(6pm, Sunday 2 February, Lower Town Hall)
Good evening, everyone, welcome to Town Hall.
I am pleased to welcome:
- His Excellency Ma Zhaoxu, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China in Australia
- His Excellency Li Huaxin, Consul-General of the People's Republic of China in Australia
- The Hon Victor Dominello MP, Minister for Citizenship and Communities representing the Premier of NSW, Barry O'Farrell
- Miranda Vuong, President, Chinese Parents Association - Children with Disabilities Inc
- The Hon Helen Sham Ho, Honorary President of the CPA
- Festival Ambassadors Claudia Chan Shaw, William Yang & Chui Lee Luk
- Fellow Councillors and
- Gill Minervini, our Festival Director
This is the City's 18th Chinese New Year Festival, and tonight's parade will feature almost 3,000 participants - among them over 300 performers who have travelled from China to participate.
I am sure the Sydney crowd will give them a very warm welcome.
We also look forward to their performances here at Town Hall and Angel Place Recital Hall.
Each year, this parade - and our Lunar New Year celebrations in general - become further embraced by all Sydneysiders. It is a testament to the strong traditions of our Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese communities, and to the harmonious multicultural mix that is Sydney in the 21st century.
Once again, I welcome all our guests - especially our visitors from China and I would like thank the Chinese New Year Festival Advisory Group for their enthusiasm and hard work.
Happy New Year, everyone! Kung Hei Fat Choy!