industry in Fiji” and received the honours from the Queen at Buckingham Palace on 15 June 1985. Rasheed Ali who would have turned 81 this February, was still actively involved in community service until the end. Rasheed is survived by his wife Sabra, son Arif, daughter Farisha and two grandchildren – Sara and Amir. By Ram Karan Former Chief General Manager Operations of Fiji Sugar Corporation; and Former Chief Executive Officer of Ramu Sugar Limited

THE BRISBANE INDIAN TIMES, February, 2021 — 15

Queen Draupadi Draupadi is one of the principal characters

of the Mahabharat, the sacred text composed by the legendry poet Ved Vyas. Draupadi is believed to be a partial incarnation of goddess Lakshmi. She appeared on the earth to assist divine forces to destroy the demons that had become kings and fighters during the age of Dwapar. Her father was Drupad, the king of Panchal. Her husbands were the five Pandava brothers, Yudhishthir, Bhim, Arjun, Nakul and Sahadev. Guru Dronacharya had humiliated Drupad and appropriated half of his kingdom by force. Drupad never reconciled with the disgrace and was determined to avenge the Guru. Realising himself incapable to retaliate, he longed for a son who could kill Dronacharya. For getting divine support, he searched for a seer who could perform the sacred ritual that would enable him to obtain such a son. Drupad found the seer named Yaj who agreed to perform the Putrayeshti or songiving sacrifice. Yaj started the rite with the king and asked him to make the queen available to join at the chosen time. When the time approached, the queen was still not ready. Yaj did not wait for her, as the auspicious time was about to elapse. He offered the oblation to the sacrificial fire with specific Mantras before the queen arrived. Two fully-grown persons, a male and a female appeared from the fire pit. Both accepted the king and the queen as their parents. The male was named Dhrishtadhyumna, who later became Commander in Chief of the Pandavas’ army. The female was named Draupadi. She was also known by other names including Krishna that referred to her dark complexion and Panchali referring to her status as the princess of Panchal. King Drupad arranged Svayamvar for Draupadi to choose a suitable husband. Kings and princes from all over India were invited to attend. To test the suitability of the candidates he had set a condition that required the highest level of skill in archery. Aspiring candidates were expected to fix the string of the bow and hit the arrow into the eye of a fish replica, which was spinning at a certain height over a tank filled with water. They were to aim at the eye by looking on the reflection of the revolving fish on water in the tank. Pandava brothers, with mother Kunti, had escaped safely from the Lakshagrih, the house of wax, which was devised by the Kauravas to burn them. They lived in disguise of Brahmins and survived on alms. During the period of Svayamvar, they lived in the Panchal kingdom. They joined a group of Brahmins and attended the Svayamvar in expectation of getting generous gifts. During the main event, Draupadi was standing with a garland to honour the winning candidate. Kshatriya kings and princes tried to lift the bow, but none succeeded. Then Karna, the king of Anga tried. He lifted the bow and succeeded in stringing the bow. At that moment Draupadi interrupted and objected to Karna’s eligibility. She was unwilling to consider Karna as a potential husband due to his ancestry. It was believed that he was a son of charioteer. Karna grudgingly abandoned his attempt. Wishful Kshatriyas could not meet the condition of Svayamvar. Arjun in disguise of a Brahmin appeared at the scene and sought permission from Drupad to try. Drupad consented. Arjun lifted the bow, tied the string and with an arrow hit the target in his first attempt. Draupadi accepted Arjun as her husband and garlanded him. Kshatriya kings and princes objected to a Brahmin’s victory but were overpowered by Arjun and Bhim. Pandava brothers brought Draupadi to their residence. Kunti was inside the house busy with domestic chores. They wanted to surprise their mother. Arjun said, ‘Mother, see what alms we have brought today”. She responded without looking at the alms and told them to distribute equally among all the five brothers. Draupadi and Pandavas were shocked. In the meantime, Kunti came out and saw the beautiful lady with her sons. She learnt that her sons had called Draupadi alms. Sharing a woman among five brothers

was against the social norms. The words of mother Kunti could not be overruled. As the family was deliberating, lord Krishna arrived at Pandavas’ residence and spoke about the inevitability of Draupadi having five husbands. He told them the story of Draupadi’s previous life. In the previous life she had worshipped lord Shiva for a suitable husband. When Shiva appeared to bless her, she asked for a husband five times with five specific attributes. Shiva told her that the attributes she had asked could not be found in a single person. In her next life, she would get five husbands, each with the requested quality. Ultimately, Draupadi was married to all five Pandava brothers. Seers and wellwishers of Pandavas advised them to make rules about managing the relationship with their common wife. It was agreed that if one husband was with Draupadi, others should not enter her chamber. If anyone entered, he would go to exile for twelve years. To allow for having progeny, she would spend one year with each husband in turn. These conditions served them well. Draupadi became the mother of five children, one with each husband. Once, Arjun inadvertently entered Draupadi’s chamber when she was with Yudhishthir. As per the agreed terms, Arjun went into exile, and obtained various weapons and charms that helped them in later events of their life. After marriage, Draupadi along with Pandavas and Kunti came to Hastinapur, capital of the Kuru kingdom. She was welcomed as a daughter-in-law with respect. In order to minimise discord between Pandavas and Kauravas, the kingdom was divided. Pandavas were given Khandavaprasth, a forested wasteland as their share of the kingdom. They converted the wasteland into a prosperous kingdom with their capital called Indraprasth. Yudhishthir became an emperor and performed a Rajsuya Yagya, royal consecration. Kings, princes and honourable leaders including Krishna, Shishupal, Duryodhan and elders of the Kuru dynasty participated in the event. Following an argument over selection of the first recipient of honour at the consecration, Krishna killed Shishupal through his Sudarshan Chakra. His finger was hurt and started bleeding.

16 — THE BRISBANE INDIAN TIMES, February, 2021

Draupadi tore out a piece of fabric from her sari and bandaged Krishna’s injured finger. Duryodhan was awed by the opulence and splendour of Pandavas’ achievements. Renowned architect Maya, master of illusion, had built their palaces. While exploring various sections of the buildings, Duryodhan became mesmerised. During a stroll through a hall, he mistook solid surface to water filled pond and lifted his garments to avoid them wetting. On another occasion, he stepped in water filled pond assuming it to be dry surface and fell into it. Draupadi observed his movements and was amused. She laughed and pointing at him commented, “The son of a blind man is blind”. Duryodhan felt ashamed, became infuriated and left the site bitterly. Soon after the events at royal consecration, Kauravas invited Pandavas to a game of dice. Yudhishthir could not resist the invitation for gambling. Pandavas along with Draupadi went to Hastinapur. The game was arranged in the royal court and all major elders of the kingdom were in attendance. Shakuni, the maternal uncle of Kauravas was an expert in the game of dice. He played on behalf of Duryodhan. Yudhishthir played from the Pandavas’ side. Yudhishthir started losing the game from the beginning, and as the gambling continued, he lost everything including his kingdom, brothers and himself. Finally he wagered Draupadi. Shakuni won the wager for Duryodhan, who declared all the Pandavas and Draupadi as his slaves. He intended to humiliate Draupadi for her earlier insult. Karna, a friend of Duryodhan, also found an opportunity to take revenge of her comment during the Svayamvar, and spoke contemptibly about Draupadi. Duryodhan ordered a guard to bring Draupadi to the gambling hall. Draupadi was in period and refused to go outside her chamber. Then Duryodhan sent his brother Duhshasan to bring her forcibly. He dragged Draupadi to the hall by grabbing her hair. Draupadi questioned the whole assembly including king Dhritrastra, Bhishma, Dronacharya and others about the righteousness of Yudhishthir wagering her. No one answered to her satisfaction. Then Duryodhan instructed Duhshasan to disrobe Draupadi in the middle of the assembly. Duhshasan complied and started removing her sari. She entreated for help but

no one came forward to succour. Draupadi remembered Krishna and begged for his mercy. Krishna with his divine action supplied an immeasurable length of cloth. Duhshasan could not undress her. Ill omens started appearing. Draupadi vowed not to tie her hair until she had washed it with the blood of Duhshasan. Dhritrastra became scared of Draupadi’s divine power and restored all that Pandavas had lost during the gambling. On Duryodhan’s instigation, a second gambling contest was arranged. Pandavas lost and according to the terms of the contest, they were exiled for thirteen years. The last year of the exile was to be spent incognito. If they were revealed during the final year, then they had to spend another twelve years in exile. Draupadi accompanied the Pandavas during their banishment. During the exile, sage Durvasa, well known for his short temper, visited Pandavas after mealtime. As customary, Yudhishthir invited him for a meal. Durvasa accepted and promised to return after taking a bath. Draupadi who usually ate last had eaten her meal and washed the Akshay Patra. The Akshay Patra had the power to supply unlimited food, as long as it was not washed. Draupadi faced a dilemma of feeding Durvasa. She remembered Krishna who immediately appeared and asked for food. She brought the Akshay Patra to show her inability to feed anyone. Krishna noticed a particle of grain in the Patra. He ate it and expressed satisfaction. Durvasa was on the way to Pandavas’ cottage. Immediately, he felt his hunger satisfied and went away without troubling the Pandavas. Once Pandavas were out collecting food in the forest. Jayadrath, the king of Sindhu and husband of Duryodhan’s sister passed by their cottage. He saw Draupadi alone in her lodge and became infatuated. He caught her by force and carried her away in his chariot. In the meantime Pandavas returned and noticed Draupadi missing. They started a search and eventually captured Jayadrath. Draupadi was recovered and as punishment for his crime, they shaved Jayadrath’s head, leaving five tufts of hair on his head. In the thirteenth year, Draupadi stayed at the kingdom of Matsya in disguise like her husbands. She became Shairendhri or hairdresser of queen Sudeshana. The queen’s brother named Kichak was the army commander of the kingdom. He became obsessed with Draupadi. She tried to protect herself from his harassment without any success. Finally, she approached Bhim who was living there in disguise of a chef. Using schemes, Draupadi managed to kill Kichak with the help of Bhim. After the end of their exile, Pandavas demanded return of their kingdom. A war between Kauravas and Pandavas became foreseeable. Pandavas were willing to compromise but Draupadi demanded revenge from Kauravas. Finally Kurukshetra war started, and continued for eighteen days. Duhshasan, along with other Kauravas was killed. Bhim brought the blood of Duhshasan to Draupadi. Draupadi completed her vow of washing her hair with Duhshasan’s blood before tying her hair. On the night of the last day of the war, Ashwathama, the son Dronacharya, killed all five sons of Draupadi. Ashwathama was captured and punished by the Pandavas. After their victory, Pandavas regained control of their ancestral kingdom of Kuru dynasty. Yudhishthir became the king and Draupadi the queen. Draupadi and Yudhishthir performed the Ashvamedh Yagya and ruled for thirtysix years. Soon after Krishna left his mortal body, Pandavas decided to renounce the world and travelled towards the Himalaya in the direction of heaven. On the way, it was Draupadi who first collapsed. Bhim asked Yudhishthir about the reason for her demise. Yudhishthir responded that it was due to her strong partiality for Arjun. Draupadi represents the fiery temperament consistent with the source of her origin. She experienced cruel treatments and was able to overcome her circumstances with intelligence and resilience. Awadhesh Sharma

India – Australia Day 2021 A celebration with full festive zeal The combined celebration

of 72nd Indian Republic Day and Australia Day was celebrated with full festive zeal on the 26 Jan 2021 at the “SunPAC”, Sunnybank. The event was organised by the Federation of Indian Communities of Queensland (FICQ) which has been in the forefront of conducting the event from 2012 with full support from the Queensland Government, Brisbane City Council (BCC) and other Local Governments Councils, National Australia Day Council, Federal Government, Indian High Commission for Australia and all Indian and Indian origin communities and associations. The Master of Ceremonies for the event were Mr. Naren Sinnathamby and Mr. Zain Chamadia who were exceptional in managing the event all through the evening. Distinguished dignitaries, community and business leaders from Australia and India were present to celebrate the function. The celebration began with the lighting of lamps by the distinguished dignitaries and followed by the Acknowlegement of the

Call: (07) 3192 5188

Country by Aunty Peggy Tidymann. The singing of the Australian and Indian national anthem by the students of the Sargam Music Academy. The messages from all of the distinguished guests from Australia and India was in summary to celebrate the Unity in diversity and multicultural Australia for the betterment and community prosperity and harmony. The celebration also involved spectacular cultural performances from the Nadananjali School of Dance, Tapori Squad, the Indigenous dance performance by Taleatha

Wright-Morgan, Yatra Music, Sargam Music Academy, Let’s Bollywood and Taal Dance Group. The event concluded with the vote of thanks by the Vice President of FICQ, Mr. Anoop Nannuru. The celebration this year was well supported by Macgregor Ward Cr Steve Huang, Runcorn ward Cr Kim Marx and Calamvale ward Cr. Angela Owen. The event was a grand success with FICQ and its executive team working together with the greater Indian and Multicultural communities in bringing one-ness, unity, peace

and harmony. Delicious and scrumptious Indian dinner by Saviruchi Indian Restaurant was organised to all present in the event. FICQ as a whole, led by the current President Mr. Shyam Das takes immense pride and thanks everyone in continuing to celebrate this event with uniting all the Indian and Australian Communities year after year. Visit updates and details www.ficq.org.au Photo by H R K photography and Videography by Photo Vision covered the whole highlights of this event.


THE BRISBANE INDIAN TIMES, February, 2021 — 17

The content of this article is taken from the satsang of H.H. Sant Shri Asaram Ji Bapu. Pujya Bapu Ji had addressed the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago in September 1993, that was 100 years after Swami Vivekananda addressed the same parliament in September 1893. To save the youth who are being ruined due to the lustful festivals like valentine’s day, in 2006 Pujya Bapu Ji initiated celebrations of Matri-Pitri Pujan Diwas (Parents worship day) on 14th February. Pujya Bapu ji felt that, due to the blind imitation of Western culture there has been a steep rise in the incidences of alcoholism, suicide, and other immoral activities, especially among the youth during the last week of December. To rescue the youth from this debauchery and denigration, Pujya Bapu Ji came up with the idea of worshipping a sacred Tulsi plant (basil). So, with a view to awaken the cultural pride of the India and to save the

countrymen from mental slavery, in 2014, he initiated celebration of Tulsi poojan on 25th December. In this fast era, the way we have become fast in cooking, washing, travelling, communicating, likewise why not become fast in attaining divine bliss and divine knowledge? Earlier, life was quite peaceful so all actions which consumed a lot of time were done peacefully and leisurely. People also lived a long time. Nowadays, our life span is not long enough, to enable us to do all work leisurely and peacefully. In Satyuga, Tretayuga, and Dwaparyuga people did Japa, Tapa (penance), meditation, etc. for thousands of years and consequently attained God. But today’s man does not have a long enough life span, nor purity or piousness and physical efficiency to do Japa with the mala for year. Therefore, one should develop the habit of utilising “Fast” tools to meet God in this “Fast” age. Our identification with that

18 — THE BRISBANE INDIAN TIMES, February, 2021

beloved God should also be as ‘Fast’ as said- “God’s picture is in every heart, you can see Him whenever you like, by peeping into it.” That’s it! Just learn this art. It is not only when you sit in your worship room that you can the joy of Bhakti, Jnana or devotional love. Your knowledge, bliss and joy can remain constant, irrespective of being at home, shopping, doing your job or at leisure, understanding a journey or doing household work. If Arjuna can realise the Truth of Narayana in the battlefield, why you attain the joy and sweetness of that Supreme Self while being engaged in worldly activities? Goswami Tulsidasji said, “Desires can be destroyed only by inquiry into self-knowledge, not by reducing the body to a skeleton through the practice of mortification, or by doing meditation the

whole day and night.” There is no need to reduce your body to a skeleton by practicing mortification. Just be a little careful in action and keep assimilating instructions on supreme welfare, then there will be no delay in obtaining divine bliss. Three points conductive to your supreme welfare First Point: Remember God with a true heart. Saint Tulsidasji said: “The name repeated either with good or evil intentions, in an angry mood or even while yawning, diffuses joy in all ten directions.” Shri Rama Charita Manasa – Bal Kanda: 27.1 Repeating the divine Name with good or bad intensions, in an angry, mood or idly, diffuse auspiciousness in all directions. So, imagine how auspicious it would be to repeat the Divine name with a true heart, chanting

God’s name from the bottom of one’s heart! “Japa brings success, Japa brings success, Japa brings success: There is no doubt about this.” Keep doing Japa, keep remembering Lord Hari; it will give you success. Your mind will become sattvic and pure. You will start getting divine joy. Second Point: Wish good of every creature. Whatever we give here, we get the same thing manifold. If you wish to give happiness to others, you will get happiness effortlessly. So always give happiness to others. Third Point: Be ready to eradicate your vices. One who can see his vices will, at some time, certainly make an effort to remove them. Such a person will definitely progress. One who can’t see his fault is definitely a fool, but a bigger fool is the one who does not accept his faults, even

when others point them out and the person, who does not accept his faults (but gives clarification, makes up excuses, tries to justify his actions) even when the supreme well wisher SatGuru points out his mistakes, is the biggest fool. But the person, who remains ready to eradicate his faults, becomes capable of attaining divine grace in his life. One who follows these three points and takes interest in hearing Satsang and self – study, will proceed rapidly on the path of blessedness. To listen 24X7 live divine Satsang of Pujya Bapu Ji, please search “Mangalmay live” on google, visit http:// www.ashram.org/live or search “THE SBM STUDIO” on you tube. By the Divine Inspiration of Bapu Ji, the weekly sessions of Bal Sanskar and yoga are held in Brisbane. To know more about His Divine Holiness Bapu Ji, please watch this video. https://bit.ly/2uZvJuN For more info about Bal Sanskar and yoga sessions, to get a free copy of monthly spiritual magazine RishiPrasad in your mailbox in Australia or to get free online subscription of Rishi -Prasad, please contact by email at bskamd@gmail. com or by WhatsApp/ phone to Ashok Attri and Anu Attri at +61 426 834 434 & +61 405 277 802. Please read more about our Vedic culture in the next issue of ‘The Brisbane Indian Times.’

