Tuesday, 12 February 2019
La Trobe Electorate: Sikh Community
A few weekends back, I had the great privilege of attending the inauguration of the Sikh temple Siri Guru Nanak Darbar in Officer. I am very thankful to the organisers, who took the initiative to organise such an event for the first time in Australia. All communities can come regardless of their religion, colour or race. I would like to acknowledge the great contribution of the Sikh community, which has worked tirelessly to find a permanent place of worship, a 'gurdwara'. I congratulate the entire Sikh and Indian community and acknowledge the efforts of all the volunteers, especially Manpreet Kang, Mandeep Singh, Harjinder Kaur, Ravner Kaur, Harpreet Singh, Sukhwinder Singh Sandhu, Avtar Singh and Harman Singh.
The three-day-long event also celebrated the birthday of the 10th Sikh, Guru Gobind Singh. The three days saw the footfall of around 600 people, including about 60 people from other Australian communities. I was delighted to see so many volunteers from our local area and various organisations visit the temple, and they were full of praise for the Sikh community.
The event saw representatives from the Cardinia Shire Council, Need for Feed, Cardinia Interfaith Network, Cardinia Gujarati Association, Casey Multi-Faith Network, Upper Beaconsfield Conservation Group, Rotary Club of Pakenham, Pakenham RSL, Lakeside Residents Group, Cardinia Food Movement, Cardinia Shire Council's culturally and linguistically diverse advisory group, the Sudanese community, the Ahmadiyya Muslim community and members from various Indian communities. I was delighted to see that the temple has a congregation of members from Sikh and Indian communities in Officer, Pakenham, Clyde, Cranbourne, Beaconsfield and Berwick.
The community's journey has been one of setting up the temple from 2013 to 2019. I was touched by the volunteers and the kids, who sang religious hymns. I'm very proud to see that the Sikh community has a strong collaboration with other local community organisations. We'll keep working with them into the future to achieve each other's visions. Noteworthy among them are Need for Feed, Cardinia Food Movement, Living Learning Pakenham, Cardinia Shire Council, Cardinia Gujarati Association, Cardinia Interfaith Network and so many others. The Sikh community is already doing a lot of community work with the south-east community by not only helping the community but also working on the food van project to provide food to needy people in and around the electorate of La Trobe. Keep up the great work.