November 29, 2022
NSW Australian of the Year

A 41-year-old Indian-origin Sikh volunteer who faced ethnic slurs due to his beard and turban received the coveted 2023 New South Wales Australian of the Year Award, along with three others, for their contributions to the community through floods, bushfires, drought, and the pandemic.

A 41-year-old Indian-origin Sikh volunteer who faced ethnic slurs due to his beard and turban received the coveted 2023 New South Wales Australian of the Year Award, along with three others, for their contributions to the community through floods, bushfires, drought, and the pandemic.

On November 3, the New South Wales government made the announcement in the “local hero” category.

The national award recognized community members’ accomplishments while emphasizing the value of service to the nation of Australia. Amar Singh, a Sikh, started “Turbans 4 Australia” seven years ago, a charitable organization dedicated to assisting the homeless and disadvantaged affected by natural disasters.

According to a news statement published by the New South Wales government, Singh, a significant champion of multiculturalism and social harmony, has faced ethnic slurs as a result of his beard and turban.

“The 41-year-old feels that aiding people should not be limited by religion, language, or cultural background,” according to the article.

“Every week, Turbans 4 Australia packs and distributes up to 450 food and grocery hampers to those in Western Sydney experiencing food insecurity.” Turbans 4 Australia has given hay to farmers suffering from drought, supplies to flood victims in Lismore and bushfire victims on the South Coast, and food hampers to the lonely and needy during Covid lockdowns,” the organization said.

“I want to thank all the volunteers on my team who worked tirelessly day and night; all credit belongs to them,” Singh was reported as saying by the news website sbs.com.au.

“With a charity van running in Brisbane, Queensland, and a new warehouse coming up in Victoria’s northern suburb of Thomastown, I can proudly say that ours is a national charity,” he explained. “As a humbled Sikh, I hope that our team will continue to promote charity, compassion, and multiculturalism for many years to come.”

Singh migrated to Australia as a teenager and stated that he has always been interested in community work.

Singh and three other award holders will join those from other states and territories as finalists for the national awards ceremony, which will be held in Canberra in January next year, according to a news release from the NSW government.

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