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MELBOURNE: Prime Minister Julia Gillard was given a rousing welcome by hundreds of students of the Islamic College of Melbourne's campus in Tarneit, about 20km west of here on Saturday.
She was mobbed by a sea of flag-waving students, chanting "Juu-lia, Juu-lia".
One young boy was so excited he stumbled in the mob and got the thrill of his life when the PM gave him a hand up.
Earlier, a student choir sang the national anthem at a ceremony to mark the beginning of work on the Werribee Islamic Centre's new mosque.
Meanwhile, the Victorian Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, Nicholas Kotsiras, launched Stage 1 of the new Hindu Cultural and Heritage Centre in Carrum Downs, about 30km from here.
The A$8.4 million project jointly funded by the Victorian State Government and the Hindu Society of Victoria.
Kotsiras said the new centre would provide an invaluable resource to Hindu communities in Carrum Downs and beyond, and praised the efforts of the Hindu Society of Victoria and Victoria's Hindu community.
"The construction of the centre has involved an enormous community effort – an effort that has brought together Indian, Sri Lankan, Malaysian, Fijian and Singaporean and other Hindu communities from all over Melbourne," the minister said. --BERNAMA