DELIVERED IN THE FEDERATION CHAMBER
I come with greetings in Gujarati and proudly say 'kam cho' to convey my best wishes to Greenway's Jain community on the auspicious occasion of Mahavir Jayanti, the festival marking the birth of Lord Mahavira.
Lord Mahavira was the founder of Jainism, and his core teachings remain as relevant today as they were thousands of years ago. Jains strive to live a life of non-violence, truth and non-attachment, to achieve a heightened sense of spirituality. Jains are called to charity and love.
As we deal with the ongoing effects of the pandemic, I pay tribute to the important work of many local Jains to support those without the means to support themselves. It hasn't gone unnoticed. Jain values are truly Australian values. I am proud to represent a passionate Jain community in western Sydney. I thank you for your friendship and continued advocacy. You have helped make Greenway a better place and me a better member of parliament over the past decade. You have taught me so many wonderful things about your traditions and beliefs, and I thank you for broadening my world view.
I usually join the celebrations, as I have for many years. They are full of colour, food, song and dance. While the pandemic means that this year's celebration could not proceed in person, I look forward to us gathering as one community at your new temple in, God willing, the not-too-distant-future.