Group Meeting: Australia India Exhibition at Parliament House Melbourne 4th Sept 2016

Australian Indian History Exhibition in Melbourne on 12th Sept 2016

Group Meeting: Australia India Exhibition at Parliament House Melbourne


Venue: 3 Witney Way, Bundoora VIC 3083, Australia

Date: 4th Sept Sunday at 3 PM – 5 PM

Agenda: History Exhibition Working Group Set Up

The Australian Indian Historical Society Inc. (AIHS) will be hosting an exhibition, at Queens Hall, Parliament from Monday 12th September to Friday 16th November, of history and contributions of Indian community to Australia, especially unfolding largely unknown facts and detail. The AIHS was founded by Len Kenna and Crystal Jordan. Both Len and Crystal have been voluntarily researching, writing, publishing and public speaking on Australian Indian History for the last 25 years at their own expenses. The total personal time contributed to this important work is 57 years (25 years each Crystal and Len and 7 years by Diane Nicholls).
Len and Crystal also have a collection of photographs of Australian Indian History that they have colated into an Exhibition, and have toured with extensively throughout Australia and India largely at their own expense with some assistance given by the Indian Community. The Australian Indian Historical Photographic Exhibition has caused great interest and favourable comments and proved to be an important tool to showcase how valuable this history is to the Multicultural Community and the wider Australian Public.

Their work has been acknowledged by the Indian Community who have formed the Australian Indian Historical Society Inc., to support them in their research and publications. To date they have published five volumes of books and one play on Australian Indian History. A sixth book has been translated into Punjabi and will be published and distributed worldwide by Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, India. They have also recently developed a new Website ( showcasing Australian Indian History. Crystal and Len are sacrificing a room in their home to house the Exhibition and the extensive research. As a result of their research they have been approached by Professor Pookong Kee, the Director of Asia Institute, Melbourne University, who is interested in their methods of research so that it can be used by other researchers, for example: Chinese, German, French and American Communities who have all played a prominent part in Australian History. Len and Crystal have uncovered many historical and important facts which will be of interest to the Indian and the broader Australian Community, for example:

1. India’s involvement in mounting the First Fleet

2. The role of Indians and Anglo Indians in the discovery of Bass Strait in 1797

3. The first Sikh Religious Service in Australia was held at Benalla in 1920, this is of great importance to the Sikh Community

As a result of Indian Migration a number of their descendants have filled prominent positions in Australia. For example: The Hon. Daryl McGuire MP, Wagga Wagga NSW, whose great grandfather was a Sikh Hawker at Swan Hill, Victoria, and Lady Gladys Nicholls whose father Meera Bux was and Indian Hawker and Shopkeeper in Victoria, to name two.

The results of their work have raised important issues and facts of the input that India and things Indian have had into the development of Australia, and need to expose this great history and contribution to the wider Australian community.


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