GRIFFITH City Council 2017 Australia Day Ambassador may not be a local, but he has plenty in common with many of the city’s residents.
Internationally-renowned film director, actor and author Anupam Sharma migrated from India to Australia before finding success with films such as unINDIAN, starring Australian cricketer Brett Lee.
Mr Sharma said he is honoured to be Griffith’s ambassador and looks forwards to hearing and sharing stories about migrating to Australia and Griffith.
"As an Indian- Australian I will have a lot in common with members of the Indian community and I would love to here about their experience and everyone’s experience migrating to Australia,” he said.
"I would also like to talk to and learn from migrants of various backgrounds, it is good to compare and contrast and see what is common for a greater understanding.”
Mr Sharma said Australia’s freedom, diversity, high quality of life, democracy and multiculturalism has made Australia an ideal destination for migrants in search of a better life and new opportunities.
"I don't think there is any other county whether its...developing, developed or whether its first or second or third-world that has such a harmonious multicultural society to showcase," he said.
"One of the reasons Indians feel more at home in Australia and so many of them are making Australia home is because of shared values of democracy, freedom, English language, and of course cricket and cinema.
“In fact, the four C’s that are always a bonding conversation between Australians of Indian origin and other Australians are commonwealth, cricket, curry, cinema.”
While Mr Sharma is likely to inspire Griffith’s large Indian population he said after five years of being an ambassador he is sure to depart Griffith inspired and filled with new knowledge.
"In my experience I have been more inspired by how successfully people have overcome all these struggles and trials and tribulations to become Australians than I am sure they are inspired by me," he said.
“Apart from being inspired I also have the opportunity to learn and I strongly believe any problems or frictions within a community or country can be eradicated by the removal of ignorance and more understanding.”
Mr Sharma will attend the Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Celebrations at Griffith Regional Theatre.