KATHMANDU: Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Jeeban Bahadur Shahi on Tuesday evening left for Melbourne, Australia to take part in the Grand Nepal Festival. The Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) is organising the festival from December 14 to 21. Minister Shahi is scheduled to inaugurate the the festival on Wednesday. The Minister's entourage includes Tourism Ministry's Joint Secretary Ghanshyam Upadhyaya and Nepal Students Union President Nainsingh Mahar. The Minister said the festival being held with an aim to promote Nepal's culture and tourism could play an important role in promoting the country's tourism. Minister Shahi's Press Advisor Sunil Sapkota quoted the Minister as saying that it was a matter of great pride and achievement that the festival was being held in Australia on Nepal, which is rich in terms of cultural heritage.