Consulate of India In Queensland – Republic Day flag raising long standing, and proud tradition in Brisbane has been the flag raising at Indian Consulate office. On the dot at 9:00 am every 26th January and 15th August, this solemn ceremony takes place. Proud members of Indian Diaspora congregate without fail on these occasions pledging their loyalty to motherland. This year was no different, despite unfavourable conditions reasonable number of people turned up for the ceremony. As per protocol and tradition the Flag was raised ta 9:00 am sharp by Honorary Consul for India in Queensland, Mrs Archana Singh and Professor Sarva Daman Singh OAM. Following Indian National anthem, Australian National Anthem was sung. Honorary Consul for India in Queensland, Mrs Archana Singh addressed the gathering and spoke the democratic values of


India she said “How did the founders of post-colonial India come to imagine of a democratic policy in a setting that many ruled unfit for democracy, who after all who thinks of universal franchise when the literacy at the end of British rule was a mere 17% , when more than 60% of the country was below the poverty line, and more than twenty

languages were spoken in the country , India however has been wedded to the republican and democratic ideals that can be traced back to 6th century before Christ.” Her speech on what had been able to archive despite all the hurdles and difficulties was very well received. Year after year people wait eagerly to listen to Professor Sarva Daman

Singh OAM, at the flag raising ceremonies, he said “Democracy in India goes back to the Vedic Ganrajya where it was said in Rig Veda that rulers shall be those who are elected by all the people”. He spoke on the pandemic and said “all kinds of barriers have been thrown up to protect us, from each other, and yet our future and our happiness are interwoven, we need each other, we need to help each other, countries and nations help each other, they have to help each other, isolation is never splendid, isolation is always an illusion, the interdependence of the world is a reality and it cannot be washed away, it cannot be whittled down.” Eloquent as usual his marvellous speech was applauded. Following the group photo, after the speeches, refreshment was served in accordance with the current the Covid 19 restrictions.

2021 Lord Mayor’s Australia Day Awards The 2021 Lord Mayor's Australia Day Awards recognise Brisbane’s unsung heroes and pay tribute to the people in our community who have gone above and beyond to help improve the lives of others and make the Brisbane of tomorrow even better than the Brisbane of

today. Categories 2021 Lord Mayor's Australia Day Awards are open for nomination and include the following categories: • Citizen of the Year Dorami Keyt

• Joint Senior Citizen of the Year - Alexander Garlin • Joint Senior Citizen of the Year - Ronald Ward • Young Citizen of the Year - Laki Keramidas • Community Event of the Year - Le Festival • Australia Day Cultural/ Arts Award - William (Keith)

Bouchard • Australia Day Sports Award - Noela Duncan • Corporate Citizen of the Year - Arthur Liu • Green Heart Award - Leo Lee • Australia Day Achievement Awards 4Andrew Darbyshire

4Carolyn Robinson 4Daniel Whelan 4Gerry Barry AM 4Gordon Letford 4Graeme Smith 4Jason Mayweather 4Karen Robinson 4Mai Nguyen-Tu 4Mandy Shaw 4Melinda Carey

4Michael Ma 4Norman Shrubsole 4Paul Lucas 4Robert Innes 42020 Spirit of Brisbane Award 4Alastair Tomkins 4The Hut Environmental and Community Association

Brisbane’s biggest citizenship ceremony says g’day to 600 new citizens from around the world Brisbane welcomed 600 new citizens from 82 countries around the globe at the city’s biggest Australia Day citizenship ceremony at the Royal International Convention Centre. Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said from the Philippines to Portugal and Poland, people from all around the world had chosen Brisbane to call home and Brisbane’s biggest citizenship ceremony was always an important Australia Day tradition. “Each new citizen brings with them a whole new perspective, story and experience and the top five nationalities attending Brisbane citizenship ceremony today are from India (78), China (53), Call: (07) 3192 5188

United Kingdom (44), Vietnam (24) and Iran (23),” Cr Schrinner said. “Together, they join us in making up the important fabric that is the Brisbane

community and that’s the essence of what Australia Day is all about.” Cr Schrinner said with coronavirus claiming many special events over

the past year, support from the National Australia Day Council helped Council put together a really memorable and COVIDsafe event for new citizens.


“As presiding officer, I always look forward to inviting new citizens to officially take the oath and become citizens on Australia Day,” he said. “While our planned Celebrate Brisbane Australia Day event had to be scaled back due to the ongoing challenges of coronavirus and Queensland Health restrictions, we were thrilled to deliver a special event for our newest citizens that can be livestreamed on the Brisbane City Council website. “I know many families from around the world tuned in to experience the special moment with their loved ones, alongside multicultural performances and fireworks.” National Australia Day

Council Chief Executive Officer Karlie Brand said providing opportunities for Australians to come together on our national day has never been more important. “That’s why the National Australia Day Council has provided $15 million in grants to support COVIDsafe Australia Day events in 2021,” she said. “The National Australia Day Council is delighted to support the Brisbane City Council to deliver an Australia Day that encourages communities in Brisbane and across Queensland to come together and reflect, respect and celebrate.” For more information visit www.brisbane.qld.gov. au, or call Council on 3403 8888.

THE BRISBANE INDIAN TIMES, February, 2021 — 19

Gayatri Mandir Turns Thirty

Pundit Brigesh Maharaj ji performs Pooja great enthusiasm, Hindu Society of Queensland welcomed the New Year with a 30th Anniversary Celebration of Gayatri Mandir. It is with pride the community flocked in to celebrate this milestone achievement. Several pioneers who were


President Anita Ram with devotees

instrumental in initiating the Mandir, honoured the occasion with their presence. The well-organised event started with Pooja led by Pundit Brigesh Maharaji, followed by 11 recitals of Hanuman Chalisa by members of the

community. Our esteemed president Shrimati Anita Ram delivered a special message. Mr Ravendra Narayan and Dr Jai Ram also shed some light on the 30 Year journey of Gayatri mandir. Also present on the day were past committee

members, Mr Prem Chand, Mr Turbot Datta and Mr Umesh Chandra. Pundit Satya Narayanji conducted hoisting of our Sanatan Dharam Jhanda as devotees sang “Jhanda ooncha rahe hamara”. The celebrations concluded with Havan Yagya, while

the mandir reverberated with intense chanting by our respected punditjis. We would like to thank everyone who has been part of this journey and trust that your ongoing support will contribute to the betterment. As we are entering a

new year with a number of celebrations taking place at Gayatri Mandir, please note that all upcoming celebrations details are available on our Facebook Page. We humbly request you all to bless us with your presence on our auspicious celebrations.

Devotees performing Havan

Jhanda ooncha rahe hamara

Long Standing Supporters celebrate 30th Anniversary

Upcoming Events at Gayatri Mandir

Maha Shivratri

3 days Shiv Katha March 9 to March 11

Maha Prasad provided daily For Shiva Ling Abhishek pre-book via Facebook, or contact us on 0468385585 For donation or sponsorship, please contact Treasurer Anita Ram on 0452470467

Holi 20 — THE BRISBANE INDIAN TIMES, February, 2021

GOVERNMENT TO SUPPORT A FURTHER 20 FACILITATED COMMERCIAL FLIGHTS Australian Government continues to prioritise helping vulnerable Australians overseas to return and will provide a further 20 commercial flights from locations around the world. The flights will be targeted to regions of most need and which are not currently met by regular commercial options, running from January 31 to March 31. Australians returning


on these additional Government-facilitated flights will quarantine at Howard Springs and in States and Territories willing to work above the current caps, on a case by case basis. Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the Government would continue to work closely with the States and Territories to make sure the strictest procedures and protocols are followed to

keep everyone safe. “These flights will bring people back from the United Kingdom, Europe, India and other places where vulnerable Australians are most in need of assistance,” Mr McCormack said. “Importantly, these additional flights announced today will provide some hope and relief for Australians in vulnerable situations overseas. “The additional

facilitated flights will complement scheduled commercial services arriving in our international airports, which continue to provide the main avenue for Australians to return.” Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne said since the start of the pandemic, DFAT has supported around 39,000 people to return on more than 500 flights, including more than

12,800 on 92 government facilitated flights. “Within the past 24 hours a government facilitated flight from London landed in Darwin with 199 Australians on board,” Minister Payne said. “We will continue to work with commercial carriers such as Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines to support Australians to get seats, where possible, so they can return.” The Government has

facilitated 28 flights since 23 October, 2020 with 3,900 passengers arriving from destinations including London, Paris, Frankfurt, New Delhi, Chennai, Singapore, Santiago, Johannesburg and Los Angeles. More than 446,000 Australians have returned to Australia since the Government recommended people reconsider the need to travel abroad in March last year.

2021 Queensland Reconciliation Awards open for nominations Queenslanders are being encouraged to once again recognise the outstanding efforts to foster a more inclusive Queensland on the road to reconciliation with nominations now open for the 2021 Queensland Reconciliation Awards. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Queensland businesses, community organisations, educational institutions and government entities whose work acknowledges the State’s rich histories of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples and advances reconciliation can now be nominated. “The Queensland Reconciliation Awards helps

to recognise the inspiring initiatives and partnerships which go above and beyond their core business to support reconciliation and make a tangible difference in the lives of Queenslanders,” the Premier said. “Every year, we’re overwhelmed by the diversity of the nominations we receive and we’re inspired by the commitment by businesses, community groups and organisations to create innovative pathways to change. “In 2020, Awards recipients included Eidsvold P–12 State School, who are championing the teaching of Wakka Wakka language, and Hutchinson Builders, who

are opening up economic opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through their Statim Yaga (Start Work) program. “With 2021 Awards nominations now open, we look forward to hearing more inspiring stories of how Queenslanders are working together for a fair and harmonious future for our State.” The Premier also welcomed rugby league legend Johnathan Thurston as the 2021 Queensland Reconciliation Awards Ambassador. "Johnathan has been involved in this program for many years and it's great to have his support again in

2021," the Premier said. Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Craig Crawford said the awards recognise the tireless dedication of Queenslanders towards reconciliation. “Everyone can take positive action towards a more inclusive society where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities can access opportunities to thrive,” Mr Crawford said. “Every year, the awards highlight the great work happening right across the state towards reconciliation in Queensland. “If you know of, or help deliver an outstanding

initiative to promote reconciliation in Queensland, I encourage you to nominate today for this awards program.” There are five categories available for nomination in 2021—business, community, education, health and wellbeing, and partnership. The health and wellbeing category is new in 2021, introduced to highlight the outstanding work accomplished across Queensland through health and wellbeing initiatives. An overall Premier’s Reconciliation Award will also be presented to a nominated initiative, with a total of $30,000 in prize money on offer across all

award recipients. Nominations close at 5pm, Monday 22 February 2021. For more information or to submit an online nomination, visit www.qld. gov.au/reconciliation The Queensland Reconciliation Awards is an initiative of the Queensland Government through the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, and the Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships. The 2021 Awards program is proudly supported by Bank of Queensland, The University of Queensland, James Cook University, Santos and QUT.

Brisbane Holi – Festival of Colours an Integral part OF BrisAsia CONTD. FROM PG 1 Holi is a Hindu tradition with religions significance where participants are given licence to throw coloured powder into the air and on each other. This Indian ceremony marks the beginning of spring after a long winter and symbolises the triumph of good over evil. It is customary on this to end any enmity and extend a hand of friendship, to start fresh and leave any ill feelings aside The Brisbane Festival of Colours will be held at Rocks Riverside Park at 5 Counihan Road, Seventeen Mile Rocks, which was the former site of Queensland Cement Limited quarry. Seventeen Mile Rocks is located 11 kilometres from the Brisbane Central Business District. Now in its fifth year, Brisbane Holi is part of the BrisAsia Festival. Tickets were released for this event on Monday 18 January 2021 got fully sold very quickly So, get bright, throw a splash of colour over Call: (07) 3192 5188

Photo courtesy Brisbane City Council Facebook each other, bring in the light and share in the attention-grabbing rituals of Holi this February. The event will feature Live music from 3 DJs and Multicultural performances including Bollywood dance battles, Rain dance/relay dance, Matki phod competition, Coordinated colour throwing, tons of delicious Indian cuisine

Fun activities for kids. It is wonderful to see what started off as few students getting together to celebrate Holi – to where it has gone today. The event is widely appreciated and is considered a very inclusive and fun filled event. Holi has its traditional and religious values, but on a broader scale

the celebration in a very inclusive manner has taken its current form and it is good to see that wider community enjoying this festival. Legends of Holi are as colourful as Holi itself. There are myriad shades and tones in them from the subtle ones of love and devotion to the darker hues pertaining to demons and their devilish


desires. What is remarkable is the faith of millions of Hindus in these legends. They relive these stories every year and bring to life the incidents which occurred thousands of years ago. A belief in the legends, devotion to god and a strong belief in the fact that it is the good and the truth that ultimately prevails over the evil pulls the people to religiously follow the set traditions each year. And, this faith - in god and the ancient traditions is what still binds the people in a spirit of love and harmony in this otherwise divided society. There was once a demon king by the name of Hiranyakashyap who won over the kingdom of earth. He was so egoistic that he commanded everybody in his kingdom to worship only him. But to his great disappointment, his son, Prahlad became an ardent devotee of Lord Naarayana and refused to worship his father. Hiranyakashyap tried several ways to kill his son Prahlad but Lord Vishnu

saved him every time. Finally, he asked his sister, Holika to enter a blazing fire with Prahlad in her lap. For, Hiranyakashyap knew that Holika had a boon, whereby, she could enter the fire unscathed. Treacherously, Holika coaxed young Prahlad to sit in her lap and she herself took her seat in a blazing fire. The legend has it that Holika had to pay the price of her sinister desire by her life. Holika was not aware that the boon worked only when she entered the fire alone. Prahlad, who kept chanting the name of Lord Naarayana all this while, came out unharmed, as the lord blessed him for his extreme devotion. Thus, Holi derives its name from Holika. And, is celebrated as a festival of victory of good over evil. Holi is also celebrated as the triumph of a devotee. As the legend depicts that anybody, howsoever strong, cannot harm a true devotee. And, those who dare torture a true devotee of god shall be reduced to ashes.

THE BRISBANE INDIAN TIMES, February, 2021 — 21

Arya Samaj Queensland VEDIC VIEW OF LIFE

Jitendra Deo President ASQ There have been, from the

earliest times, two schools of thought, regarding man’s outlook on life. There are those who believe in enjoying life to the full. For those people the only object in life is to eat, drink and be merry and their attitude towards life finds a very clear expression in the saying that man is rather a long-living animal with great powers of enjoyment, if he does not deliberately forego them. At the other extreme stand those men and women to whom the world in all emptiness, vanity and deceit. For these people material life has no charm. They believe it to be a source of positive misery and, therefore, escape from it is the essential step towards salvation. The presence of pain cannot be denied. But we cannot subscribe to the view that the whole world is felling miserable. Had the world been entirely

painful, nobody should have felt a liking for it. As a matter of fact, the world is not exclusively painful. It has both pleasure as well as pain and the former exceeds the latter. That is why everybody likes to continue here, however adverse the conditions may be under which he be placed. As a rule man always chooses pleasure and has no inclination for pain. The Veda, therefore adopts a realistic view of the world. Looking more closely into the matter it will be seen that though there is some truth in both the views, they reveal only one side of the picture and, therefore, partial truth. The whole truth, according to the Veda consists neither in the denial of the world and its objects (created by God so that man may benefit from them) nor in their enjoyment by possession, but by enjoying in renunciation. The Vedic view is successful synthesis of the two extremes which may be summed up as enjoyment followed by renunciation. All civilisations in the past in general, our own civilisation in particular, have tried to evolve and materialise this idea in the forms of religious or social institutions. Ashrania-dharma of the Vedic Aryans is a wellconsidered attempt in this direction. Any person practising this Dharma will desire no more than what he can get justly, use soberly,

L-R Shri Jitendra Deo, Shri Yogesh Arya , Shri Prakash Arya, Shri Vinay Arya distribute cheerfully and leave contentedly. He will be careful in warming his hands before the fire without burning them. The way to escape from misery is not to turn our back on the world, but to follow the divine law of right conduct, as advised by the Vedas. The Vedic view is a practical synthesis of the two seemingly opposing theories. Of course, the enjoyment should be free and true enjoyment of the spirit, and not of the

satisfaction of the sense based on the impact of the external world on the sensory organs. Similarly, renunciation also is not the rejection of the world with its objects but renunciation of worldly desires and ambitions. If a man had only acted in the light of the teachings of the Veda, he should have realised that the worldly goods, which he is trying to possess physically to a limitless extent, are not his. He can use them but cannot claim them as his own. If he had

known that behind all material existence there is a universal spirit which permanently controls it, things would certainly have been different. But the most tragic part of it all is that man does not learn this lesson was from his own accumulated experience embodied in human history. If there is one lesson which is potent on the pages of the history of every nation, it is this that no individual, nor any nation, however powerful at one time, has even been successful in

holding the world in its possession for all times. To me it appears that the only lesson which man has learnt from history is that man has learnt nothing from history. Man may be a social animal but the last part of life road has to be walked in a single file. Please contact President: Jitendra Deo 3273 3029 or Secretary: Sunil Dutt 5613 3410 for information on activities of Arya Samaj Queensland or log on: www. aryasamajqueensland.org/ Facebook Arya Samaj Qld.

Fiji Senior Citizens Assn of Qld Inc NEWS

Every year the Fiji Senior

Citizens organised on Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony 26 January, at Multicultural Hub. About 80 peoples participated the ceremony includes candidates their families and friends and 20 community leaders from diverse community. The Ceremony started by flag raising by Senator Paul Scarr and other community leaders in the presence of Candidates and their families and friends. Aunty Peggy Tidyman performed welcome to country and Surendra Prasad OAM Acknowledge all the guests, candidate and their families and

congratulate the candidates for choosing to become an Australian Citizens. He said that it takes courage endeavour and commitment to live in a new country And participate fully as a citizen. Surendra said Australian citizenship is an important step in your migration story. To become Australian citizen means that you are making an ongoing commitment to Australia and all that this country stand for. It is also the beginning of your formal membership of Australian community. It is the step that will enable you to say

22 — THE BRISBANE INDIAN TIMES, February, 2021

“I AM AUSTRALIAN” Senator Paul Scarr the Presiding officer, conducted the Citizenship Ceremony, Michael Po Saw provided entertainment, Zon Pan Phyu (Zonnie) she sang National Anthem and “WE ARE ONE WE ARE AUSTRALIAN” and Barbara Bittle, Agnes and Nancy Singh provided light lunch after the ceremony. INDIA REPUBLIC DAYWREATH LAYING- 26 JANUARY, 2021 On India republic day, 26 January the Australian of the Indian Heritage War Memorial Committee organised wreath laying at Indian Monument at RSL

Sunnybank at Memorial Garden which was unveiled on 18 November, 2017. On this special Indian Republic Day the wreath was laid in memories of our young man and women fought side by side with Australian soldiers and was killed in World War 1 & 2. After 100 years, we have come together and build this Monument in memories of our Indian Soldiers sacrifice their lives in both the wars and this will be remembered in Queensland history. Fiji Senior Citizens Assn of Qld Inc, join hands with Sunnybank United Multicultural Association to raise funds for recent

Fiji cyclone Yassa which has destroyed many homes, farms ,personal belonging ,schools ,etc. We organised Fundraising dinner on 15 January but was cancelled due to restriction imposed by the Queensland government. We continue to raise fund through our members and friends we

raised $3210 and was presented to Rotary Club of Brisbane International. This fund will be used to provide building materials and funds will be look after by local Rotary Club in Fiji. Surendra Prasad President –Fiji Senior Citizens Assn of Qld 30/01/2021





AUSTRALIA DAY 2021 As Australians, our fates have always been bound together.

