Nelson Avenue in East Perth has been renamed Sailani Avenue to honour Indian-Australian ANZAC Private Nain Singh Sailani, who was killed in action on June 1, 1917 at Pont de Nieppe.
One of at least 12 Indian Australians to have enlisted to the Australian Imperial Force in the First World War, Sailani arrived in WA in 1895 at the age of 22, initially working in Geraldton as a labourer before enlisting in Claremont in February of 1916.
The name change coincides with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Australia this week, and followed a request from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
“The City received the naming request through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and following community consultation we worked closely with Landgate to bring it to fruition,” Perth Lord Mayor, Basil Zempilas said.
“Sailani Avenue will act as a tangible reminder of the role Anzacs from the Indian community played in shaping our state’s history and paving the way for future generations.”
“It is important for place names, including street names, to connect people to place, culture and our environment,” Lands Minister John Carey added.
“The renaming of Nelson Avenue, East Perth, to Sailani Avenue ensures Western Australia continues to honour the memory of our ANZAC soldiers and the sacrifices they made for their country, while also acknowledging the vital role of all of our Indian ANZACs.”
“Western Australia has a strong relationship with India, and a large Indian community and our Government’s re-naming of Nelson Avenue to Sailani Avenue demonstrates commitment to our ongoing relationship with India, highlighting international connections are a key part of WA’s rich multicultural history.”
Header image via City of Perth