Celebrating the joy of Diwali with Westmead Hospital’s Research and Education Network

The vibrancy and energy of Diwali celebrations was felt in the Research and Education Network (REN) at Westmead Hospital, creating a fun atmosphere for staff members.

The festivities began with Professor Mark McLean welcoming everyone, followed by a delicious Indian feast to add some flavour to the festivities.

Colleagues from REN dressed in colourful saris and lehengas and engaged in traditional Indian dances. Professor Peter Hockey and Dr Roslyn Crampton also embraced the spirit of Diwali and participated in some fantastic dancing.

Diwali, an annual five-day festival marking the start of the Hindu New Year, holds significance beyond its cultural roots.

Westmead Hospital Radiology Training Network Manager Preeti Saraswati highlighted the importance of celebrating Diwali at work, emphasising the opportunity to share cultural and religious stories while educating colleagues about the rich traditions and values associated with the festival.

Professor Smita Shah OAM, WSLHD Director of PERU, emphasised the celebration’s role in recognising diversity and fostering a sense of extended family among colleagues.

It is an opportunity to recognise our diversity and to have fun and celebrate with the extended family we have in our work colleagues.

Professor Smita Shah OAM, WSLHD Director of PERU

Diwali, celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains, is known as the festival of lights, symbolising the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and the embracing of new beginnings. Additionally, it serves as a time to welcome prosperity in the coming year.

Preeti shared her personal perspective on Diwali, describing it as a chance to spend quality time with family and friends, expressing gratitude for life’s blessings.

She emphasised the joy found in the festival’s elements—food, clothing, gifts, lighting, music, and dance—while also recognising its significance as a time for reflection on life’s essentials and a focus on values such as kindness and compassion.

The Diwali celebrations at Westmead Hospital’s Research and Education Network not only brought joy and colour to the workplace but also served as a meaningful occasion to embrace diversity, foster camaraderie, and reflect on the values that make Diwali a truly special festival.