I am delighted to send my best wishes to everyone celebrating India’s Republic Day.

During this past year, we have been reminded once again of our shared fortunes. How much we depend on each other.

It is a wonderful coincidence of history that Australia and India share 26 January as our national day.

In a year where much of the world has struggled under the strain of the global pandemic, Australians, together, have prevailed, in our own Australian way.

Of course, we share more than a day on the calendar. Australia and India are guided by the same ideals: of democracy, freedom, and the rule of law.

From the kids who made masks for others and who studied remotely; to the aged care residents who endured difficult COVID restrictions: every Australian has played a part responding to a once-in-a century pandemic.

Our shared history is long, and our connections are many. We are friends and natural partners – and each year we draw even closer.

Australia Day is a day to reflect, respect and celebrate.

As nations, 2020 will be remembered as a pivotal moment in our friendship. Seven months ago, Prime Minister Modi and I announced a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. This major step forward for our trade and investment, defence and scientific partnerships, as well as cooperation on maritime, cyber and critical technology, speaks to our trust in each other.

On Australia Day we reflect on that journey, the price that has been paid for our freedom, the lessons of our history and the privilege of being able to call ourselves Australians. Today, we honour 60,000 years of Indigenous history; draw strength from our representative democracy that is a beacon to free peoples; and express our gratitude on the bounty that is ours as the most successful multicultural nation on Earth. These stories do not compete with each other, they simply coexist and are woven together. We are a decent, fair, enterprising, and generous people who respond to whatever challenge is put before us. We are a people “one and free” who look out for each other and our neighbours, and are always striving to do better.

This year our nations have responded to a global pandemic. This has meant the free flow of peoples between our two countries is not what it traditionally has been. However, I want to assure you that Australia longs for when we can welcome our Indian friends, family and students back to our shores. Like you, we look forward to the day when we can move more freely and we are safely on the other side of the pandemic.

Whilst our celebrations will be different this year because of the pandemic, we look to the future with hope and optimism – understanding that together we can and will get through these difficult times.

Today, as you celebrate your national day, know that your friends in Australia are celebrating too – and share your pride, confidence and optimism.

Happy Australia Day!

Happy Republic Day.

The Hon Scott Morrison MP Prime Minister of Australia

The Hon Scott Morrison MP Prime Minister of Australia

26 January 2021 Call: (07) 3192 5188

26 January 2021 www.indiantimes.com

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Who, What, Where, When...

Lord Mayor’s Multicultural roundtable representatives

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner address guest at the opening Night of BrisAsia 2021

Carefully planned and placed performances for the VIP opening night of BrisAsia

Umesh Chandra OAM with Andrea Lam (MC) at BrisAsia opening night

Brisbane Musician Tenzin Choegyal with is powerful recital

Connie da Cunha and Usha Chandra mingle with the amazing vocalist for the night

Paviter Kumar Noori, Drea Lam, Prerna Pawa and team at BrisAsia 201 opening night

Lord Mayor and Cr Tracy Davis Bracken Ridge citizenship ceremony

Lord Mayor with the Brisbane updates at Radio 4EB studios

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Who, What, Where, When...

RJ Savi and Umesh Chandra host the second instalment of popular Music Junction live stream Via Chantex Multimedia.

Amit Mehta producer director, actor and Jane Bychkova who plays the role of Tilly in Different world web series after their interview at Australian Indian Radio studios

celebrity blogger NSJ vLogs (80,000 plus subscribers on Youtube), in the studios of Australian Indian Radio after his interview

Jhanda Bandhan at Gayatri Mandir Boondall on their anniversary Call: (07) 3192 5188

Star of Different Worlds Steven Machunter who plays the role of “ Patrick” with Umesh Chandra after the premier at Event cinemas

Members of Indian Medical Association with Umesh and Usha Chandra – watch this space for the announcement of their new exciting upcoming show

Gathering at Indian Consulate office for Republic day flag raising www.indiantimes.com

THE BRISBANE INDIAN TIMES, February, 2021 — 25

Pratham Bhog 2021 and 4th Ishthapna Diwas at Vishnu Maya Mandir

Shree Vishnu Maya Mandir is situated at 86 Scott Lane, North MacLean QLD 4280 founded by His Holiness Guru Pundit Tripati Ji and Guruma Asha Tripati Ji in 2012. The temple premises are located on 11-acre land in a very peaceful locality of Logan City in Australia. The great scholar and philosopher of Hinduism Acharya Pundit R.H. Tripati Ji has only one slogan “Dharam Hi Jiwan Hai” (Religion is Life). One day a benevolent thought of enhancing the average life of Hindu Community in Brisbane enlightened him. With blessings of Lordships Vishnu and Mahalakshmi, he purchased a land where he invested all his life-time savings and wealth for the Communities spiritual service. His dream was to build a unique Hindu Temple and Yoga Centre. He began the service from his small home with Sunday programs in the Pergola while the project plans were submitted to local Council. Some local Devotees supported the spiritual good cause and gave their valuable time to start the project either through their expertise such as surveyors, engineers, architects, or volunteering for regular weekly services such as cooking prashadam and cleaning of the temple. On 26th January 2017, the new temple was built and grand pooja ceremony was held. The temple had Deities installed and special Hindu festivals are celebrated every year. There are few other installations to complete the temple project such as the Brahma Kund, Yoga Centre, Mahaprasadam Hall, Museum and Sage Ashram. As the grand opening was on the 26th Of January, every year the “Pratham Bhog” is held on that date. It was decided that from next year the celebration will shift to the Sunday after 26th January for the celebration as 26th is Australia Day and devotees would like to and are encouraged to take part in

Australia Day celebrations. This year His holiness launched the “Lifetime Community Award “the first receipt is Umesh Chandra OAM. His holiness in his presentation speech said this award is for the couple as they operate as a true couple, Umesh has been able to do what he has done for the community with the support of Usha Chandra. The program had begun with melodious Bhajans by “Bangladesh Puja and Cultural Society Brisbane” the group has very talented members who sang the bhajan with much devotion. Umesh Chandra OAM as the Mc welcomed everyone and acknowledged the special guest from the Multicultural Community. The guest of honour included Linus Power MP, Jon Raven- deputy Mayor of Logan, Councillor Natalie Willcoks from Division 11, Scott McDougall Queensland Human Rights commissioner, Ms Janeth Deen OAM from Queensland Multicultural Council, Stanley Hsu – also from Queensland Multicultural Council, Tanvi Goel representing GOPIO Queensland, Ari Heber From Jewish community, Nayda Hernandez from Cr Charles Strunk’s office, John Prescot

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and others. His Holiness Dharam Guru Tripathi ji surprised Umesh Chandra with the Community service award. The award listed many of Umesh Chandra Accomplishment and Guru ji praised and thanked him for his contributions to humanity. It is believed the award will now be an annual event with Pratham Bhog and Isthapna Diwas.

Kavita ji

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THE BRISBANE INDIAN TIMES, February, 2021 — 27

IMPORTANCE OF SEEKING KNOWLEDGE IN ISLAM By Ml. M.Nawaaz Ashrafi is a religion of knowledge. Islam gives much importance on seeking knowledge. Knowledge is a key to success. Seeking knowledge is better than any value in the world. Allah Almighty says in Holy Quran: “And say: My Lord, increase me in knowledge.” (Quran 20:114) It protects us from many difficulties. It has many benefits in this world and also in the hereafter. Knowledge is the base of our lives, and religious knowledge is pleasant, appropriate, and gives pleasure to us because we came to know about our Lord. No other religion gives as much importance to knowledge as the religion Islam. Islam has made seeking knowledge necessary for all Muslims and has believed that not doing so is considered as a sin. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said about it in these words: “Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim.” (At-Tirmidhi) This obligation is not limited to certain sex or class but it is also important and obligatory for women as for men, young and old, rich and poor. Whoever seeks knowledge and help other people to learn will get astonishing rewards from Allah Almighty. Allah (SWT) will grant him/her high ranks in this world and the Hereafter. Allah Almighty says in Noble Quran: “Allah raises of those who believe and those who have been given knowledge many levels.”(Quran 58:11). Teaching others is one of the good deeds from which we will earn great rewards even after death. Whoever leaves behind beneficial knowledge will get rewards as long as people are still getting benefits from his knowledge. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “When a man dies all his deeds come to an end except for three: an ongoing charity, beneficial knowledge and a righteous son who prays for him.” (Al-Bukhari) In another hadith, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “The excellence of a scholar over another (ordinary) worshipper is like the excellence of the full moon over the rest of the heavenly bodies.”(Abu Dawood). From this hadith, we came to know that there is a great difference between a Muslim who has a knowledge and the one who does not have. So it’s important to seek knowledge in Islam to know about our existence or creation of this world and everything in it. If you want to know about the purpose of your creation and this world then you must seek knowledge about it. Islam emphasizes the great importance of knowledge and education. When the Quran began to be revealed, the first word


of its first verse was ‘Iqra’ that is, read. Allah says in Noble Quran: “Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists). He has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood). Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. Who has taught (the writing) by the pen. He has taught man that which he knew not” (Quran, 96: 1-5) We must have knowledge about what is permissible and impermissible in daily life. A person must also learn how to purify their hearts and deeds from guilty traits. Muslims must know how to purify their hearts from the love of wealth, status, and fame, and how to make one’s love for Allah alone. They must also learn the soaring manners taught to us by the religion Islam, and try to live our lives according to Prophet Muhammad (SAW). When someone tries to learn while it is hard for him/her, they will surely receive the double reward from Allah Almighty because they put a lot effort into seeking it. The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Whoever reads the Quran and stutters while reading, due to its difficulty, will receive a double reward.” (Sahih Muslim) Learning about religion will make easy for us the path to Paradise, as Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said in a way: “Whoever treads a path in seeking knowledge, Allah will make easy for him the path to Paradise” (AlTirmidhi). The main purpose of seeking knowledge is to bring us closer to our Creator Allah Almighty. It is not simply for the pleasure of the mind or the senses. Knowledge accordingly must be linked to values and goals. Stages of Seeking Knowledge are mentioned below: 4Ask questions in a good manner 4Remain quiet and listen attentively 4Understand well 4Memorize it 4Teach it to others 4Act upon it and keep it to the limit In short, knowledge is mandatory for the creation of a just world in which authentic peace can obtain. Quran emphasizes the importance of the seeking of knowledge. We should try to seek knowledge for the sake of Allah Almighty. KNOWLEDGE IS ESSENCE OF RELIGION Allah Ta’ala created man and provided him with the tools for acquiring knowledge, namely hearing, sight and wisdom. Allah says: “And Allah has brought you out from the wombs of your mothers while you knew nothing. And He gave you hearing, sight, and hearts that you might give thanks (to Allah). (Qur’an, 16:78) Islam is the great religion

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of knowledge. The first ayah of the Qur’an enjoined reading which is the key to knowledge. Allah says: “Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists). He has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood). Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. Who has taught (the writing) by the pen. He has taught man that which he knew not.” (Qur’an, 96:1-5) In Islam, knowledge comes before action; there can be no action without knowledge, as Allah says: “So know (O Muhammad) that La ilaha illAllah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), and ask forgiveness for your sin, and also for (the sin of) believing men and believing women.” (Qur’an, 47:19) Allah warns every Muslim against speaking without knowledge: “And follow not (O man, i.e., say not, or do not, or witness not) that of which you have no knowledge. Verily, the hearing, and the sight, and the heart of each of those ones will be questioned (by Allah).” (Qur’an, 17:36) Emphasizing the status of knowledge and the scholars, Allah calls upon the scholars to bear witness to His Oneness: “Allah bears witness that none has the right to be worshipped but He (La ilaha illa Huwa), and the angels, and those having knowledge (also give this witness); (He always) maintains His creation in justice. None has the right to be worshipped but He, the Almighty, the All-Wise.” (Qur’an, 3:18) Knowledge and fear of Allah may be attained by knowing His signs and creation. The knowledgeable are those who know that, hence Allah praises them: “It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allah.” (Qur’an, 35:28) The scholars occupy a noble status in Islam, and which is higher than the position of others in this world and in the Hereafter. “Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge.” (Qur’an, 58:11) Because of the importance of knowledge, Allah commanded His Messenger to seek more of it. Allah says: “And say: ‘My Lord! Increase me in knowledge’.” (Qur’an, 20:114) Allah praises the scholars, as He says: “Say: ‘Are those who know equal to those who know not?’ It is only men of understanding who will remember (i.e. get a lesson from Allah’s Signs and Verses).” (Qur’an, 39:9) Those who have knowledge are the quickest of people to understand the truth and believe in it: “And that those who have been given knowledge may know that it (this Qur’an) is the

truth from your Lord, so that they may believe therein, and their hearts may submit to it with humility.” (Qur’an, 22:54) Islam calls us to seek knowledge. The Messenger (peace be upon him) made seeking knowledge an obligation upon every Muslim, and he explained that the superiority of the one who has knowledge over the one who merely worships is like the superiority of the moon over every other heavenly body. He said that the scholars are the heirs of the prophets and that the prophets did not leave behind dinars and dirhams, rather their inheritance was knowledge, so whoever acquires it has gained a great share. And he (peace and blessings be upon him) said that seeking knowledge is a way to paradise. He (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Whoever follows a path in the pursuit of knowledge, Allah will make a path to paradise easy for him.” (AlBukhari, Kitab Al-Ilm, 10) Islam calls us to learn all kinds of beneficial knowledge. Branches of knowledge vary in status, the highest of which is knowledge of Shariah, then knowledge of medicine, then the other fields of knowledge. The best of all branches of knowledge are the sciences of Shariah through which man comes to know his Lord and His Prophet and religion. This is the knowledge with which Allah honored His Messenger; He taught it to him so that he might teach it to mankind: “Indeed, Allah conferred a great favor on the believers when He sent among them a Messenger (Muhammad) from among themselves, reciting unto them His Verses (the Qur’an), and purifying them (from sins by their following him), and instructing them (in) the Book (the Qur’an) and Al‑Hikmah [the wisdom and the Sunnah of the Prophet], while before that they had been in manifest error.” (Qur’an, 3:164) The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “When Allah wishes good for a person, He makes him understand the religion.” (Al-Bukhari, 69) Concerning the matter of paying attention to the Qur’an and learning and teaching it, the Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “The best of you is the one who learns the Qur’an and teaches it.” (AlBukhari, 4639) There is no goodness in knowledge which is not confirmed by action, or words which are not confirmed by deeds: “O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do? Most hateful it is with Allah that you say that which you do not do.” (Qur’an, 61:2-3) The Ummah needs knowledgeable people at all times and in all places. A nation without knowledge

and scholars will live in illusions and sink in darkness. Whoever conceals this knowledge and deprives the Ummah of it, Allah will place on him a bridle of fire on the Day of Resurrection, and he will deserve to be cursed, except for the one who repents. Allah says: “Verily, those who conceal the clear proofs, evidences and the guidance, which We have sent down, after We have made it clear for the people in the Book, they are the ones cursed by Allah and cursed by the cursers. Except those who repent and do righteous deeds, and openly declare (the truth which they concealed). These, I will accept their repentance. And I am the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.” (Qur’an, 2:159-160) Knowledge brings a great reward. The one who points the way to something good is like the one who does it. When the knowledgeable person dies, his reward with Allah does not cease when he dies, rather it continues to increase so long as people benefit from his knowledge. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “When a man dies, all his deeds come to an end except for three — his charity, beneficial knowledge or a righteous son who will pray for him.” (Muslim, 1631) If the scholar spreads his knowledge among the people, he will have a reward like that of those who follow him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever calls people to right guidance will have a reward like that of those who follow him, without it detracting from their reward in the slightest, and whoever calls people to misguidance will have a burden of sin like that of those who follow him, without it detracting from their burden in the slightest.” (Muslim, 2674) Proper understanding of Islam is one of the best of good characteristics with which a Muslim may be honored, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “When Allah wishes good for a person, He makes him understand the religion.” Reading Qur’an, learning it and teaching it, are among the best deeds, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “There should be no envy (hasad) except between two people, a man to whom Allah has given (knowledge of) the Qur’an, so he recites it night and day, and a man to whom Allah has given wealth, so he spends it (in good deeds) night and day.” (Muslim, 815) THE FIVE KINDS OF KNOWLEDGE The Qur’an Recognizes Five Kinds of Knowledge: 1. Empirical knowledge: mathematical, experimental, observational, and socio-

economic. This is the kind of knowledge best known in our times. Islam laid its foundations. According to Hadith of the Prophet, pbuh, there is a cure for EVERY disease. 2. Rational knowledge, including logic and axiology. The use of reason is strongly recommended in the Qur’an. The Arabs translated Plato and Aristotle. In turn Europe was influenced by Islamic rationality. Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason has Islamic influence in it. 3. Intuitive knowledge, including poetic inspiration, love [highest form being the mother’s love for the child], conscience, compassion and forgiveness. The world’s greatest poetry is influenced by Islam, be it that of Rumi, Iqbal or Ghalib. 4. Law and traditional Knowledge. The Qur’an links the present to the past and teaches the rule of Law. Thus the best of the PAST is incorporated into Islam but the ephemeral and the historically limited knowledge is left out. SHARIAH is extremely advanced and well developed in Islam. 5. Revelation. This is the highest form of knowledge and was given to Noah, Abraham, Hajira, Moses, Maryam, Jesus and Muhammad [peace be on them], and was perfected, completed and finalized in the Qur’an and in the life, teachings and example [Hadith] of Muhammad, pbuh. Revelation is directly from Allah [the God, the Creator of all beings and worlds]. It can be recognized as other than human owing to its revolutionary nature and ”impossibility” within the social context in which it was revealed. For instance, in preIslamic Arab society as well as in other societies before Muhammad, pbuh, women were regarded as the property of men and were often bought and even ”inherited” by men. The Qur’an rejected the existing social norms and went outside all the ”possibilities” in that era by proclaiming that not only are women and men equal but that women themselves must INHERIT property. The Qur’an is Islam’s LIVING MIRACLE. Muhammad, pbuh, was unlettered genius, had no human teacher and had not been to any school. He did not write or think up the Qur’an or make any claim of being the author of a Book, which re-shaped the world in all its dimensions. TALABUL ILMI FAREE-DHATUN ALAA KULLI MUSLIMIN WA MUSLIMATIN. (HADEETH) THE ACQUISITION OF KNOWLEDGE IS COMPULSORY UPON EVERY MUSLIM MALE AND FEMALE.

