Thank you, Glen and Matthew, for your Welcome to Country. I would like to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of this land, and I pay my respects to the Elders, both past and present.
I'm also pleased to welcome our guests this evening: Representing the Premier of NSW, the NSW Attorney General and Minister for Citzenship, John Hatzistergos MLC; His Excellency Chen Yuming, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China; His Excellency Hu Shan, Consul-General of the People's Republic of China in Sydney; Mr Zhang Tong, Vice-Governor of the People's Government of Hubei Province; Dr Cindy Pan, our Chinese New Year Festival Ambassador; City of Sydney Councillors and Sydney residents and visitors.
Welcome to 2011, the Year of the Rabbit. And a very warm welcome to our 250 special guests who have come from Hubei Province to help celebrate Chinese New Year.
We also have many members of Sydney's Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese communities taking part in this fantastic parade which promises to be our most spectacular ever.
For their support in bringing this great celebration to the streets of Sydney, I would like to thank: the Embassy of the People's Republic of China; the Consulate-General of the People's Republic of China in Sydney; the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China and the People's Government of Hubei Province.
Thanks also to our Chinese New Year Festival Sponsors: our Strategic Partner, the NSW government through Events NSW; our Principal Sponsor, Medibank; our Major Sponsors, Volkswagen and China Union Pay and Etttason; our Government Partner, Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority; our Supporting Sponsors, Sydney's Paddy's Markets, CMC Markets and Lebara Mobile; Media Partners SBS, 2UE and TVBA; Launch Partner Citigate Central Sydney; our Supply Partners, TAFE NSW, Chameleon Touring Systems, Bannershop and the Australian Institute of Music; and Gil Minervini and the City of Sydney events team.
Happy Chinese New Year, everyone, Kung Hei Fat Choy!