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  Beginning of Jains in Australia


Sri Mandir, Auburn

It all began with the immigration of first few Jain families to Sydney in Australia in 1984.  There were very few Indians in Australia at that time. If one came across another Indian on the street, they would stop greet each other and get to know each other. A family from Delhi came to settle in Sydney via Kuwait. Head of the family Surinder Kumar Jain met another Jain family of Rakesh Jain in Canberra who told him of another Jain family in Sydney.

There was no Internet in 1984. Mobile phones had not been invented yet. A phone call to India was limited to three minutes and you had to dial an operator to get connected after a wait of hours. White Pages i.e. a telephone directory, a big thick book was delivered to every phone owner every year. It listed every phone number of the city sorted by the name of the owner. There was no Jain listed in the White Pages other than Surinder in 1985. Again in 1989 close to Mahavir Jayanti, Surinder looked up the phone book and found two more Jain surnames. He called them up and together they decided to celebrate Mahavir Jayanti together.

The first Mahavir Jayanti was celebrated by five Jain families (Surinder Jain, Pawan Jain, Sunil Jain,  and two more Jain families). It was decided on that day that these Jain families will meet together every month and do Jain bhajans etc. Thus what later became Sydney Jain Mandal was started although the name and its registration happened many years later.

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