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The city suburbs that slipped below the FHLDS thresholds BY Eliza Owen 4 Feb 2021: The housing market has shown a robust performance, despite the shock of COVID-19 in 2020. But the pandemic has impacted pockets of the housing market, creating opportunities for buyers. Recent housing value declines are particularly prominent in major cities like Sydney and Melbourne. These cities accounted for around 75% of international migration across the capital cities in 2018-19, meaning international border closures have created a particular demand shock. On Wednesday, the Minister for Housing announced around 1,800 places would be re-issued from the first round of the first home loan deposit scheme (FHLDS). This means recent value falls may have created an opportunity for first home buyers, where there is a maximum

purchase price cap to qualify for the scheme. As of January 2020, there was an average of 107₁ suburbs observed in the capital cities with a

median value at or below the qualifying threshold for the FHLDS, assuming the application is for established property. Established property has

historically been favoured by first home buyers where benefits for both new and established property have been available. That was further demonstrated in

the slower utilisation of the FHLDS when it was made available for only new property. CoreLogic median dwelling value data reveals city suburbs where the median value fell below the established property price threshold since the onset of COVID-19. This effectively looks at the change in the median value of all houses or units across a suburb between March 2020 and January 2021. Note suburbs analysed include where CoreLogic has high confidence in the median value, and there have been at least 50 transactions across the suburb over the past 12 months. As noted in previous research, the Inner region of Melbourne has seen particularly severe declines in rent and property values since the onset of COVID-19. This is because the Melbourne - Inner region has historically had

particularly high exposure to housing demand from overseas migrants, such as international students, as well as people employed in tourism, hospitality and the arts. Both cohorts have been particularly affected by the pandemic. The same trends may explain the decline of median unit values in South Brisbane, where inner city Brisbane has also seen relatively high levels of overseas migration as a component of population growth. While the impacts of COVID-19 on some markets has seen a decline in values, upward pressure on prices may result from the resumption of interstate and international travel, as well as continued improvements in the Australian economy. As more of the housing market is caught in a broadbased upswing, first home buyers could face more challenges getting into the market in the year ahead.

Preliminary clearance rate improves as volumes rise across the combined capitals Auction markets have returned a strong result on higher volumes this week, with the combined capitals weighted average preliminary clearance rate holding above 80%. Every capital city recorded a clearance rate above 70% as volumes continued to surge

higher after the festive period slowdown.

Capital City Auction Statistics (Preliminary) There were 1,287 homes taken to auction across the combined capital cities this week, returning a preliminary

auction clearance rate of 83.8%, an improvement on the 81.1% preliminary result last week when a lower 884 auctions took place. Last week’s clearance rate revised down to 77.2% by final figures on Wednesday; it’s likely this week’s result may come in above this given the higher

preliminary figure. Over the same week last year, auction volumes were lower with 1,167 homes going under the hammer across the combined capital cities, returning a final auction clearance rate of just 67.7%. In Melbourne, a preliminary auction clearance rate of 80.8% was recorded across 592 auctions this week, while last week there were 390 auctions returning a final clearance rate of 80%. One year ago, the clearance rate was just 68.5% across 419 auctions. There were 449 auctions held in Sydney this week, returning a preliminary clearance rate of 89.1%. In comparison, there were 270 auctions held over the

previous week and the final auction clearance rate was 76.7%. One year ago, 384 auctions were held across the city and the clearance rate came in at 77.6%. Across the smaller auction markets, Canberra returned the highest preliminary clearance rate of 92.7%,

followed by Adelaide (82.8%), Perth (75%) and Brisbane (74.6%). Such strong auction results signal further upwards pressure on housing prices amidst extremely tight advertised supply levels and above average buyer demand.

REIA LISTS 12 PRIORITIES FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO ADDRESS IN THE BUDGET Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) is calling on the Federal Government to address several key issues impacting the property sector when it releases its May 2021 Budget. REIA acknowledges the work of the Federal Government and National Cabinet in protecting Australia from COVID-19 and the prompt economic and health measures that were put in place however the institute has identified 12 Priorities to assist Australia’s


property customers (which includes tenants, first home buyers, owner occupiers and investors and agencies) in succeeding in a CovidNormal Australia. REIA President, Adrian Kelly said that over 80% of agents surveyed in 2020 believed that ongoing solutions would be needed such as extended JobKeeper and rental support for Australians impacted by sectors unable to recover including tourism and international education.

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“We’re also proposing Interest rates for first home buyers be made tax deductible.” “REIA estimates this would provide a benefit of around $4,000 per annum to Australia’s first home buyers (which NHFIC places at around 15% of the housing spectrum). At least six other OECD nations have a similar incentive. “We are calling on allowing voluntary super contributions and earnings be used and accessed for

all first home buyers and well as expanding the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS) into a long term program,” he said. Mr Kelly said the REIA is also seeking to help real estate agents manage their cash flow in response to the disruptions from COVID-19. “We’re proposing a kit that is a predictive tool to assess a business’s viability and whilst the kit can be used at any stage of the business lifecycle, it is particularly useful to prevent financial

stress. “Assistance from $2000 to $5000 per agency will allow for the individual advice from a trusted adviser to improve financial viability and productivity which will assist in the Government achieving a higher economic growth rate than would otherwise be the case. “Cash flow problems continue to be a major issue for small businesses with 90% of small business failures due to poor cash flow management,” he said.

Mr Kelly concluded that there is a need for policies and investments that will continue to drive growth in the property. “Wherever you are in the housing market, an agent, tenant, buyer, investor or vendor, there should be support for you in the next Federal Budget to have confidence to succeed in a COVIDNormal Australia.” The REIA Budget Priorities for the 20212022 Federal Budget can be viewed here.

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THE BRISBANE INDIAN TIMES, February, 2021 — 33

More than 150 missing and 14 dead as burst glacier triggers flash floods in India At least 14 people are dead and more than 150 missing after a glacier burst in India's northern Uttarakhand state Sunday and crashed through two hydroelectric projects, triggering deadly flash floods along the river. Footage of the disaster showed a fast-moving avalanche of dust, rock and water barreling through the narrow gorge in Chamoli district, in the Himalayan state, and sweeping away parts of a dam as well as buildings, trees and people in its path. Those living further down the river were urged to evacuate from the rising waters. Rescue teams worked throughout the night to find survivors and recover bodies. Fifteen people trapped in a tunnel were rescued on Monday, according to

Chamoli District Police, though rescuers are now focusing on a second tunnel which is blocked with debris. Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said at a press conference Sunday that a tunnel at the state-owned

NTPC hydro project was clogged with debris from the avalanche triggered by the glacial burst. "Uttarakhand has witnessed a terrible disaster," Rawat said, adding that the state is expecting "significant

Jharkhand: Family of Navy sailor killed in Maharashtra's Palghar demands CBI inquiry

The family of 27-year-old

Indian Navy sailor, who was allegedly abducted in Chennai and set on fire to death by kidappers in Maharashtra's Palghar district, have demanded CBI inquiry in the matter as they refused to believe that the sailor was killed for failure to pay ransom of Rs 10 lakh. Navy sailor Suraj Kumar Dubey, hailing from Jharkhand, was abducted from Chennai on January 30, set on fire by his kidnappers in Palghar district's Gholvad area and died on Friday. Police said Dubey was set on fire by his abductors after he failed to pay Rs 10 lakh ransom. Dubey's elder brother on Sunday rejected the police's narrative and said if his brother was abducted, the perpetrators would have contacted his family members for the ransom money. The family alleged that these theories are being floated to divert the attention and suppress the real dimension of case. They

suspected a "deep rooted conspiracy" was hatched against the Navy sailor that lead to his murder. The family said they "doubt about the complicity of Dharmendra, Dubey's friend and colleague posted at INS Agrani, and a senior, Ashok Ray, in the case". They have urged the state government to recommend for CBI probe in the matter without any delay. According to the family, Dubey got engaged on January 15 and was supposed to get married soon. The family was gearing up for his marriage and was busy with marketing for the occasion. Meanwhile, Palamu MP MP V D Ram has written to Home Minister Amit Shah and demanded CBI inquiry into the matter. Navy sailor Suraj Kumar Dubey, who hailed from Kolhua village in Jharkhand's Palamu, was posted with the Leadership Training Establishment at INS Agrani near Coimbatore. When he was returning from his vacation on January 30, three

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men abducted him at gun point outside Chennai Airport around 11 pm and demanded ransom of Rs 10 lakh. He was kept hostage in Chennai at an unknown place for three days but when he refused to pay the hefty amount to his his abductors, they brought him to secluded area in Palghar and set him ablaze. However, Dubey, who suffered 90 per cent burns, managed to run away and with the help of some locals. Before dying, he narrated the ordeal to police. "Villagers alerted Gholvad police and Dubey was rushed to INHS Ashwini in Mumbai for treatment. The details were recorded by police officials while Dubey was being shifted to the hospital and he succumbed to his injuries on the way," a senior officer from Palghar police said. "We are investigating how Dubey, who was abducted in Chennai, was brought to Gholvad and that too at such a remote location. The incident is being dealt on high priority," he said.

loss to human lives and infrastructure." Indian Army and members from India's National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been assisting rescue efforts, and more NDRF teams are being

airlifted from New Delhi and expected to arrive on Monday. Images from the NDRF showed teams trying to clear thick layers of mud and debris around the entrance to what appears to be a tunnel. "This was a one-time incident. The glacier broke, and with it a portion on the mountain- boulders and debris all came down and flooded the power project here ... There are two locations here which have been damaged heavily," said Ashok Kumar, senior official with the Uttarakhand police to local reporters Monday morning. From the two projects, a total of 153 people are missing, he added. The avalanche completely inundated the Rishiganga

Power project -- a smaller hydroelectric dam on the river in Chamoli. Those living alongside the Alaknanda River were urged to flee to safety, but stay calm. The minister said of the total 35 people working at the plant, "roughly 29 to 30 people are missing." Flash floods then surged 5 kilometers downstream on the Dhauli Ganga river and impacted a much larger hydro project owned by the NTPC, Rawat said. Some 176 laborers were working on that project, which has two tunnels, the minister said. "Roughly 15 people" managed to get out of one tunnel after getting word of the avalanche on their mobile devices, Rawat said, adding that 35 to 50 workers had been rescued and returned to the NTPC plant.

Will remain Telangana CM, no change of guard in state: KCR clarifies in TRS meet Amid speculation that he is handing over the state affairs to son and urban minister KT Rama Rao, TRS chief and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday made it clear that there was no proposal to step down from the top post and make his son lead the government. In the party executive meeting which was held first time after GHMC elections, KCR rejected the change of guard rumours in the state and said he in "good health" and will remain the CM of the state. The meeting had triggered speculation as some party MLAs and other senior leaders have openly spoken, in recent weeks, in favour of K T Rama Rao becoming the CM.

He also warned the party leaders against making such statements regarding change of leadership. The executive committee meeting held at the party office in Hyderabad decided to form party committees from March. The executive committee meeting, held at the party office in Hyderabad, deliberated on organisational issues

including appointment of party committees from village level to the state level, party membership renewal, election of party president and the party's annual plenary on April 27. The meeting also decided on GHMC Mayor Deputy Mayor candidate. State ministers, MLAs, MPs, MLCs, chairpersons of Zilla Parishads, Mayors and others attended the meeting. The party will commence its membership drive from February 12 and targets to surpass the previous record of over 60 lakh. Upcoming elections for two MLC graduates constituencies, Nagarjunagar bypoll and other urban body polls were also discussed.

Christian community donates over Rs 1 crore for Ram temple construction: Karnataka Dy CM office Members of the Christian community here on Sunday contributed more than Rs one crore for the construction of Lord Ram temple in Ayodhya, the office of Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan said on Sunday. At a meeting with a group of community members convened by Narayan, they made the contribution to the ongoing "Nidhi Samarpana Abhiyan" (fundraising drive), it said in a release. Entrepreneurs, businessmen, educationists, NRIs, CEOs, marketing

experts, social service activists and leaders of the Christian community participated in the meeting. "BJP believes in pro-people actions and Sab ka Saath, Sab ka Vikas'' as stated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This is an inclusive party comprising all the minorities and this philosophy of governance is being followed both at the Centre and the state," Narayan was quoted as saying in the release. Ronald Colaso, a businessman who spoke on behalf of the representatives,

said the community had been always responding to the cause of the nation and social harmony. He expressed happiness over the establishment of the Christian Development Corporation in the state and grant of Rs 200 crore for it. The leaders of the community also expressed their gratitude to Narayan for his efforts as a higher education minister to present and get approval in the state assembly a bill proposing the establishment of Saint Joseph University, the release added.

57a Kenmore Road, Kenmore QLD 4069 | www.brisbanedurgatemple.com

MAHA SHIVARATHRI 11 March 2021 – Thursday Maha Shivarathri (The Great Night of Shiva) celebrates Lord Shiva taking on the form of Lingothbhava (Shiva Linga) as well as performing the Ananda Tandavam (Great Cosmic Dance). Celebrations will be held throughout the night during this auspicious event.


7.30pm – Maha Deeparadhana 8.30pm – 1st Jaamam Rudra Abishekam 9.30pm – 1st Jaamam Maha Deeparadhana 10.30pm – Rudra Homam, 108 Sankabishekam 12.00am – Lingothbhava Kala Puja 2.00am – 3rd Jaamam Rudra Abishekam, Maha Deeparadhana 4.00am – 4th Jaamam Rudra Abishekam, Maha Deeparadhana

Devotees are welcome to perform milk Abishekam to Narmada Shiva Lingam from 6pm onwards. For more information please contact Gurrukal at 0431981998 Call: (07) 3192 5188


THE BRISBANE INDIAN TIMES, February, 2021 — 35

FOCUS ON FIJI SODELPA MPs return to parliament while NFP MPs remain out The Opposition MPs walked out of parliament earlier today after an urgent question by NFP Leader, Professor Biman Prasad and a motion for adjournment by Opposition Leader Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu was denied by Speaker of Parliament Ratu Epeli Nailatikau. While giving his ruling, Ratu Epeli says he looked at the question by Prasad and ruled that the question is not of an urgent character or relates to a matter of public importance. Ratu Epeli says therefore the question does not qualify as an urgent question under the standing orders. On its Facebook page, the National Federation Party says the Opposition has walked out in disgust after the Speaker rejected an urgent motion and an urgent

Permanent Secretary for

oral question relating to the arbitrary arrest, detention and deportation of the Vice Chancellor of the University of the South Pacific. Ratu Epeli further says there was also a motion of adjournment from Ratu

Naiqama. Ratu Epeli adds he considered the nature of the motion and ruled that the matters raised in the motion are not something that requires the immediate attention of parliament or government.

He reminded the parliamentarians that parliament must respect the doctrine of separation of powers. The SODELPA MP’s have since returned to parliament while NFP MP’s remain out.

2,500 people affected by TC Ana in Tavua and Ra given relief packs by Sai Prema Foundation 2,500 people in the Tavua

Areas assisted includes Vanuakula, Nabuna, Tavualevu, Qelema, Gallau, Ellington, Narewa, Vunitogoloa, Malake, Wairuku, Korotale, Vatusekiyasawa, Vatumami, FSC Lane, Nakinawai, Caboni settlement, Volivoli settlement, Barotu, Nalalawa, Tobu, Bucalevu, Nanuku, Natunu, Nadovi, Rabulu and Balekinaga.

and Ra region devastated by Cyclone Ana have been given relief packs by the Sai Prema Foundation. Each relief pack consisted of food and other essential items. The effort was conducted in partnership with NDMO and their coordinators who directed the relief effort towards families most affected.

Fiji receives US $952,380 worth of medical supplies from World Bank services are expected to be boosted after the Ministry of Health received US $952,380 worth of medical supplies from the World Bank today. Minister for Health, Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete says this donation has come at a right time as there is a disruption in the global supply chain. Waqainabete says we are leaving under a new norm and such support will boost the front line workers and the Fiji Emergency Medical Assistance Team. Waqainabete further says they are grateful to the World Bank for their never ending support in Fiji’s pathway to safety and economic recovery. World Bank Resident Representative, Lasse Melgaard says they are proud to support Fiji in these challenging times

Condition of Savusavu Hospital is not up to par and we would welcome anyone willing to help – Dr Fong

Health Dr James Fong has admitted that the condition of the Savusavu Hospital is not up to par and they would welcome anyone who is willing to help with the maintenance work. This is after a woman from Australia posted on social media that she has seen the state of the hospital and it is upsetting that this is where people go for medical assistance. The woman has also offered to set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the maintenance of the Savusavu Hospital and is seeking permission from the Health Ministry to go ahead with it. She says if the Fijian Government is not in a financial position to look after its hospitals due to the effects of COVID-19, then they should allow Fijians overseas and tourists who visit Fiji to raise funds that could provide a better hospital. When questioned by fijivillage, Dr Fong says

they would welcome any help to get the hospital sorted out much quicker but it has to be coordinated with the current plans that they already have in place. Dr Fong says he has read a number of reports regarding the infrastructure around the Savusavu Hospital that requires a lot of work but it is a bit complex because there are some issues with the foundation of the hospital. Meanwhile, Minister for Health Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete says there were discussions about moving the hospital because the location posed a threat to the facility but a feasibility study done last month indicated that they can keep the site as-is, as long as they do the necessary landscape work. Dr Waqainabete says they have set aside $300,000 for this and repairs to the main parts of the hospital will be carried out once the foundation and landscape works around the hospital is complete.

Dairy farmers to benefit from Mastitis Awareness program


to boost the country’s resilience against the continuous threat of COVID-19. Melgaard says this support is through the $15 million dollars World Bank

36 — THE BRISBANE INDIAN TIMES, February, 2021

financed Fiji COVID-19 Project. Items handed over today include hospital beds, drip stands, trolleys, medical equipment – resuscitators, portable suction machines,

diagnostic sets and Personal Protective Equipment including gloves, eye shields gowns, coveralls, masks and infection prevention control supplies.

