(12pm, Saturday 16 February 2013, Pitt Street Sydney)
Thank you, Cyrus/Deanne [MC]. Hello, everyone. I would like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also acknowledge the people of 200 nations who live in our city.
I would also like to acknowledge:
- Mayor Gu Bok Jeong, Mayor of Yeong-dong County in Korea
- His Excellency Mr Jin Soo Kim, Consul-General of the Republic of Korea in Sydney
- Mr Beyeong Kim, President of the Korean Society of Sydney and
- The members of the Nangye Korea Traditional Orchestra
This is only the second Korea Town New Year Festival but it looks set to become a popular fixture as part of our Lunar New Year celebrations.
Tomorrow night, as you know, is the fantastic Twilight Parade, and I hope to see you all there again. There will be more than 500 Koreans in this year's parade. It's a great night out not only for our Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese communities, but for the whole of Sydney.
The Korean community makes an important contribution to the life of our city. There are 130,000 Koreans living in the Sydney area, and over 300 Korean businesses in the city, many of them here in Korea Town.
It's wonderful to have this "festival within a festival" and to be able to sample some of the ancient traditional culture of Korea, as well as its exciting modern culture. I thank the Festival Committee for their efforts.
It adds a new dimension to the social and cultural life of Sydney and I'm pleased to join with you in celebrating here today.