Sweet Melodies: Mike Nahan praises efforts of band and Navrang Festival


Hindus celebrate Navratri through dance at the annual Navrang Festival in Perth.
Hindus celebrate Navratri through dance at the annual Navrang Festival in Perth.

CITIZENSHIP and Multicultural Interests Minister Mike Nahan has praised northern suburbs band Sweet Melodies for its annual cultural event, which raises funds for charities.

The band is preparing to hold its annual Navrang Festival, coinciding with the Hindu Navratri celebrations, at HBF Arena in Joondalup next month after outgrowing a Balcatta venue it has used since 2011.

“WA’s culturally and linguistically diverse communities play a key role in raising money for charities and national disaster funds,” Dr Nahan said.

“Spectacular community festivals like Navrang attract large numbers of people and are just one of the many advantages of living in a highly successful multicultural State such as WA.

“Over the last few years, the Sweet Melodies volunteers have raised funds for the Cancer Council WA, Ronald McDonald House Perth, Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation, Ear Science Institute Australia, Lions Outback Vision, Diabetes WA and the Nepal earthquake disaster.

“Their fundraising work, while promoting their culture in our community, is invaluable.”

Held over three nights on October 1, 7 and 8, volunteer organisers from the 13-piece band expect about 1500 people at each Navrang event.

This year they will raise funds for Wheelchairs for Kids, a Wangara-based charity that makes wheelchairs for impoverished, disabled children in under-resourced countries.

The Hindu Navratri festival celebrates the nine different forms of the Goddess Durga through music, dance and religious ceremonies.

Since 2011, India has been the top non-English speaking country of birth for people living in WA, and the state is home to people of Indian ancestry from other countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Fiji, Mauritius, the UK, New Zealand and various African countries.

THE ESSENTIALS

What: Navrang Festival 2016-09-20

Where: HBF Arena Joondalup

When: 7.30pm on October 1 and 7 and 6.30pm on October 8

Tickets: call 0438 903 667 or visit www.sweetmelodies.com.au