House debates

Monday, 30 November 2020

Statements by Members

Greenway Electorate: Sikh Community

1:30 pm

Photo of Michelle RowlandMichelle Rowland (Greenway, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Communications) Share this | | Hansard source

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh. I rise today to extend my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to Greenway's Sikh community and indeed Sikhs everywhere on the 551st anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. I have always been inspired by the teachings of Guru Nanak. He taught that the value of a person is determined not by an innate characteristic or label but by the goodness of their heart and the depth of their character. He called Sikhs to service and charity and emphasised love and respect as central to a long and prosperous life.

The Sikh values articulated by the guru are indeed Australian values, and I have the great privilege of representing a proud and vibrant Sikh community in Western Sydney. I have experienced the generosity and warmth of the Sikh community on countless occasions, including over the weekend when I visited the Glenwood gurdwara and representatives of the Australian Sikh Association. It has been a challenging time for faith communities, but I was very pleased to return to the gurdwara after a long absence due to the pandemic, and I congratulate all those involved in helping to make it a COVID-safe environment. They have adapted and people are coming back, which is great to see.

The ASA has a proud history of supporting those in need. It continues to feed people who are less fortunate or homeless in the Blacktown area and has been working tirelessly to provide staple food hampers to locals throughout the pandemic, and I note that they provide this service outside the pandemic as well. I congratulate them on this momentous occasion.