Straits Times: Singapore Day gathers 6,000 to mix - and eat - in Melbourne
MELBOURNE • More than 6,000 Singaporeans were reunited at Singapore Day 2017 celebrations at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne yesterday, reliving their fond memories of home and getting up-to-date news on economic, social and cultural developments in Singapore.
This was the third Singapore Day to be held in Australia following previous editions in Melbourne and Sydney in 2008 and 2013, respectively. A uniquely Singapore concert featured local group acts Teng Ensemble and MICappella, while artists including Aisyah Aziz, Dick Lee, Jay Lim, and Tabitha Nauser also entertained the crowd with song.
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who was at the gathering, said: "I am glad to see the strong participation from Singaporeans all across Australia. We have brought a slice of home to celebrate everything Singaporean together. Thank you for your care and contributions to our fellow Singaporeans."
Also present were Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu and Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong.
Among the exhibits on display was a special installation, "Hearts for Home". Made up of paper hearts folded by Singaporeans across Australia, the installation was meant to showcase the contribution of overseas Singaporeans.
As part of the SG Cares movement, Singaporeans also raised funds for the less privileged back home during National Day events held across Australia. Many of them took part in a Fold-A-Heart campaign that aims to help children and young with special needs through Singtel's Touching Lives Fund.
A TASTE OF SINGAPORE
Singapore Day has allowed me and my family to be home for a day. It is almost like a mini-National Day celebration with an extra perk because we get to eat local hawker food.
MS ANGELA LEE
For every heart folded, Singtel contributed $1 to the fund, with a total of $35,000 raised. DPM Teo received the cheque on behalf of the beneficiaries.
Mr Mohamad Hafiz Abdul Kadir, 24, RMIT University Singaporean Students' Association president, said of the event: "It is a good thing that we have Singapore Day in Melbourne as we have a big Singaporean community here and it allows everyone in Australia to congregate here and celebrate. The food and atmosphere here is amazing as well and it is an awesome feeling hanging out with other Singaporeans."
Sixteen hawker stalls were set up at the event to serve up a taste of Singapore to the participants. Said Ms Angela Lee, 36: "Singapore Day has allowed me and my family to be home for a day. It is almost like a mini-National Day celebration with an extra perk because we get to eat local hawker food."