Welcome to Victorian Tamil Association (VTA)
The Victorian Tamil Association Inc(formally, Ceylon Tamil Association and Eelam Tamil Association Vic), was founded in 1978 by a group of early migrant Tamils from Sri Lanka, headed by Late Prof C J Eliezer to serve the small but growing Tamil Community in Victoria. Initially it was established as a social platform to foster kinship among these new Tamil immigrants and help naturalise in this new environment. These early Tamil immigrants were of the highly skilled categories, leaving the shores of Sri Lanka disillusioned and troubled by the discrimination brought on by the “Sinhala only” official language policy. Their skills and expertise were very much valued by the Immigrant Nations and were afforded generous resettlement facilities.
With the rising racial violence against the Tamils in Sri Lanka in the 1970’s the trickle slowly turned into a tide. The infamous anti Tamil racial pogrom of 1983 was the turning point which triggered a mass exodus of Tamil families from Sri Lanka. The Ceylon Tamil Association played an important role at this time, in getting the Australian Government to allow many distressed Tamil families to migrate to Australia, through the “Special Humanitarian Assistance Visa” programme. These new arrivals, migrated under this Humanitarian Assistance Visa, faced many logistical and other psycho social problems in settling down in this adopted land. They were ably assisted by the Ceylon Tamil Association to fight social isolation and for empowerment in the long process of resettlement. The Association went through a very rapid growth during this time and was recognised as the umbrella organisation for all Tamils in Victoria.
The repeated cycle of racial violence against the Tamils in Sri Lanka abetted the radicalisation of the Tamil youth and paved the way for them to take up arms against the State. The resulting Civil war in the 1990’s and early 2000’s and its concomitant brutalities drove the Tamils to take desperate measures, getting on leaky boats and escaping the violence. Australia took its fair share of these fleeing refugees. In 2007 the Association changed its name to Eelam Tamil Association Vic and again in 2017 to Victorian Tamil Association Inc to reflect the social ethos of those respective periods.
The first Tamil school was established in 1979 by the Ceylon Tamil Association to lay the foundation to preserve and cherish its Tamil cultural roots as stated in the objectives of the constitution of this Association. The Tamil Schools play an important role in the dissemination of knowledge, to the younger generations, about our cultural heritage and to reinforce their identity as Australians of Tamil origin. We invest significant amount of effort and energy in the development of the Tamil Schools with a view to furthering the knowledge of Tamil language, art and culture as the very foundation of this Association. There are now eight campuses of the Tamil School spread across the greater metropolitan area of Melbourne.
The Victorian Tamil Association maintains functional links with other likeminded Tamil Associations in Australia and Abroad. Within our natural sphere of influence we strive to facilitate and support the initiatives in disaster recoveries and economic redevelopments. We work with the Australian government and nongovernmental agencies to develop and implement community development programs.
Our goal is to develop and maintain the required infrastructure, social and physical, for this community to enjoy a socially balanced meaningful life. Working with responsibility we will continue to drive our initiatives into the future.