Dairy farmers are expected to benefit from a Mastitis Awareness program which has been organised by the Fiji Cooperative Dairy Company Limited and facilitated by four FNU Veterinarians. The program has been made possible through a Memorandum of Understanding that has been signed between the Fiji Cooperative Dairy Company and FNU, with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture. The CEO of Fiji Cooperative Dairy Company Kushmendra Prasad says

the vets will work with the farmers on understanding the basic concepts regarding Mastitis, what Mastitis is, how it is caused, the treatments for Mastitis, the management and prevention of Mastitis and husbandry care techniques. Prasad says the goal is the improved management of the Bovine Mastitis issue, improved milk production and a sustainable business model. Mastitis is an infection that negatively impacts the amount and the quality of milk a cow can produce.

Call: (07) 3192 5188


THE BRISBANE INDIAN TIMES, February, 2021 — 37

Australian Honours and Awards Honours and Awards recognise the outstanding service and contributions of Australians. Recipients come from right across the country and from all walks of life. While some well-known people receive awards, many more are known only to those they help and serve day-inday-out. All recipients are worthy of recognition and celebration. “The Australian Honours and Awards system provides the people of Australia the opportunity to recognise and say 'thank you' to those whose efforts make our communities and our nation a better place. "Through the Order of Australia, Bravery Decorations and other awards we recognise and celebrate outstanding Australians - ordinary people who do extraordinary things for their local community and for Australia. "Perhaps the best part of the Australian system is that it is 100% nomination based. All people that receive awards have been nominated by their peers. This means

The Order of Australia


• The Order of Australia recognises Australians who have demonstrated outstanding service or exceptional achievement. • There are four levels of award. The Order of Australia also has a Military

that it doesn’t matter who you are, where you are from or whether you’re known to millions or just a few. If you have constantly put others ahead of yourself, served tirelessly and made a difference you can be nominated and recognised by a grateful nation." His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) Any Australian can

nominate someone for an award. Nominations are assessed by the Honours and Awards Secretariat, considered by the Council of the Order of Australia before recommendations are made to the Governor-General. The Australian Honours and Awards system includes: • The Order of Australia • Meritorious Awards • Military Awards; and • Bravery decorations.

Meritorious Service Awards Awards recognise outstanding and distinguished service by public servants, members of an Australian police force, fire, ambulance or emergency services or in connection with Meritorious

the Australian Antarctic Division. The Governor-General makes these awards on the recommendation of the responsible Ministers. Members of the public cannot nominate someone

for a Meritorious Award. Awards are announced on Australia Day and The Queen's Birthday weekend in June. The Australian Antarctic Medal is announced on 21 June.

Gallantry Decorations Decorations are awarded for heroic courage in action. Gallantry Decorations


are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Minister for Defence.

Awards are announced on Australia Day and the Queen’s Birthday weekend.

Australian Bravery Decorations Australian Bravery Decorations recognise acts of bravery where people selflessly put themselves in jeopardy to protect the lives or property of others. "Australian Bravery Awards recognise and celebrate Australians who, faced with a dangerous or perilous situation, think not of themselves or their own safety but about


others. These individuals deserve our admiration – they are an inspiration and examples of the sort of selfless sacrifice that we can all aspire to.” Governor-General, General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) How to nominate someone for an award Anyone can nominate someone to be recognised through the Order of


To complete a nomination you will need: • Their name, age and contact details • To explain why they are deserving of award, including details of their actions of service • To provide details of up to four referees to support the nomination.

Individuals are appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for eminent achievement and merit of the highest degree in service to Australia or to humanity at large

Division (awards in this division are recommended to the Governor-General by the Minister for Defence). • Anyone can nominate a member of the community for an award in the Order of Australia.

Individuals are appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service of a high degree to Australia or to humanity at large

Australia Day 2021 Honours List The Governor-General today announced the Australia Day 2021 Honours List, recognising 845 Australians. Included in the list are: 4 570 recipients of awards in the General Division of the Order of Australia (4 AC, 36 AO, 159 AM and 371 OAM) 428 recipients of awards in the Military Division of the Order of Australia (2 AO, 11 AM and 15 OAM) 4176 meritorious awards 470 Distinguished and Conspicuous awards 4Some of the first recipients recognised, at least in part, for their contribution in support of Australia’s response to the 2019-20 Bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic (more nominations are likely to be considered for future lists). “On behalf of all Australians, I congratulate everyone recognised in the Australia Day Honours list,” the Governor-General said. “The individuals we

• Nominating someone is a chance to recognise a peer for their hard-work, service and dedication. It is an opportunity to celebrate those inspiring people who make our nation what it is.

Individuals are appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for service in a particular locality or field of activity or to a particular group.

celebrate today come from all parts of our great nation and have served the community in almost every way conceivable. They’re diverse and unique but there are some common characteristics, including selflessness, commitment and dedication. “Recipients have not put their hand up to be recognised. Most would consider the achievements that they are being recognised for to be ‘ordinary’ or just what they do. Therein is the great strength of our system – recipients in the Order of Australia have been nominated by their peers, considered by an independent process and, today, recognised by the nation. “The sum of these contributions speaks to our nation’s greatest strength – its people. The Governor-General stressed the importance of all Australians nominating individuals from their own community for recognition. “Over the last 12 months we have seen outstanding examples of achievement and service to the community as we have confronted fires

The Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) is awarded for service worthy of particular recognition.

and the COVID-19 pandemic. I encourage Australians to look to the Order of Australia as a means of acknowledging the important work of their peers during these extraordinary times.” “I am determined to make sure that the Order of Australia reflects the diversity and breadth of our community. More needs to be done to achieve gender parity and increase diversity in other areas. Over the last 12 months I’ve initiated various initiatives in this regard to encourage people and organisations to nominate individuals they think are worthy. “The Order of Australia belongs to all Australians – my strong message to the community is that if you know someone that is worthy, take the time to nominate them. People cannot be recognised if they’re not nominated and that has to be driven from the community. “It is a wonderful way to recognise and celebrate achievement, service and contribution to community.” More information about the Order of Australia is available at www.gg.gov.au.

117 Queenslanders celebrated in 2021 Australia Day Honours

Premier and Minister for Trade The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk Legendary cricketer Greg Chappell, conservationist Professor Helene Marsh and legendary entertainer Lorrae Desmond are among 117 Queenslanders with something extra special to

celebrate this Australia Day – all recognised in the 2021 Australia Day Honours List. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said a phenomenal number of Queenslanders had been recognised in 2021 for memorable contributions to the State and the nation. “Australia Day is an opportunity to celebrate our

38 — THE BRISBANE INDIAN TIMES, February, 2021

homegrown success and recognise extraordinary individuals who have inspired us and motivated communities toward progress, innovation, compassion and kindness,” the Premier said. “This year’s Australia Day Honours List has recognised 117 Queenslanders who exemplify the Australian

spirit, and whose experiences reflect the incredible diversity of public life in Queensland. “They are Queenslanders who have advocated on behalf of our veterans, who have led conservation efforts, who have nursed people through ill health, who have educated and empowered our young people, and who have

entertained us on the sporting field, the stage and the screen. “Today they join a prestigious list of Australians whose actions and ideas have shaped the nation for the better. “I congratulate all the Queenslanders named in the 2021 Australia Day Honours List.”

In 2021, six Queenslanders were appointed Officers (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia – Greg Chappell MBE, Professor Helene Marsh, Professor Paul Memmott, Dr Sally Pitkin, Dr Russell Reichelt and Emeritus Professor Kay Saunders AM. CONTD. ON PG 39

CONTD. FROM PG 38 Nineteen Queenslanders were recognised as Members (AM) in the General Division, including former Paediatric Intensive Care Specialist at Queensland Children’s Hospital Dr Bruce Lister, author and champion of children’s literature Dr Robyn Sheahan-Bright and Gold Logie-winning actor and singer Lorrae Desmond MBE. Queenslanders are encouraged to nominate members of their community for an Order of Australia throughout the year, in recognition of high achievement, professional contributions and charitable pursuits. The Council for the Order of Australia is an independent body with representatives from each state and territory of Australia and the Council meets twice a year to consider nominations. The nomination form for the Order of Australia and the complete Australia Day 2021 Honours List are available on the Governor-General’s website at www.gg.gov.au Queenslanders who were appointed Officers (AO) in the General Division include: Mr Gregory CHAPPELL MBE, Queensland, for distinguished service to cricket as a leading player, captain, coach and administrator at the elite level, and to a range of charitable foundations. Professor Helene MARSH, Castle Hill, for distinguished service to the biological and environmental sciences, to the conservation of marine mammals, and to tertiary education. Professor Paul Christopher MEMMOTT, St Lucia, for distinguished service to ethno-architecture and anthropology, to Indigenous housing and cultural heritage, and to tertiary education. Dr Sally Anne PITKIN, Newmarket, for distinguished service to business, to corporate governance standards and performance, to the arts, and to the advancement of women. Dr Russell Evan REICHELT, Mudgeeraba, for distinguished service to marine conservation, to ecosystem management of the Great Barrier Reef, and to climate change research. Emeritus Professor Kay Elizabeth SAUNDERS AM, Queensland, for distinguished service to tertiary education, particularly to history, as an academic and author, to professional associations, and to the community. Queenslanders who were appointed a Member (AM) in the General Division include: Mr Donald Steele BARRETT, Spring Hill, for significant service to tertiary education, particularly to the classics and ancient history. Mrs Judith Ann BELL, Clayfield, for significant service to the administration of justice, to the visual arts, and to education. Ms Kerrin BENSON, Kangaroo Point, for significant service to the multicultural community, and to refugee settlement. Mr Kerry John BETROS, Rangeville, for significant service to the banking sector, to the retail food industry, and to the community. Call: (07) 3192 5188

Mrs Kirsty Margaret BROWN OAM, Moggill, for significant service to youth through Scouts. Mrs Radmila DESIC, Eight Mile Plains, for significant service to women in the construction industry, and to unemployed youth. Ms Lorrae DESMOND MBE, Runaway Bay, for significant service to the performing arts as an actor, entertainer and singer. Mr Michael Bruce HAWKINS, Camp Mountain, for significant service to the film and television industry, and to screen content. Dr Michael David HUMPHREY, Cairns North, for significant service to medicine, particularly to obstetrics and gynaecology. Mr Anthony John JOSEPH, Teneriffe, for significant service to the fruit and vegetable industry, and to rugby league. Mr Peter Barry KEARNS OAM, Kenmore, for significant service to education, particularly to adult and lifelong learning. Ms Valerie Kathleen LEHMAN, Queensland, for significant service to the performing arts, and to wildlife conservation. Dr Bruce Gregory LISTER, Graceville, for significant service to paediatric intensive care medicine, and to professional societies. Dr James Jip McGILL, Lutwyche, for significant service to metabolic medicine, to biochemical genetic pathology, and to medical education. Professor Colleen Coyne NELSON, Sheldon, for significant service to medical research, particularly to prostate cancer, and to health organisations. Dr Robyn Marie SHEAHAN-BRIGHT, Gladstone, for significant service to children's literature, and to the promotion of reading. Commodore William Leonard TAYLOR RAN (Retd), Runaway Bay, for significant service to the people and Parliament of Australia, and to public administration. Dr Kevin William VANDELEUR, Queensland, for significant service to ophthalmology, and to the international community. Dr Carden Crea WALLACE, Mt Coolum, for significant service to marine science, and to museums and galleries. Queenslanders who were appointed an Honorary Member (AM) in the General Division include: Mr Antoni Robert BONETTI, Queensland, for significant service to the performing arts as an orchestral conductor and musical director. Queenslanders who were awarded a Medal (OAM) in the General Division include: Mr Gary Race ALDRIDGE, Bethania, for service to veterans and their families. The late Dr Adrian Christopher ALLEN, formerly of Grapetree, for service to tertiary education, and to the community of Toowoomba. Mrs Sheryl BACKHOUSE, Mount Samson, for service to the sub-tropical fruit growing industry, and to the community. Mr Colin BAILLIE, Queensland, for service to Indigenous health and

education. Mr Raymond Fabian BANGE, Currimundi, for service to paramedicine, to education, and to the community. Mr Gordon BARRATT, Buderim, for service to children with a disability and mental health issues, and their families. Mr Roni BAU, Applethorpe, for service to emergency response organisations. Mr Steven Jeffrey BLOXHAM, Chirn Park, for service to veterans and their families. Mrs Grace BRODIE, Taroom, for service to equestrian sports through a range of roles. Mr John Robert CORLESS, Yeronga, for service to Australian rules football in Queensland. Mrs Diana Jill DICK, Clayfield, for service to bridge through a range of roles. Mrs Angel DIXON, Miami, for service to people with a disability, and to social inclusion. Mrs Christine Susan FAIRBROTHER, Yungaburra, for service to children, and to the community. Mrs Barbara Dawn FORREST, Robina, for service to lawn bowls. The Reverend Bryan Leslie GILMOUR, Mount Cotton, for service to the Uniting Church in Australia. Mr Paul GOENER, Maryborough, for service to rugby league as a referee. Mr Kenneth William HIGGINS, Mackay, for service to veterans and their families. Professor Tammy Coral HOFFMANN, Robina, for service to clinical epidemiology, and to occupational therapy. Mr Brian John HOLLINS CSC, Queensland, for service to war widows and their families. Dr Jeffrey Stevens KEMP, Currumbin, for service to youth through counselling and sporting programs. Mrs Norma McLEOD, Maleny, for service to the community of Maleny. Mr Paul Anthony MAGUIRE, Mackay, for service to the community through a range of roles. The late Mr Ernest John MALTBY, formerly of Alice River, for service to the community of Bowen. Mr Jeremy David MANSFIELD, Queensland, for service to the building and construction industry. Mr John Clifford MARTIN, Bardon, for service to education through administrative roles. Mr David Henry MATTISKE, Queensland, for service to veterans and their families, and to the community. Dr Ronald Gordon MEIKLE, Noosaville, for service to medicine, particularly to radiology. Mr Kenneth John MEWBURN, Golden Beach, for service to conservation and the environment. Mr Garry Anthony MOLLOY, Queensland, for service to education. Dr Frederick MORGAN, Nanango, for service to medicine as a general practitioner. Mr Desmond John MORRIS, Capalaba, for service to rugby league.

Mr Neil Charles MUSCH, Moolboolaman, for service to emergency response organisations. Mr Howard Charles PICKERING, Taringa, for service to the community of Brisbane. Mrs Lorraine Mary PICKERING, Taringa, for service to the community of Brisbane. Mr Toby PRICE, Burleigh Heads, for service to motorsport, particularly to cross country motorcycle racing. Mrs Ronda QUINN, QLD, for service to the community through citizens advocacy organisations. Mr John Cecil RAINE, Carseldine, for service to the community through a range of roles. Mr Osman Ali RANE, Underwood, for service to the Islamic community of Queensland. Dr Barbara Doris REYNOLDS-HUTCHINSON, Coorparoo, for service to the Catholic community of Brisbane. Mrs Desley RIAL, Barlows Hill, for service to the community of the Capricorn Coast. Mr John RUSSELL, Deception Bay, for service to Australian Antarctic research expeditions as an engineer. Mr Thomas Kevin RYAN, Taringa, for service to medical research, and to rugby union. Mrs Marcia Charlotte SCHOLES, Chermside West, for service to the community, and to the Anglican Church of Australia. Dr Christopher Robert SCHULL, Sinnamon Park, for service to thoracic and tropical medicine, and to the community. Mrs Judith Ann SCHULL, Sinnamon Park, for service to community health in the tropics, particularly in Papua New Guinea. Mrs Bronwyn SHEEHAN, The Gap, for service to youth, particularly to children in foster care. Mr Norman Charles SHRUBSOLE, Bardon, for service to the community through a range of roles. Mr Robert David SLATER, Herberton, for service to the community of Herberton. Mr Raymond Hartley SMYTHE, Rangeville, for service to people with an intellectual disability through employment initiatives. Mr Anthony Phillip SWAN, Carseldine, for service to the Sri Lankan community of Queensland. Mrs Beverley Elaine TAYLOR, Balmoral, for service to the community as a church organist. Mrs Suzanne (Sue) Constance THOMPSON, Chapel Hill, for service to music education in Queensland. Mr Samuel Nelson TODHUNTER, Mermaid Waters, for service to aviation. Mr John Michael TYQUIN, Newstead, for service to sailing, to the community, and to business. Mr Ronald Alister WALLACE, Nundah, for service to youth through Scouts. Ms Rosalind WILLIAMS, Queensland, for service to the law, and to the performing arts. Mrs Jacqueline Ann


WRIGHT, Queensland, for service to the community through charitable initiatives. Dr John Glover YOUNGMAN, Tamborine Mountain, for service to medicine, and to medical administration. Queenslanders who were awarded a Medal (OAM) in the Military Division include: Australian Army Warrant Officer Class One Paul Michael CASEY CSM, Queensland, for meritorious service as the Command Chief Clerk at Headquarters Forces Command, the Command Chief Clerk at Headquarters 2nd Division and as a Defence One Module Coordinator within the Army People Capability Branch. Warrant Officer Class One John Robert FRANKLIN, Queensland, for meritorious service as the Band Sergeant Major of the Band of the 1st Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery. Warrant Officer Class One Stephen Robert HILL CSM, Queensland, for meritorious service as the Squadron Sergeant Major of the 1st Topographical Survey Squadron; Career Manager at the Directorate of Soldier Career Management - Army and Warrant Officer Class One Military Geospatial Intelligence in Army Headquarters. Royal Australian Air Force Warrant Officer Shane William GRIST, Queensland, for meritorious performance of duty in aircrew survival training and infrastructure redevelopment at the Royal Australian Air Force Combat Survival Training School. Other Australia Day Honours awarded to Queenslanders: Public Service Medal (PSM) Mr Gordon James BUCHANAN, Clayfield, for outstanding public service to the transport sector in Queensland. Ms Suzanne COXON, West End, for outstanding public service to child protection and family violence policy development in Queensland. Ms Shannon Lee GIBBS, Brinsmead, for outstanding public service to local government in Queensland through financial management roles. Mr Anthony Martin O'DEA, Toowong, for outstanding public service to rural and industry financial assistance in Queensland. Mr Peter Anthony SHADDOCK, Queensland, for outstanding public service to Corrective Services in Queensland. Miss Josephine Louise WHITEHEAD, Queensland, or outstanding public service to health care in northern Queensland. Australian Police Medal (APM) Superintendent Melissa Lesly ADAMS Inspector Paul Lindsay BAKER Sergeant Cary Ellen COOLICAN Detective Inspector David Charles HICKEY Superintendent Mark Alan KELLY Sergeant Nadine WEBSTER Australian Fire Service Media (AFSM) Mr Corey Michael BOCK, Kalbar

Ambulance Service Medal (ASM) Ms Julie Maree CALVERT, Manly Mr Gary William COTTERILL, Childers Mr Gene Morgan CURTIS, Bowen Emergency Services Medal (ESM) Ms Cheryl-Lee FITZGERALD, Bayview Heights Australian Corrections Medal (ACM) Ms Roberta Leigh EMBREY Mr Steven MITCHELL Ms Chel Shossana SEALEY Queenslanders publicly acknowledged for service in the Australian Defence Force include: Commendation for Distinguished Service (Australian Army) Captain Owen Kenneth GIBBS, Queensland, for distinguished performance of duties in warlike operations as the Task Group Afghanistan Insider Threat Analyst during Operation HIGHROAD from March to October 2019. Lieutenant Jessica Ann LYONS, Queensland, for distinguished performance of duties in warlike operations as a Force Protection Platoon Commander on Operation HIGHROAD from March to September 2019. Brigadier Timothy Charles O'BRIEN, Queensland, for distinguished performance of duties on warlike operations as the Commander Task Group Afghanistan on Operation HIGHROAD from March to November 2019. Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) (Australian Army) Lieutenant Colonel Luke Thomas DAWSON, Queensland, for outstanding achievement as the Operations Officer at Headquarters 1st Division and Deployable Joint Force Headquarters. Lieutenant Colonel Michael Robert MUDIE, Queensland, for outstanding devotion to duty as the Commanding Officer 7th Signal Regiment, Staff Officer Grade One Cyber and Career Adviser Signals Corps. Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) (Royal Australian Air Force) Wing Commander Mark David BROADBRIDGE, Queensland, for outstanding achievement in establishing the Aviation Candidate Management Centre, and in the remediation of aviation workforce supply for the Australian Defence Force. Conspicuous Service Medal (CSM) (Royal Australian Navy) Commander Matthew Scott RICHARDSON RAN, Queensland, for meritorious achievement to the Patrol Boat community as Chief of Staff, Patrol Boat Group Headquarters. Conspicuous Service Medal (CSM) (Australian Army) Major Leigh Joseph BROWN, Queensland, for meritorious achievement as Staff Officer Grade 2 Infantry at the Combined Arms Training Centre. Lieutenant Colonel Henry William STIMSON CSC, Queensland, for meritorious devotion to duty as the Commanding Officer of the 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment Task Group whilst deployed on Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST 2019-2020.

