MELBOURNE: The grounds of Melbourne’s most famous racecourse was on Saturday (Sep 9) packed with more than 6,000 Singaporeans who turned up for this year’s Singapore Day.
Held each year in a major city, the day-long event is organised to provide an occasion for Singaporeans overseas to reunite, bond over hawker food and connect with the latest economic, social and cultural developments in Singapore.
This is the third Singapore Day to be held in Australia, following previous editions in Sydney in 2013 and Melbourne in 2008.
Sixteen hawker stalls were set up at Flemington Racecourse on Saturday.
The crowd was entertained with a concert featuring group acts Teng Ensemble and MICappella, as well as singers like Dick Lee and Tabitha Nauser.
Among the exhibits on display was an installation made up of 10,000 paper hearts, folded by Singaporeans across Australian cities like Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.
It is part of a campaign to raise funds to children and youth with special needs back home. A cheque of S$35,000 was presented to Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on behalf of the beneficiaries.
“I am glad to see the strong participation from Singaporeans all across Australia,” said Mr Teo. “We have brought a slice of home to celebrate everything Singaporean together. Thank you for your care and contributions to our fellow Singaporeans.”
Singaporean Angela Lee, 36, said Singapore Day allowed her to feel at “home” for the day. “It is almost like a mini National Day celebration with an extra perk because we get to eat local hawker food,” she said.
“Amazing” was how student Mohamad Hafiz Bin Abdul Kadir described the food and atmosphere. “It is an awesome feeling hanging out with other Singaporeans.”