Inauguration of the Canberra Baps Shri - Speech


Swaminarayan Hindu Mandir

Taylor, ACT

Sunday, 17 March 2024

I acknowledge the Ngunnawal people, on whose lands we meet today, and all First Nations people present. 

Chief Minister Andrew Barr, Deputy Indian High Commissioner Suneet Mehta, the many visiting dignitaries from Sydney, Perth and New Zealand, ladies and gentlemen.

This is my third visit to this BAPS Hindu Mandir. On my first visit, only the bare bones of the structure had been completed. On my second visit, much of the internal work had been completed. This third visit, the building looks perfect, inside and out. At this rate, I can only imagine how good it will look when I am back here for my fourth visit!

This suburb of Taylor is named after Florence Taylor, who served as editor of ‘Building’ magazine. It is fitting that construction was completed in just 18 months. Florence Taylor would have been impressed.

I am here today with my 14-year-old son Theodore. Both of us were impressed with the way that children in the community helped to fundraise for this Hindu Mandir, including through collecting aluminium cans and selling artworks.

It is a mark of the importance of this building to our government that three federal ministers have also visited already. Treasurer Jim Chalmers, Immigration Minister Andrew Giles and Communications Minister Michelle Rowland have each paid a visit to this Hindu Mandir.

This is an auspicious time to be opening a Hindu Mandir. Last month, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Abu Dhabi to open BAPS Hindu Mandir Abu Dhabi. This BAPS Hindu Mandir will be the fifteenth in Australia.

On the top of the building are the shikharas, the spires which are the shoulders of God. On top of the spires, the golden vessel represents the neck. Flying from the top of the temple are red and white flags, which represent devotion and purity.

This temple will be home to thirteen divine figures. 

This central space in which we are meeting can hold 500 people. 

The building holds a commercial kitchen – a kitchen which is bigger than many restaurants! 

It has already produced many meals and will yield many more. 

This Hindu Mandir also has rooms where children can be taught Gujarati, dance, music and more.

In past years, Ngunnawal Primary School has served your community well, but you have well and truly outgrown it. This space will serve your community for decades to come.

This Mandir will be a place for believers and for the community. It will be a place where bellies are filled and souls are nourished. 

On behalf of the Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, it is my pleasure to celebrate the inauguration of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Hindu Mandir and Community Centre. 

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  • Toby Halligan
    published this page in What's New 2024-03-18 07:42:03 +1100

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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | [email protected] | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.