THE BRISBANE INDIAN TIMES, February, 2021 — 39

Do you know if you have been tested for hepatitis B or hepatitis C? You can have hepatitis B or hepatitis C and not have any symptoms. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C can both cause liver damage, liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. Therefore, it is important to be tested and if you have the hepatitis C infection you can get treated and cured –, or for hepatitis B regular monitoring and possibly treatment to help protect you.

The facts: • The Cancer Council of Australia advise that chronic (long term infection) of hepatitis B and hepatitis C put you at the greatest risk of developing liver cancer in Australia. • Over 20%, that is at least one person in 5 with untreated hepatitis C will get cirrhosis and about 5% of these people will develop a cancer. • 25% of people with chronic hepatitis B, may

in their blood. It does not mean they still have hepatitis C or that they are protected from re-infection. They need to do another test called an HCV-RNA (Viral load) test. If the test shows detectable virus it means they have hepatitis C and need treatment. The cure for hepatitis C is easy, very effective and can be prescribed by your GP. Remember, hepatitis B and hepatitis C can both cause damage to the liver including cirrhosis and liver cancer and even death. The risk of this happening develop cirrhosis or liver cancer without appropriate management. • A simple blood test will tell if you have hepatitis B or hepatitis C, you just need to ask your GP to check. Hepatitis B: Some people may have been vaccinated or exposed to hepatitis

B and cleared the virus. They will have antibodies which will give them an immunity/protection and therefore they will not get the infection again. If a person is diagnosed with hepatitis B, they need regular monitoring with a doctor which may be every 6 to 12 months depending on age, ethnicity, family

can be reduced with appropriate management and treatment by your doctor. If you would like any further information please see our website www.eccq. com.au/bbv or contact our Program on 07 3844 9166 If you live in Cairns you can contact HIV, Viral Hepatitis, Sexual Health Coordinator Cairns Sexual Health Service 381 Sheridan St, Cairns North, QLD, 4870 Ph: 4226 4760

history or other medical conditions. Some people may also require treatment. Unfortunately, currently there is no cure for Hepatitis B. Hepatitis C: Some people may have been exposed to hepatitis C and cleared the virus and only have antibodies

Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS and Sexual Health Program Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland (ECCQ)

Home remedies to reduce sunburn and back to beautiful glowing skin Nimisha Modi

Hetvi Hair & Beauty 0412350013 Girls, we all experienced sunburn and mark after the beach fun. Here is few remedies that are worked.


Potato and lemon face mask for getting fair and glowing skin at home:

Ingredients: Potato Juice, Lemon juice Preparation: Mix both the juices in equal quantity. Apply on your body parts that are exposed to the sun. Wait till 15 minutes and wash with water. This home remedy for fair skin will lighten the colour of your sun tanned skin and pigmented skin. Both ingredients have proven to be very good skin lightening agents. Milk cream and Saffron face mask:

Ingredients: Milk Cream 2tblsp, Saffron Preparation: Mix Saffron in milk cream and leave it overnight. In the morning blend the milk cream with fingers and apply on the face. The above home remedy will lighten the skin tone and give a very healthy glow to your skin naturally. A few drops of lemon juice may also be added.

results when used in a face pack. It gives a golden glow to the face. Mix dried orange peel in curd and make a paste. Apply on the face and leave for 20 minutes. After that wash your face with lukewarm water, also it help to make your skin fair and remove the blemishes and scars from your face. Rice and milk face Scrub:

Dried orange peel and curd face mask:

Ingredients: Dried orange peel, Yogurt 2 tbsp. Preparation: Take some orange peels. Dry them in shadow and after that grind the orange peel to make powder. This dried orange peel has shown great

40 — THE BRISBANE INDIAN TIMES, February, 2021

Ingredients: Rice soaked in milk and grinded 2 tbsps. Milk 2tblsp Preparation: Soak rice in the milk for two hours. Grind it to make a granular paste. Apply this face scrub on face on alternate days. This face scrub will make your skin fair soft and glowing. You can also add some lemon juice in it.

Walnut powder and milk cream face Scrub:

Yogurt 2 tbsp., Sugar 1 tbsps. Preparation: Crush the fresh Jasmine flowers and mix with curd and sugar. Apply for 15 minutes. Wonderful face pack for sensitive skin to get fair skin. Honey and tomato face pack:

Ingredients: Walnut powder 2tblsp, milk cream 1tblsp, Honey 1tblsp, Lemon juice 1tblsp Preparation: Mix all the ingredients to make a paste. Scrub your face with the face mask and leave it for 20 minute. With water Scrub again and wash it. This face mask will scrub your face and remove all the dirt and dead cells from the skin. Also this home remedy makes your skin fair and glowing naturally at home. Jasmine flower face mask:

Ingredients: Fresh Jasmine flower,

Ingredients: 1 mashed tomato, 2 tbsp. honey, 1 teaspoon lemon juice Preparation: Mix the mashed tomato with honey. Add a teaspoon of lemon juice and blend all the ingredients together. This face mask is excellent cleanser. Lemon juice and tomato will lighten your skin tone. Tomato will give you an extra radiance and Honey cleans the dirt from the skin and gives your face an instant glow. Powder milk and almond oil face pack for instant glow: Ingredients:

1 tbsp. Powder milk, half tbsp. of almond oil, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, 1 tbsp. honey Preparation This face mask is best suitable for dry skin. Mix all the ingredients together and apply on your skin. Wait for half an hour and wash with Luke warm water. You will also get rid of tanned skin and get a fair and glowing skin instantly. Above face mask to get fair, glowing and tighten the skin very effective and used for years. Using Home remedies for getting fair skin naturally at home is far more cost effective and also gives excellent results. One thing I believe we look beautiful that makes us happy and we smile happy so we keep surrounded happy. :)

Vaccine campaign to support culturally and linguistically diverse audiences The Australian Government’s $31 million COVID-19 vaccination public information campaign is now rolling out across the country, with an additional $1.3 million provided for peak multicultural organsations to help reach culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. Making safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines available to everyone in Australia is a key priority for the Australia Government. That is why we are extending free access to COVID-19 vaccines to all visa-holders in Australia. This will include

refugees, asylum seekers, temporary protection visa holders and those on bridging visas. People currently residing in detention facilities will also be eligible, including those whose visas have been cancelled. We know that Australia is a vaccination nation, and we trust this campaign will provide the assurance and motivation for everyone in Australia to have the COVID-19 vaccination. A major roundtable was held involving more than 50 community leaders to discuss how we can partner together in supporting the vaccination rollout.

A comprehensive plan, including communication activities and community engagement strategies, has been developed in partnership with multicultural specialist agencies and, with advice from the national CALD Communities COVID-19 Health Advisory Group, to reach people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. The campaign will reach Australians through a range of channels including regular website updates, social media, health professionals and community and grass roots organisations, networks,

PFIZER VACCINE APPROVED Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has provisionally approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in Australia. The Pfizer vaccine has met strict standards for safety, quality and efficacy. The TGA provisional approval is for individuals 16 years of age and older. Two doses will be required – at least 21 days apart. A priority group of Australians are expected to now receive their first dose of the vaccine as soon as it can be received from Pfizer and the necessary checks are undertaken by the TGA, prior to its distribution. The latest advice given to the Government from Pfizer is that shipping and the first vaccinations are expected to be in late February. If there are delays in shipping or production, the possibility remains that commencement could be in early March, however guidance remains for late February. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the TGA approval was an important step in the fight against COVID-19. “I welcome the TGA’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine, with our own Australian experts finding it is safe, effective and of a high standard,” the Prime Minister said. “Australians should take confidence in the thorough and careful approach taken by our world-class safety regulator. “Our priority has always been to keep Australians safe and protect lives and livelihoods. Today’s approval is another big step forward for our community, particularly in the protection of our most vulnerable people.” Minister for Health Greg Hunt said the-world class regulators at the TGA have been working tirelessly to introduce a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine in Australia. “The TGA’s processes are I believe the best in the world and we have ensured that they are thorough.” Minister


Call: (07) 3192 5188

Hunt said. “The TGA has placed safety above all else.” “Australia’s high bar has been met; the vaccine has been approved as effective in stopping severe disease. I thank all those involved in the development and assessment of this COVID-19 vaccine, including the researchers, Pfizer, BioNTech and the medical experts at the TGA who have worked around the clock and over Christmas.” “This approval and the upcoming roll out of the vaccine will play an important part in our ability to manage the pandemic in 2021.” “Australia’s vaccination program has been based on the medical advice from the medical expert panel led by Professor Brendan Murphy. As a result we are in the fortunate position of having secured 140 million doses of vaccine, one of the highest per capita rates in the world. We will continue to review the medical advice and monitor and adapt to developments around the world,” Minister Hunt said. The Government continues to work with Pfizer on the final date of delivery of vaccines, noting

that Pfizer has experienced some temporary production delays from its European manufacturing plant as it ramps up production to meet extraordinary global demand. The Government’s latest advice remains that the first doses of Pfizer are expected to arrive and be rolled out in late February. Final dates will be confirmed by Pfizer shortly and are subject to shipping and distribution. In Australia the vaccine will be rolled out in five phases over the coming months and, over time, will involve more than 1,000 vaccination administration sites. Head of the TGA, Adjunct Professor John Skerritt said the TGA has been working non-stop to get the Pfizer vaccine assessed, while maintaining the most rigorous standards of safety, quality and efficacy. “I would like to thank our clinical and medical officers, scientists, pharmacists and experts in statistics, laboratory analysis and manufacturing assessment who have worked tirelessly on assessing this vaccine,” Adjunct Professor Skerritt said. “We’re thrilled to have

and the media. It includes advertising in 32 languages across radio, print and social media, and will extend to communities that are harder to reach through traditional channels. Messages will target specific multicultural groups to ensure everyone in Australia has a full understanding of the vaccination program. Many people working in sectors such as aged care will be in the first groups to be vaccinated and are from CALD communities, and it is critical that they receive translated information that is culturally appropriate. Translated resources

have been developed for multicultural communities, including radio and print editorials, a video development guide for community leaders to film their own videos, inlanguage web content, social media posts, posters, and newsletter articles. The Department of Health’s vaccine hub also has a translation button for 63 languages available on its website and on mobile devices. The Government is working with SBS to finalise short videos explaining the vaccine rollout in more than 60 languages, and with the Migration Council

of Australia to produce an animated vaccine explainer in 29 languages. These products will be provided to multicultural peak bodies and networks and available online. As more information becomes available through expert medical advice and complete data sets from clinical trials, the Department will provide timely updates through its multicultural channels. The Australian Government is confident, given Australia's current high vaccination rates, everyone able to take up the vaccine will do so in high numbers.

GREATER ACCESS- ADDITIONAL 10 MILLION PFIZER-BIONTECH VACCINES The Australian Government has secured an additional 10 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID 19 vaccine on the advice of the Scientific Industry Technical Advisory Group on Vaccines led by Professor Brendan Murphy. Through the Government’s Advance Purchase Agreement with Pfizer, this additional 10 million vaccines means Australia will now receive 20 million Pfizer doses in 2021. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Government is committed to providing safe and effective vaccines free to everyone in Australia. “Securing the additional Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines is another positive step in protecting Australians from COVID-19,” the Prime Minister said. “We now have access to over 150 million vaccine doses, ensuring we remain a world leader in the fight against the virus.” The vaccination program remains on track for commencement of delivery in late February to people in the first priority group, Phase 1a. Health Minister Greg

Hunt said making safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines available to everyone in Australia is a key priority for the Australia Government. “I encourage people to get vaccinated when their turn comes – every vaccination helps us defeat the virus,” Minister Hunt said. “Australians understand that vaccines work. They save lives and improve lives. They protect lives. We can be confident that every COVID-19 vaccine approved in this country will be safe and effective.” “Australia is a vaccination nation—we have one the highest vaccination rates in the world.” As the rollout begins, people who need protection the most will get the vaccine first. This includes aged care and disability care residents and workers, frontline health care workers, and quarantine and border workers. The priority groups have been determined based on the advice of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) which oversees Australia’s highly successful immunisation program. The Australian Government is also

extending free access to COVID-19 vaccines to all visa-holders in Australia. This will include refugees, asylum seekers, temporary protection visa holders and those on bridging visas. People currently residing in detention facilities will also be eligible, including those whose visas have been cancelled. “It is vital that we offer vaccines to all people living in Australia to achieve the maximum level of coverage.” the Prime Minister said. Australia has entered into four separate agreements for the supply of COVID-19 vaccines, if they are proved to be safe and effective. Combined, these agreements will ensure access to approximately 150 million doses. The Australia Government, states and territories, regulators and the health and medical sectors are working together to finalise arrangements under the Australian Vaccination Strategy and detailed roll out plans. Further information about the Australian Government’s COVID-19 Vaccine National Roll-out Strategy can be found at www.health.gov.au/ covid19-vaccines.

this product pass the rigorous regulatory process and receive provisional approval.” “Our job is by no means done. In fact the monitoring of vaccine safety postapproval is an important part of the regulatory review of vaccines. “We now check the individual batches of vaccines that are destined for Australians while closely monitoring the safety and efficacy of the vaccine as it is rolled out. “We will also continue our work on the regulatory review for potential approval of other vaccines, notably the AstraZeneca and Novavax vaccines, as well as vaccines delivered through the COVAX

facility.” As the rollout begins across 30 - 50 hospital sites, people who need protection the most will get the vaccine first. This includes aged care and disability care residents and workers, frontline health care workers, and quarantine and border workers. The priority groups have been determined based on the advice of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) which oversees Australia’s highly successful immunisation program. “There is intense ongoing work which will continue over the coming month, including batch testing of newly arrived doses, establishing

cold storage facilities for the vaccine, training health providers to administer it, finalising distribution sites with states and territories, checking sites and protective equipment for safety, and scaling up systems for ongoing safety monitoring,” Minister Hunt said. The Australia Government, states and territories, regulators and the health and medical sectors are working together to finalise arrangements under the Australian Vaccination Strategy and detailed roll out plans. Further information about the Australian Government’s COVID-19 Vaccine National Roll-out Strategy can be found here.


THE BRISBANE INDIAN TIMES, February, 2021 — 41


Aries ( 21st March to 20th April )

Taurus ( 21st April to 21st May )

Gemini ( 22nd May to 21st June )

During this month, it is crucial to exercise regularly to maintain good health. Concerning students, they must remain optimistic and determined to give their best and produce the best results. Also, financially, you may come across various chances to earn profit apart from making a major investment in land or property. But, do be legally careful while making the final payment along with being completely clear in your conversation with the dealing party. As far as relationships are concerned, you can expect some drastic and sudden changes. Your family and friends may come up with numerous marriage proposals because this is the right time to make such decisions as the stars are in your favor. Therefore, there is a good possibility that you may lead a successful love life with your partner. Over and above that, this month can be busy at work and you may need to have a proper plan to execute your tasks efficiently. This time may also provide you with a lot of wealth and monetary gains from family as well as friends. However, do keep an expenditure plan in the time of need. In regards to your studies, you might feel distracted often. Thus, you are required to be more serious, consistent, and disciplined in your schedule to attain optimum results. Ensure that you complete your assignments and follow a routine to be more effective. About your health, you may feel average, and hence, you might as well focus on developing a plan for the same. Just follow your daily exercise and be regular to see results. This will also help you combat from sudden health complications in the future.

You can expect a busy month, hence, scheduling priorities and implementing proper plans is a must. You may experience some stress with all the work pressure and unforeseen complications. Consequently, you may have to be well prepared for such a journey for this month. Also, avoid showing too much anger or an attitude of any sort as this can negatively impact your circumstances. In the matters of love, you may feel lucky as this month is quite favorable for you. In other words, if you are looking for the right partner, this is the right time to do so. For all the married men, being down to earth and peacefully dealing with your issues can work wonders for you in your marital relationship. However, this month can give you a hard time to get a loan. Besides, ensure that all tax-related matters are clear to avoid issues pertaining to legal matters. Although you may earn some advantage with properties affiliated with your father’s side, unexpected expenses may still linger around to bother you. In terms of your career, this month seems quite average for you. Moreover, unanticipated challenges at work tagged with some extra responsibilities that can create some strain. But, business people may receive some legal benefits or support from the government. Also, steer clear of health complications by avoiding anger and stress. Try to maintain your health by attaining a balance in your physical and psychological existence because it will help you to put in consistent efforts towards your progress.

