Melbourne: Four volumes of books giving a detailed and rich account of the arrival of Indians in Australia and their contribution to the country`s history have been released here.
The four books, that deal with "Are Indians an Ethnic minority?", were released by Indian High Commissioner Biren Nanda at the Indian Consulate here.
Authored by two Australian historians Len Kenna and Crystal Jordan, the books are titled `The Introductory Volume`, `Camels and?Trailblazers`, `Horses and Walers` and `Hawkers and Pictorial History`.
Releasing the books over the weekend, Nanda said, "these volumes will be enriching for the Indian diaspora."
Speaking at the launch, Kenna said, "These books can effectively argue that Indians are not an ethnic minority because they were equally responsible for Australia`s settlement as they came here very early."
"These books are also an attempt to recognise the contribution and role of Indian community in establishing Australia as a nation," he said.
Kenna said the books were the outcome of last five decades of hard work.
He pointed out that Indian sailors undertook the first ever inland expedition in Australia, after the ship-wreck of Sydney Cove in 1796.
"There are historical evidences that Indian community was the third top to contribute to Australian history apart from English and Irish community," Kenna said.
Under the book titled `Camels and Trailblazers`, the author has?examined the exploration and development of the Riverina District of New South Wales and the contribution that Indians, Anglo-Indians and things Indians made to the development of the Riverina and Australia as a whole.
The book has also examined the role that Indian cameleers and Indian camels played in the exploration and the development of inland Australia, Kenna said.
The third volume titled `Horses and Walers` explores the origins of the Australian Horse Herd and the circumstances surrounding their transportation to Australia.
It examines the uses that the horses were put to and the improvements that were made to the original Horse Herd.
The fourth volume `Hawkers` has examined the Indian migrants who landed in Australia since the 1870`s until the start of the "White Australia Policy" in 1901.
It has explained the difficulties that they faced on arriving in Australia, their employment opportunities as well as their religious, social and sporting lives.
The book has explained how the largest self-funded migration of non-white people to Australia, overcame 19th century Australian racist attitudes and became well liked and respected members of the communities in which they lived.
The book release was attended by several Australian dignitaries apart from Indian Consul General Manika Jain.