Thursday, 1 August 2019
Guru Nanak Gurdwara Turramurra Sikh Temple, Culture Care Initiative
On Sunday, 16 June, I had the opportunity to visit the Guru Nanak Gurdwara Turramurra Sikh Temple. It was a cold day but the temple was brimming with members of the local Sikh community offering their warm hospitality to both regular attendees and newcomers alike. While I was there, I met with Dr Daman Singh Bhatia, Dr Kunwar Singh Bhatia and Parneet Singh Bhatia, who shared with me their Culture Care initiative. Culture Care is a social healthcare project that was developed from the 2012 Sikh Youth Australia camp. The Culture Care team recognise that the Sikh and Punjabi community within Australia has rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease that are amongst the highest in Australia.
The goal of Culture Care is to raise awareness about health issues within the Punjabi community in Australia to help them live longer, happier and healthier lives. It uses a three-pronged approach: education, assessment and improvement. Firstly, the Culture Care team developed a free mobile application to enable younger members of the community to take an interest in the health of their parents and grandparents. The mobile application is based on a standardised questionnaire used by medical practitioners across Australia. The application even gives the exact location of Punjabi-speaking GPs close by.
Secondly, the team runs pop-up clinics, which are a fun way to encourage the community to participate in a basic assessment of vital signs. Basic, non-invasive tests are conducted at the clinics to identify any potential red flags to refer to a GP. These clinics are run throughout the year at Sikh temples in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane. The pop-up clinic in Turramurra is scheduled to happen every year in June, and when I was at the temple in June this year I had the chance to go through a basic assessment myself. Happily, no red flags appeared. These clinics have been running since 2012, and young volunteers from medical, paramedical and other professions help to run the clinics. Thirdly, participants are able to register to participate in exercise programs, helping to improve their lifestyle habits.
I was very pleased to have the chance to visit the Guru Nanak Gurdwara Turramurra Sikh Temple, I was pleased to learn about the Culture Care initiative, I was pleased to participate in the service and I was pleased to enjoy some delicious vegetarian food. The standard of the catering at the Turramurra Sikh temple is always extremely high, and it was wonderful to be able to make one of my reasonably regular visits there. I congratulate all on the Culture Care team, in particular, on this wonderful initiative, and I thank all those at the Guru Nanak Gurdwara Turramurra Sikh Temple for their warm hospitality on a chilly Sunday morning.