The eccentricity that you carry may make people laugh at you, but this same state may provide you with a lot of benefits this week. You will be the center of attention in get togethers and parties. Also, you may experience some stress and strain because of how close ones may behave, however, it is crucial to maintain the calmness and peace required while dealing with such situations. Moreover, restrict yourself from consuming too much alcohol and food as it can lead to health complications in the future. Besides, you may get rid of all the illusions that haunted you before. Well, you can also take help from meditation to feel completely free from any mental pressure. You may also express your freedom and independence in your own way, although, some people may misinterpret you. But, always remember, that forgiving someone gives you the tranquility and empathy needed to lead a wonderful life. The best part about this period is that you will be ready to take up challenges that come your way as you will be at your best mentally as well as physically. Furthermore, you may bump into someone who will care for you and provide you with affection and stability, which will lead to a happy relationship. On the other hand, students and youngsters may do good too but may often get scolded by elders for lack of responsibility and carelessness. So, do take great care of changing your attitude!

Cancer ( 22nd June to 22nd July )

Leo ( 23rd July to 22nd August )

Virgo ( 23rd August to 22nd September )

During this month, the transit of Jupiter may help you and you would attain good growth at the workplace. You are likely to get some good opportunities to showcase your abilities. This auspicious planetary transits may bring ease of working and general good fortune. There will be some positive development at your career front as the month progresses. But, you may also face stiff resistance and competition from your rivals during the middle of this month. However, Saturn's slightly difficult aspect will be felt and hence the later part of this month is likely to bring relief and some excellent opportunities to achieve success in your profession. This will be the month to make a solid financial plan and implement it in a stepwise manner. Mercury's aspect indicates that your actions during the middle of this month is likely to determine your financial status for this month. Here your wrong or hasty judgments may lead to problems. Despite good income flow, you may have some pressure position in money matters during the later part of this month. The transiting Venus indicates some major development in your love life around the middle of this month. It will be full of passion and love in your life. But, the later part of this month can be sensitive and it can change the equations of your relationship all of sudden hence you must act with patience. You are likely to get good planetary support for matters related to your education. But, there may be some problems during the middle of this month as you will be scattering your energies in too many things or projects. But, the ending part of this month may help you help you to rectify the situation and make reasonable progress in your studies.A feeling of laziness and stress may make you feel somewhat uneasy or low energy during the middle of this month. The later part of this month may also bring some fluctuations in your health. You may have to remain positive and disciplined in order to maintain your energy levels this month though nothing serious is foreseen.

You may experience a very good start in the beginning, making your way through the negativity and towards progress. Thus, this is the time to become optimistic in your approach and channelize your energy in the right direction. Be conscious of your shortcomings in every aspect of life and try to analyze them to your benefit. You might as well be alert enough to make positive career choices too. The influence of Mars may provide you a good opportunity in the middle of the month as well, which can help you increase your income. However, there can be some uncertainties because of the transiting Mercury who may create some communications gaps in your life. But remember that this phase is temporary and that you may receive ample chances to be more stable monetarily. Although it will be very crucial to make calculative decisions financially. Besides, pertaining to love and romance, things may be pretty good and you might as well try to impress your special someone in the times to come. Just don’t lose hope! The transiting Venus will manage to impress a coveted one whereas Mars may provide you with the sufficient energy to assist you with the chaos in your life. As the month progresses, you may have to take care of your family and home affairs. Furthermore, the cosmic vibes may certainly help you to maintain your health, however, there will be a lot going on in this month. Hence, balancing your energies will be a must. Despite such a fuzzy affair, you will be able to maintain a good control over a variety of things. There may be some issues in your studies, but staying positive, focussed, and determined will pave a clear way for you. Also, you will get some great support from your teachers and friends too!

It is safe to say that you may get a lot of opportunities to grow this month. It is also crucial for you to get out of your comfort zone to make sure you are heading in the right direction. Even though you may feel quite optimistic as far as your career is concerned, the influence of Saturn and Jupiter may test you and your patience in the times to come. But financially, on a positive note, the planetary combinations will be in your favor. In terms of your relationships, there is a possibility that you may come across a fresh experience in the beginning of the month. You may also meet new people and come up with new ideas to be victorious in your studies. However, there can be some complications in your health along with some stress because of the transiting Mercury, hence, taking good care of your health is mandatory. This also indicates that you may need to avoid starting a new project and make decisions impulsively. Moreover, as the month goes by, you will see some monetary success too, but also ensure that you save enough. Your plans will come into action by mid-month, which in turn, may help you to focus and build your career. Besides, the transiting Venus will also assist you to be in a long term relationship, predicts your horoscope. The month-end will also provide you with job opportunities, especially if you are planning to change. It is also a favorable time to make vital financial decisions. You may face some problems in your education by the end of the month but, healthwise, things will fall in place.

Libra ( 23rd September to 22nd October )

Scorpio ( 23rd October to 22nd November )

Sagittarius ( 23rd November to 21st December )

It is crucial to realize that the more efforts you put to energize your mind via meditation and caring, the better the results will be. You may also bond well with people you come across during this time. But, at the same time, it is important to not be rash. Well, it will be best if you become more rational and logical in your approach to present yourself and your ideas smoothly. This is also a time when you will be more creative and inventive, which will make you enjoy things more. Besides, money or resources spring up for entertainment. Well, you also like to have fun with friends and discover yourself in the process of taking risks. Furthermore, with proper analysis of circumstances, you will only get what is best for you, be it starting a new venture or a relationship. This month will turn out to be quite progressive for you, especially for people who will work hard and give their best to achieve their goals. Some people may also find an interest to invest money in real estates and cars apart from being able to get the required credit facility for the same. However, ensure that you commit yourself to proper negotiation while doing so. Also, you may meet new and influential people this month. This, in turn, will make you more knowledgeable and come across useful resources at hand.

The start of the month may seem a little slow, but it will pick up the pace quickly and give you some positivity. You may find it easier to build new alliances, especially while dealing with business partners and activities pertaining to the same. It is also a good time to invest in property. Although, you may have to make sure that you do not fall for any credit facility that can cause trouble and problems later. Some people may come across new roles and responsibilities at work that can be physically and mentally demanding as well. Complications in your relationship with your colleague is possible too, and you can be blamed for no reason at all. So, tread carefully. You may meet an old friend in the first half of the month, which will cause some excitement for you. This will provide you with a feeling of amazement as well. You may feel that things are changing for others around you, but not for yourself. However, do not worry and try to spend some quality time with yourself to feel at ease. This phase may also make you happy because you will try to maintain good health. So, maintain a good diet and try to remain as fit as possible. Lastly, make sure that you do not go for long drives at night as a mishap is possible that can give you a hard time in the times to come. Besides, you may not even want to go for such drives in the first place.

The month may seem to be quite average initially, but you may witness the rise of events as time goes by. In the beginning, the month may pose you with some challenging times and you may not be able to make any wise decisions. But, gradually with time, you may witness some progress in different areas of your life. Some people may experience a lot of hurdles and, in turn, pain in the journey, but eventually you will feel glad about it and turn the events in your favor. You may also come across some friends who will be interested in building your personal interest. This can help you to learn a lot from them and the surrounding situations to prepare yourself further. Besides, you will be blessed by the divine powers this month. You may feel joyous and happy amongst your family members and the social circle you are engulfed in. You will feel a special connection with people and get the desired support from them too. As far as commercial development is concerned, you will get optimistic results, especially in the second half of the month. However, this month may not provide you with encouraging outcomes when you travel for long distance trips. Moreover, you may end up spending a lot on these trips. Thus, be careful. Additionally, you may meet someone who is spiritually inclined. Despite receiving prestige in your traditional work, rumours may force a negative impact on you. Besides, hard work and perseverance may present you with a new eol in your organization. All you need to do is be focused to get good results. Marriage and celebration is also foreseen!

Capricorn ( 22nd December to 20th January )

Aquarius ( 21st January to 18th February )

Pisces ( 19th February to 20th March )

Things may seem a little tough this month as the first phase of the sade sati has begun. Therefore, you may witness its effects during this month. This is also a time to be more calm and rational in your approach towards life. Lovers may see this time to be favorable to express their love and get settled. This is also a good time to solve your problems with your friends and relatives too. Furthermore, investing money in real estates should be avoided due to the retrogression of the planet of Venus. You may also see an irregular flow of income, which is why delaying any work of renovation in the house is a good plan for now. The good news is that you may also get some good work opportunities, although one should be careful if he/she is planning to enter a new venture and partnership. This phase will demand a lot of hard work and focus from you, so give your best and get great results. For all the students, you may join new online courses and learn new tricks and trade. This, in turn, will prove to be very beneficial for you in the future. It is a great time to attain more knowledge and learn to make the most out of this month. Employees may share a good relationship with their colleagues. Also, your salary will be such that you will be able to maintain routine expenses and save enough as well. Besides, this is not a good time to plan for business meetings or foreign trips. Remember to spend you money wisely!

This month is all about spending valuable time with yourself. You may have to deal with some unplanned work and responsibilities during this month. Thus, it is crucial to avoid committing to work that you may not be able to fulfill. Another importantthing is to not get into unnecessary discussions and arguments with others. A properr lanning will help you to get the desired results and that to within the time frame required. You may witness some disagreements and ego clashes with your business partner which,in turn, will give you a lot of stress and strain. Thus, it is best to be more transparent about sharing the information. The conjunction of Satirn and Jupiter will lead you to good proposals for marriage. For married couples, this transiting of planets will assist you in spending some quality time with one another and make some good memories this month. The transit of Venus will make you more inclined towards creative work and self grooming as well. Your relationships may require some space, and therefore, try to give more freedom to the people around you to let them be in their comfort zone. Communication may play a vital role as it will help to reduce the gap between you and your friends and family members. Furthermore, there are chances of confluccts between you and your siblings too. Besides, the transit of Mars will induce some changes in the interior of your house and the connection with your mother. Also, ensure that you are not very aggressive in life as it can directly impact your health and well being. Perfomring meditation and exercise along with a proper diet can aid you to deal with the stress at work.

The transit of the planet of Venus says that you will try to groom yourself and change your personality for the better. A loving and caring nature can make you build good relationships with others during this month. You may need to pay heed to your intuitive mind as it can help you to get good monetary gains, and if you don’t, things can get pretty tricky. A proper planning will always help you to keep a tab on your expenses, which is very important this month. Well, unplanned expenses pertaining to traveling can also cause some trouble for you. Besides, there is a good chance that you can get an opportunity to get a job outside the country as well. Also, working as a freelancer can give good financial gains. It is not a good time to lend money to your friends or siblings for it may take some time to get it back, as per your stars. Interestingly, you may find yourself inclined towards religious scriptures, spirituality, and meditation. Be careful with your sleeping habits as well as health because the movement of the tranisting planets can cause some stress, which can influence your health and sleeping pattern. The movement of the Sun also impacts your health this month. So, try to maintain a proper diet and make sure that you exercise to boost your immunity. As far as romance and love is concerned, you may face some complications in your relationships due to the unfulfilled expectations and communication gap. Moreover, you will get to spend some good time with your spouse and connect on a deeper level with one another.

42 — THE BRISBANE INDIAN TIMES, February, 2021


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Cricket Australia applauds AO and OAM recipients Cricket Australia today congratulates those in the cricket community named an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AO) and recipients of the Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division (OAM). Greg Chappell was named an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AO) for “distinguished service to cricket as a leading player, captain, coach and administrator at the elite level, and to a range of charitable foundations.” Chappell represented Australia with distinction across a career that spanned 87 Tests and 74 One-Day Internationals, including a combined 97 matches as captain. He has since served Australian Cricket in

numerous roles including Board Member, National Selector and National Talent Manager and has been inducted into the Sports Australia and Australian

Cricket Halls of Fame. Chappell is the Patron and Co-Founder of the Chappell Foundation, which has raised millions to combat youth homelessness.

Kevin Gartrell, Janet Howard, Kevin O’Neill, Craig Reece, Bernard Smith, George Voyage, Michael Walsh and Peter Warner received an OAM for “service

Tuchel confident Werner goals will come as Chelsea maintain momentum Sheffield (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel hailed Timo Werner’s contribution to a 2-1 win at bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United despite the German international’s Premier League goal drought extending to 11 games. Werner set up Mason Mount’s opener and won the decisive penalty, converted by Jorginho, as Chelsea closed to within a point of the top four with a third win in Tuchel’s four games in charge. “When he plays like this we are very happy,” said Tuchel. “This was a big step forward. The first goal was an amazing run and amazing assist. The goals will come.” Werner was left on the bench for Frank Lampard’s final two league games before the former England international was sacked last month. One of Tuchel’s targets is to get the 24-year-old producing the prolific numbers he did for Leipzig in the Bundesliga. But despite the lack of goals, there were signs of Werner’s confidence coming back against the Blades. “For myself, again no goal but it is good to see I can help the team with other things,” said Werner. “I am happy when we win and with two assists but as a striker you want to score. It has been a long time and I have not had this long without in my career.”

to cricket.” John Burton, the late Donald Chisolm, Graeme Crofts, the late Gordon Dendle, Phillip Gibson, Frank Holohan and Peter Rostron received OAMs recognising their service to the communities of Wilmot, Parkes, Coffs Harbour, Leopold, Nyngan, Dandenong and Tea Tree Gully respectively, which included their work in the cricket community. Robert Lloyd, a board member of the LBW Trust and Batting For Change, received an OAM for “service to children with a disability.” Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia’s Interim CEO, thanked and congratulated everyone in the cricket community recognised for their outstanding service and contribution to Australian

Kane lifts mood for Spurs, Leicester draw blank at Wolves

(AFP) – Harry Kane’s return from injury helped ease the mounting pressure on Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho as the England captain opened the scoring in a 2-0 win over West Brom, while Leicester were held 0-0 at Wolves on Sunday. Spurs had lost their previous three Premier League games to fall off the pace in the battle for a topfour finish. But with Kane reunited with Son Heung-min after missing the last two games through an ankle injury, both of Tottenham’s talismen were on target to push Sam Allardyce’s Baggies ever closer to the drop. Mourinho’s men had not even scored in defeats to Brighton and Chelsea in the past week, but, after a goalless first-half, Kane showed what they had been missing with a cool finish to move level with Bobby Smith as Spurs’ second top goalscorer of all-time with 208 goals. Four minutes later it was 2-0 as Son was sprung clear by Lucas Moura on the counter-attack and his shot had too much power for Sam Johnstone. Victory moves Tottenham up to seventh and within four points of fourth-placed Liverpool, who face leaders Manchester City later on Sunday. West Brom remain rooted in 19th and a mammoth 11 points off safety having taken just 12 from 23 games so far in their first season back in


Chelsea are now breathing down Liverpool’s necks for a place in next season’s Champions League after the defending champions were thrashed 4-1 at home by Manchester City earlier on Sunday. Tuchel has benefited from a kind run of fixtures to bed himself into English football, but the former Paris Saint-Germain manager has quickly implemented his ideas. Any suggestion Mount, who shot to prominence under Lampard, would be a casualty of the change of management have proven unfounded as the England international was again Chelsea’s most dangerous player. Mount rounded off a brilliant team move, also involving Ben Chilwell and Werner, to give Chelsea the half-time lead their

44 — THE BRISBANE INDIAN TIMES, February, 2021

dominance deserved at Bramall Lane. Tuchel’s men had barely even faced a shot at goal in their previous three games against Wolves, Burnley and Tottenham, but finally conceded thanks to a selfinflicted blow. Antonio Rudiger is one of those to have benefited from Lampard’s departure after being frozen out for much of the season. But the German defender did his new boss little favours as his attempted back pass beat the onrushing Edouard Mendy and rolled into his own net. “Still no goal from the opponents, but we did it ourselves,” said Tuchel. Luckily for Rudiger, the Blades offered up a gift of their own within four minutes when Werner pounced on Jayden Bogle’s

short back pass and the German international was brought down by Aaron Ramsdale as he tried to round the goalkeeper. Jorginho did not use his trademark stutter-step in scoring the winner at Spurs from the spot in midweek, but used it to good effect to send Ramsdale the wrong way. The young goalkeeper then looked like he may become the first concussion substitution in the Premier League for the blow he took to the head in upending Werner, but was allowed to complete the match after a medical assessment. At the other end, Mendy had to make a big save deep into stoppage time to turn Billy Sharp’s acrobatic effort to safety and maintain Tuchel’s early momentum.

society. “It is so inspiring to see the positive impact these recipients have made on the community through cricket,” Hockley said. “Whether at the international level, as in Greg’s case, or through local clubs and associations, these women and men have contributed so much to cricket, and their community and it is wonderful to see their respective contributions recognised in this way. “On behalf of the Australian Cricket family, we thank them for everything they have given to cricket and to Australian society in general. Their dedication and selflessness is a lesson to us all and we are both proud of your achievements and sincerely grateful for all that you have given to the game.”

the top-flight. – Foxes tamed by Wolves – Leicester remain third, but missed the chance to move level with Manchester United in second after failing to find their rhythm in a 0-0 draw at Molineux. Jamie Vardy’s penalty when the sides met earlier in the season is the only goal from the last four meetings between the sides and chances were again at a premium. Wolves enjoyed the better of them in the secondhalf as Pedro Neto spooned Adama Traore’s dangerous cross well wide before Kasper Schmeichel rushed off his line to deny Fabio Silva what seemed a certain goal. Vardy made his return from injury off the bench for the final half hour and had the Foxes’ best chance to snatch all three points in stoppage time when he headed wide from close range. All eyes will be on Anfield later as Liverpool aim to haul themselves back into the title race and halt City’s club record 13-game winning run. Jurgen Klopp again named a starting line-up without a recognised centre-back due to an injury crisis with Jordan Henderson and Fabinho deputising at the back, but Alisson Becker and Sadio Mane returned from illness and injury for the Reds. City are two points clear at the top of the table with two games in hand on Manchester United, but have not won away to Liverpool since 2003.

