Along with SEVA/SLAWN/BMS, there are many grass roots organisations serving the various needs of our South Asian Community. The aim of this event was to recognize and celebrate the Positive Role Models within the community who have been beavering away supporting the community particularly during the pandemic, bushfires and floods.
The event was an opportunity to recognize and celebrate some of the many organisations who have been silently working behind the scenes with the help of selfless volunteers supporting the community despite difficult circumstances.
Bringing together the various organisations also provided a great opportunity to inform the audience of the services provided by each organization, to enable networking and to help each organisation to reach out to members of the wider community.
Keynote speech was delivered by Kailash Sarma, a TEDx Speaker and Co-Founder and Chair of the RUOK? Youth Board. Kailash provided great tips on public speaking and a very important insight into the role of positive models – “”To be a positive role model, all you need to do is focus on helping one person”.
Sue Advani, President SEVA International Inc said “We are an asset rich community but no single volunteer organization can adequately and geographically serve all the various community needs – that would also be a waste of volunteering energy particularly when so much needs to be done– working together and collaborating to promote each other’s activities widely will help us reach out to many who are in need but don’t know where and how to seek help. As a community we need to show our appreciation to the many selfless volunteers, to thank them for their voluntary service and inspire others to join and support them in their endeavours. As they say, you can’t be what you can’t see.”
Organisations honoured at the event were: Turbans4Aus (Emergency Relief), Resourceful Australian Indian Network Inc.(Seniors Care), Samarpan Inc.(Disability Care) Sri Om Care (Seniors Care), Lean In Inc.(Settlement Pathways), Haathi in the Room Inc.(Mental Health), Pink Sari Inc.(Cancer Screening Awareness), Akashwani Sydney (Radio). Mr Harmohan Walia was also honoured for the support he provides to the various community organisations helping them to take their message across to a wide audience and for the publication of his book – “Successful stories of Indo-Australians” which for the first time documents the inspiring journey of 50 Indo-Australians who have made Australia home.
Nalika Padmasena, President SLAWN said “SEVA/SLAWN/BMS have worked on a number of collaborative projects in the past. Working together is great for reaching out and having an impact wider as well as building capacity of organisations. The importance and great impact of working together and collaborating was acknowledged by Jodi McKay, Former Leader of the NSW Opposition”.
Julia Finn, NSW Member for Granville and Shadow Minister for Sport and Youth, Sameer Pandey Deputy Lord Mayor for Parramatta and Sneha Chatterjee, Regional Director, Social Cohesion and Citizenship Group, Department of Home Affairs also attended the event.
Bernadette Agyepong, BMS said “We are proud to be part of an event celebrating Positive Role Models within the community. Positive Role Models play an important role in the work we do for the community. They influence the attitudes and behaviors of new arrivals in the community. Positive role models give them hope, inspiration, and assurance that all will be well with them if they persevere. You motivate us all to strive to uncover our true potential. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for being an inspiration to us and to our clients”.
The Celebrating Positive Role Models project was funded by Multicultural NSW.