A sailing ship carrying six female Indian naval officers have arrived in Fremantle as part of a journey to circumnavigate the globe.
Tourism, Defence Issues, Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Paul Papalia and Women’s Interest Minister Simone McGurk officially welcomed the crew on Wednesday who arrived on board the Indian Naval Sailing Vessel (INSV) Tarini.
“I sincerely welcome Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi and her crew to WA and commend them on undertaking this historic journey,” Mr Papalia said.
“This journey is being watched by millions of people, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who met the crew before they set off and has tweeted about it to his 35.7 million followers.”
The crew arrived last week and have toured Perth and Fremantle, including Kings Park and Rottnest Island.
Fremantle is the only Australian stop on the journey which began on September 10 and is expected to take eight months.
India is an emerging tourism market for Western Australia, with 27,300 Indians visiting the state in 2016-17, a 43 per cent increase on the year before.
Indian tourists injected $86 million into WA’s economy, rising 92.5 per cent on 2015-16.
Mr Papalia said it was helping WA expand tourism into India.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to show India an emerging tourism market, the wonders of our State through the eyes of such a courageous and groundbreaking group of women,” he said.
“As a former naval man, I respect the endeavours of the crew of INSV Tarini enormously and wish them well on their journey.”
Ms McGurk acknowledged the achievement of the women, claim the “women are heroes.”
“I cannot imagine how much bravery, let alone strength and tenacity, it would take to sail around the globe,” she said.
“As Women’s Interests Minister, I applaud the six crew for what is an incredibly challenging journey and wish them well as they move onto the next leg.”
Picture Courtesy: Royal Australian Navy