India’s upcoming schedule from 2021 to 2023 in international cricket The Indian cricket team is

the most followed and most scrutinized cricket team in the world. India is a country where cricket is an obsession, and millions of people expect their superstars to perform well. And, there is always a sense of anticipation every time the Indian side takes the field. Now, it is a known fact that the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc across the world, and India did not even play a single international match between March and October. But now, with international cricket back on its feet, the Indian side is back on the field as well. They resumed their international assignments with a full-fledged tour to Australia consisting of 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is, and 4 Tests. While Australia won the ODI series, India came back strongly, winning the T20I series as well as the hypedup Test series as well. Now, the Indian side is currently taking on England in the first Test at Chennai. The Indian cricketers have

will consist of 3 ODIs and as many T20Is, the series against Sri Lanka will feature 3 Tests and 3 T20Is.

a relentless schedule ahead between 2021 and March 2023. After the England series consisting of 4 Tests, 5 T20Is, and 3 ODIs, the cricketers will be involved in the 14th edition of the IPL in April and May. This will be followed by the World Test Championship (if India qualifies for the final). Then, the Indian side will tour Sri Lanka for a limited-overs series in June and July followed by the Asia Cup and a short series against Zimbabwe. From July end to September, Virat Kohli’s men have a

massive 5-match Test series against England lined up. In October 2021, South Africa will tour India for a limitedovers series, and this will be followed by the T20 World Cup in October and November. After the T20 World Cup, New Zealand will tour India for a series consisting of 2 Tests and 3 T20Is. India’s final assignment of 2021 will be a tour to South Africa. From January to March 2022, India will take on West Indies and Sri Lanka. While the series against the West Indies

Busy schedule continues for team India Then, between April and May 2022, they will be involved in the 15th edition of the IPL. In July, India will take on England in a limited-overs series consisting of 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is, and will once again square off against West Indies in a limited-overs series. In September 2022, India will be involved in the Asia Cup, and this will be followed by the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia. In the months of November and December 2022, Kohli’s men will face Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. In January 2023, India will take on New Zealand in a limited overs series. This will be followed by a long series against Australia, consisting of 4 Tests, 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is. Indeed, just reading the schedule is very

exhausting. And, needless to say, the Indian cricketers have to be in top mental and physical form in the next two years.

India vs West Indies (3 ODIs, 3 T20Is) India vs Sri Lanka (3 Tests, 3 T20Is) April to May 2022

Upcoming India’s schedule from 2021 to 2023 April to May 2021 Indian Premier League June to July 2021 World Test Championship (June) India vs Sri Lanka (3 ODIs, 5 T20Is) Asia Cup July 2021 India vs Zimbabwe (3 ODIs) July to September 2021 India vs England (5 Tests) October 2021 India vs South Africa (3 ODIs, 5 T20Is) October to November 2021 ICC T20 World Cup November to December 2021 India vs New Zealand (2 Tests, 3 T20Is) India vs South Africa (3 Tests, 3 T20Is) January to March 2022

Indian Premier League 2022 June 2022 No Series Scheduled July to August 2022 India vs England (3 ODIs, 3 T20Is) India vs West Indies (3 ODIs, 3 T20Is) September 2022 Asia Cup (Venue Undecided) October to November 2022 ICC World T20 in Australia November to December 2022 India vs Bangladesh (2 Tests, 3 T20Is) India vs Sri Lanka (5 ODIs) January 2023 India vs New Zealand (3 ODIs, 3 T20Is) February to March 2023 India vs Australia (4 Tests, 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is)

Peter O’Mahony sent off against Wales

Fiji hit by illness and injury as they prepare to defend Olympic sevens gold

Ireland flanker Peter O’Mahony sent off against Wales Peter O’Mahony was sent off just 14 minutes into Ireland’s opening Six Nations match against Wales at the Principality Stadium. Coming in to clear out at a ruck, the Ireland flanker’s shoulder clearly made dangerous contact with the head of Wales prop Tomas Francis. The incident was brought to the attention of Wayne Barnes by the Television Match Official and once the referee had reviewed the footage he was quick to show a red card. It was dangerous contact to the head and with force, O’Mahony coming into the breakdown from some

Fiji coach Gareth Baber is dealing with injuries and illness amongst the squad he hopes can retain the Olympic Sevens gold medal at the Tokyo Games later this year. Despite concerns over the postponed games taking place due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Japan, Fiji have started their preparations by holding a series of tournaments at home to fill the void created by the cancellation of the HSBC World Series Series events. However, injuries have been picked up in the early sevens tournaments with Onisi Ratave and former captain Kalioni Nasoko now receiving treatment while Jerry Tuwai, voted the best sevens player in the World

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distance, so it was a clear sending off. O’Mahony is one of Ireland’s most experienced players, but was extremely reckless in how he entered that breakdown. He is the first Ireland player to be sent off in the Six Nations era and only the fifth in Test history. Wales had lost an experienced back-rower of their own a couple of minutes earlier as Dan Lydiate’s return to international rugby lasted just 12 minutes and seven seconds. Lydiate was starting his first Test since November 2018 but appeared to seriously damage his knee as he closed in on a tackle with Keith Earls. He initially played on but lasted only a

couple more minutes before being replaced by Josh Navidi. Ireland rallied well after the red card and were leading 13-6 by halftime. Johnny Sexton’s two penalties matched a couple from Wales’ Leigh Halfpenny, then Tadhg Beirne scored a try in the 37th minute. Robbie Henshaw set that score up, breaking a couple of tackles to get within five metres and offloading to Josh van der Flier, who got even closer. Then the ball was recycled, Beirne picked up and drove over from a metre out. Wales scored two tries in the second half, though, through George North and Louis Rees-Zammit to win 21-16.


during the last decade, is ill. Baber told SUNSport: “Jerry Tuwai and Napolioni Ratu are both sick with infections. “We will make sure they get back into training before the next tournament. We did have Meli Derenalagi as well with his knee injury. There are things we are managing and we want them to be where they can be, come July. My job is to manage them now.” While Baber has concerns of those key players, Fiji has seen a return to form of Kitione Taliga, one of the gold medal winners from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Taliga and Vatemo Ravouvou were key playmakers in the gold medal-winning team and Baber added: “Taliga is getting better on his fitness. Taliga is

an experienced player, has an Olympic gold medal around his neck. He has quality in his catch and pass, which is something we need. Vatemo (Ravouvou) used to play first, like Amenoni (Nasilasila) did. Taliga has got a great kicking game as well.” The sevens series in Fiji could be followed by matches against other nations including Samoa, Australia and New Zealand if “bubbles” can be created to allow travel to the Islands. Before testing his men at international level, Baber wants to see an improvement in an area that has been a problem in recent years. “The discipline side is very important, it has been going well and I want to see that maintained throughout.”

THE BRISBANE INDIAN TIMES, February, 2021 — 45


To maintain a successful 30-year career is an achievement many of us dream of. However, doing it in one of the biggest, most competitive, and challenging industries in the world is an incredible feat that has rarely been matched. Since making his Bollywood debut in the 1991 romantic action film Saugandh, international megastar Akshay Kumar has gone on to become one of the biggest names to ever grace the silver screen. His ability to innovate, adapt and change in Bollywood is testament to his success which has seen him break box office records and win the hearts of millions from around the world. With 30 years now under his belt and many more to come, there is no better time than to remember why Akshay Kumar has become such a regular fixture on our screens for three decades, and is an undisputed megastar!

The action star Akshay Kumar’s versatility is just one of the many successful traits the actor possesses. As a result,

this has seen him experiment with many different roles, which has seen him become the most marketable commodity in Bollywood today. It is the action genre which is arguably where he cemented himself in Indian cinema. His charisma, energy and looks made him the perfect fit to be the ultimate action hero that Bollywood was desperately looking for. Khiladi (1992), Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahaani (2002), Baby (2015), and Tashan (2008), are just some of the films in which Akshay Kumar has shown his heroic side and are still some of the most popular films enjoyed by many today.

The romantic heartthrob When he was cast for Namastey London (2007) many fans and critics were sceptical over his ability to feature in a romantic film. However, for Vipul Shah, this was no problem with him having full faith in Akshay Kumar to be a success in the role. When he gave the role to Akshay Kumar amidst the criticism, Shah said, “I went

with my gut feeling, which was that here is an actor who is completely honest about his work, and whatever people talk about image and all, that is incorrect. I believed that Akshay was the best choice for the film and that worked. He delivered.” Namastey London went on to become a huge success and earned Akshay Kumar a Filmfare Award for Best Actor nomination. This role saw Akshay Kumar go from strength to strength and really spotlight that the star is able to take on just about any role out there!

The comedy legend Not only has Akshay Kumar been able to beat up the bad guys and win your heart, he has also been able to leave you in stitches. Whether it is playing the role of jinxed loser Aarush in the Housefull franchise (2010 – present), the servant and driver, Nitin Bankar, in De Dana Dan (2009), and the role of Raju in the cult comedy franchise Hera Pheri there is no doubt that Akshay Kumar is not afraid to show a different side to

him in his movies. Akshay Kumar is also known to have a knack for blending horror and comedy, such as what he did with the super hit, Bhool Bhulaiya (2007) which focuses on a haunted ancestral palace and has gone on to become one of his most popular movies to date. Where so many of the world’s biggest names would be afraid to try different genres, Akshay Kumar dived straight in and embraced such roles as this and shows exactly why so many directors love working with him.

His passion for addressing social issues For many, choosing roles which place social issues at the front of the agenda is scary territory. However, this is not the case for Akshay Kumar, who has starred in many unique blockbusters which openly tackle taboos and issues both in India and across the world. In 2017, he was given the lead role in Shree Narayan Singh’s Toilet: Ek Prem Katha (2017) which raised awareness on India’s sanitation issues, openly

Exclusive! Neha Dhupia on her short film 'Step Out': My big win is when someone watches it and starts talking about mental health Neha Dhupia turned to short film titled ‘Step Out’ during lockdown and the 11-minute narrative features her in the role of a psychiatrist and Dev Dutt as her patient. The short film is produced by Neha under her banner with Hridaye Nagpal calling the shots. Revealing why she took up the venture, Neha shares, “There were multiple factors for me to be doing this short film. As an actor, I was feeling very rusty as I was pregnant, then I gave birth and then the lockdown happened. So for me, I had told Angad that I will be continuing to do my work. But I don't think I could commit to it as it also has uncertain sides to commit to doing an acting job. Then I just wanted to come back to my original size as I had put on 23-25 kilos, so I took a year off and as I wanted to lose all that weight which I did."

Speaking about her association with ‘Step Out’, Neha adds, “A part of me was excited to work but the

46 — THE BRISBANE INDIAN TIMES, February, 2021

lockdown happened and we started living our lives very differently as nothing mattered much as long

as your healthy and fine. After a point when the fear started coming down, we started focussing on work. One fine day I got a call from Hridaye and he told me that he's doing a film on mental health and abuse to which my bigger concern was: I could do this as an actor or amplify this voice by doing much more to it as a producer.” Sharing her opinion about short films, Neha Dhupia adds, “For short films, it's a growing market so there's not much profit to be made. My win's going to be big when someone messages me and says after seeing 'Step Out' we started talking about mental health. I as in a storm of controversies during Roadies as well, where I took a stand against abuse but it was misunderstood. So there have been many reasons why I wanted to take up this voice forward.”

tackling the problem which affects millions across the country and was well received by critics. In 2018, Akshay Kumar also took on the more daring role of Laxmi Kant Chauhan in the film Padman which focused on the stigma surrounding periods and the importance of providing affordable and safe sanitary pads for women. This went on to gross $29 million worldwide and spotlighted the issues around the topic. Akshay Kumar was praised for his role and his desire to openly tackle periods and menstruation and has gone to bring about many positive changes as a result.

A symbol of hope The coronavirus pandemic has no doubt been one of the most difficult times we have ever faced. With lockdowns introduced across the globe and economies brought to a halt, the cloud of uncertainty will no doubt take a while to fade. However, for Akshay Kumar, this was a chance to raise morale and offer hope to everyone around the world. Throughout the

pandemic, the actor has been instrumental in helping those who need it the most. This has included donating an incredible Rs 25 crore (£2.5M) to PM Narendra Modi's coronavirus relief fund, providing Mumbai police with 1,200 smart wrist bands which detect covid symptoms, hosting a virtual music concert and taking the time to applaud the efforts of key service providers working on the frontline. It is these extensive efforts, which helped show that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and certainly won the hearts of millions.

Enduring Legacy With more than 100M followers on social media, and a regular feature in cinemas across the world and OTT platforms, Akshay Kumar’s is one of the most iconic actors of this generation and with his unmatched professionalism, limitless talent and excellent chemistry with his co-stars, there is no doubt there is plenty more to come. Thank you Akshay Kumar – here is to the next 30 years!

Is Rohit Shetty eyeing a New Year’s eve release for Ranveer Singh starrer ‘Cirkus’? As Bollywood gets ready to fight it out at the box-office in 2021, director Rohit Shetty has reportedly decided to skip the queue to release his film just in time for 2022. According to the latest reports, the director is eyeing a New Year’s eve release for his Ranveer Singh starrer ‘Cirkus’. The film that went on floors last November is expected to wrap up its shoot next month. The team managed to film a major portion at a studio in Mumbai and are now expected to jet out to Ooty and Goa to complete their shoot. Should everything go according to plan, the team will enjoy a three-day holiday weekend at the box office. The final decision on the release date will reportedly be taken only after wrapping up the film. Besides ‘Cirkus’, Rohit is also waiting for the release of his cop-action flick

‘Sooryavanshi’ that will see Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif in lead roles. The director is reportedly looking for a year-end release as Ranveer has two other films lined up for festive releases though the year that includes Kabir Khan’s sports flick ’83. While nothing has been set in stone just yet, the buzz is that Aamir Khan will be sticking to his December release and will drop ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ during the Christmas weekend. ‘Cirkus’, that also stars Varun Sharma, Pooja Hegde and Jacqueline Fernandez in lead roles, is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play – ‘A Comedy Of Errors’.

Exclusive: Varun Dhawan talks about his COVID recovery Post the lockdown when the industry was getting back to life and slowly getting the business moving, Varun Dhawan started a fresh new project titled Jug Jugg Jeeyo. For his new film, Varun Dhawan flew down to Chandigarh with the cast which includes Kiara Advani, Neetu Kapoor and Anil Kapoor. Unfortunately within a few days into the shoot, Varun Dhawan and Neetu Kapoor were tested positive for COVID. Today we got chatting with the Coolie No 1 star as he slays on our brand new digital Filmfare cover. While he sizzles on the cover with his sass and cool attitude, in

this interview he talks about everything under the sun from what’s his next movie to his marriage plans. The actor spoke about his COVID recovery and got talking about it. When asked about his health, he said he’s doing much better now and adds that he got most of his energy back with the release of Coolie No 1 on Amazon Prime. “The excitement when people see your work and that euphoria of watching it, gave me a lot of joy. And I'm feeling much better,” said the actor. Well, the actor loves his job and we must say that the rush his movie release gave him surely brought the smile back on his face.

Malaika Arora sends in birthday wishes for dear friend Sophie Choudry, says ‘let’s pout and pose’; view pic Today singer Sophie Choudry turned a year older. To this, fans and Bollywood celebs are showering her with several heartfelt posts on social media. Joining the bandwagon, now Malaika Arora took to her Instagram story to reveal some unseen video and picture of herself with the birthday girl. Sharing a throwback BTS video from a shoot with Sophie, Malaika wrote, “Stepping into Tuscany be like…happy bday my darling @sophiechoudry

have the bestest day love” with some emoticons. She further added in her next throwback picture featuring

Amrita Arora “Happy bday @sophiechoudry … yeah let’s pout n pose.” Talking about birthday

plans, Sophie told ETimes, “Instead of one day, I am celebrating it over three days because I can't meet a large group of people on the same day. Last year, I was able to throw a nice big party for my friends and fraternity and that was the last time when we were all together in one place. I would love to do another one, but we still have to be a bit careful. So, it's nicer to do a small dinner with different groups of people. That's how I am going to do it, this year.”

Vikram Bhatt to reinvent the horror genre with mentor Mahesh Bhatt in his next outing, ‘Cold’

Vikram Bhatt is all set to reunite with his mentor Mahesh Bhatt for his next horror outing, ‘Cold’. The film is being written by Mahesh and will star Akshay Oberoi and Anisha Pahuja in lead roles. Spilling the beans on the same, Vikram told a news portal that the world has gone through a harrowing time in the past year, and there is a need for a collective catharsis and ‘Cold’ will provide that to the audience. According to the filmmaker, intelligence has always been viewed as the ability to think and learn, but in the post-

pandemic world, the director feels we need to view it as our ability to rethink and unlearn. And what could be a better way to do it than collaborate with the master storyteller himself. Vikram has reportedly kicked off the first schedule in Mumbai. The director added that with ‘Cold’, he will reinvent the horror genre with his mentor, 20 years after ‘Raaz’. ‘Cold’ reportedly revolves around a woman who experiences paranormal activities when living alone in her Mumbai apartment.

Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif to shoot for ‘Tiger 3’ in Turkey?

Shamita Shetty: You're in an industry that says out of sight is out of mind Actress Shamita Shetty claims that right from the beginning of her career she was never into quantity when it came to signing films. Although she started with the multistarrer blockbuster love story film in 2000, Shamita saw only around a half a dozen releases in Bollywood that gave her acting roles over the last two decades, with her last big screen outing being the 2007 dud 'Cash'. Shamita, whose strongest role is perhaps in the 2005 Emraan Hashmistarrer 'Zeher', had a couple of hit dance numbers like 'Chori per chori' ('Saathiya') and 'Sharara sharara', 'Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai' in her early years. It took her 13 years since 'Cash' to return with an acting role to the Hindi screen in the web series. "Right from the beginning quantity was really not something that Call: (07) 3192 5188

I was attracted to and if I was, maybe staying relevant would have been an important factor for me. So, I don't think I have really focussed on that," Shamita told to source. "Unfortunately, you are in an industry that says out

of sight is out of mind, and I think that happened with me so many times," she added. "Initially, may be it affected me but now I really don't care because there is always something or the other I am doing, and

as long as I am happy as a person I think that is the most important thing for me. I am utilising my time that is helping me learn something as an individual and a human being and helping me grow as a person. I am fine with it," she declared.


Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif are all set to start shooting for ‘Tiger 3’ from next month. The team was likely to shoot in middleeast but seems like there is a change in plan. According to a news portal, a source revealed that the makers have planned to shoot for ‘Tiger 3’ in Turkey first and later shoot in UAE, because of the rise in Covid cases there. Director Maneesh Sharma and producer Aditya Chopra are reportedly working on the possibility of shooting with Salman khan in Turkey in March. The antagonist of 'Tiger 3' has still not been finalized and producers Yash Raj Films are keen to feature a

relatively new face as they did with Sajjad Delafrooz in 'Tiger Zinda Hai'. After ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ and ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’, this third installment will take ahead the story of RAW agent Avinash Singh Rathore. Salman Khan is currently shooting for action entertainer ‘Antim’ with brother-in-law Aayush Sharma. Salman essays the role of a Sikh cop in this movie which went on floors in Mumbai recently. While, Katrina Kaif is busy with the shoot of ‘Phone Bhoot’. The horror comedy also features Siddhant Chaturvedi and Ishaan Khatter. The team of ‘Phone Bhoot’ is currently shooting for the film in Udaipur.

THE BRISBANE INDIAN TIMES, February, 2021 — 47

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