Prior to the formation of the Bengali Association, Bengalis used to celebrate Bijoya Sammelani & Saraswati Puja. These used to be held in various households by rotation and were by today’s standard quite small, approx. 30-40 people.
In October 1983, in the Bijoya Sammelani celebration, the community decided to form an association. An ad-hoc committee was formed to oversee the formation of the association. The first AGM of the association was held on 6th October 1984. The Association constitution was adopted in this AGM.
There used to be three major functions held throughout the year. Saraswati Puja around January/February, Rabindra Jayanti in May and Bijoya Sammelani around September-October. BBQ/Sports day around December was added in 1985, followed soon after by staging a Bengali Natak in 1986.
Durga Puja was added to the annual calendar in 1989 with the first Durga Protima in Australia brought in from Kolkata (Calcutta). Bijoya continued to be celebrated until 1991. Diwali was also celebrated from 1994 until 1997.
Over the years BAV has organized several memorable events:
- Dance dramas: Shyama, Shapmochan, Chitrangada, Tasher Desh, Chandalika, Balmiki Protibha,
- Plays: Kenaram Becharam, Chhutir Phandey, Modhureno, Rakta Karabi, Buddhu Bhutum, Burglar, Ballavpurer Rupkatha, Sajano Bagan, Boudir Biye, Fifty-Fifty, Sameside, Free Bibhrat, and
- Variety shows: Jalsa, Anajli, Jhankar, A Tribute to Mothers.
- BAV also had the honour of organising performances by several renowned Bengali artistes like: Smt Suchitra Mitra, Smt. Sumitra Sen, Smt. Mamata Shankar & her dance troupe, Sri Dwijen Mukherjee & Smt.Ritu Guha, Smt. Sanghamitra Gupta, Sri Durbadal Chatterjee, Smt Rama Mondal, Sri Abhirup Guha Thakurta, Sri Srikanto Acharya, Smt. Lopamudra Mitra, Nachiketa etc.
BAV took a very important step in 1998 and that was to establish a Bengali book section in Mt. Waverley Library. There are now more than 400 books in the library. BAV also publishes a literary magazine Sankalan every year.