See you in The Council of Indian Australians’ Australia Day & Indian Republic Day celebration on Friday, 28th Jan, 2011.
Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/31st Dec, 2010
Updated on 11th April, 2011.
Here is my account about what I have done so far and what I am doing right now.
1. Community work in General:
1.1. Leadership roles in Indian community Medical Associations, Continuing Medical education and Health education of general community.
1.2. Helping poor people from our community ie visitors, overseas patients and Indian students when they are in need of health care in Australia without sufficient financial resources.
1.3. Helping poor students in my district with scholarships etc.
2. My work as the co-ordinator of the Indian Consul General’s committee on students’ issues:
Indian Consul General’s Community Committee on Students’ Issues, Sydney, NSW was formed at the Indian Consulate on 6th April 2009. It did intensive work and completed its task in a very efficient manner. After accomplishing its mandated task, it dissolved itself at the end of June 2009 and communicated this to the Indian Consulate on 1/7/09.
The committee had Harmohan Walia,Vish Viswanathan, Shubha Kumar, Stanley D’Cruz and Dr Yadu Singh as its members. I was its co-ordinator.
This committee had done following activities;
#met students numerous times.
#organised a students’ forum on 16th May at Strathfield.
#co-organised a students’ forum with UIA in Strathfield on 6th June.
#arranged help to a woman student who was a victim of domestic violence.
#arranged help to 2 women students who were stalked by another Indian co-worker.
#arranged meetings with minister of education, NSW and her senior advisers and students from an aviation school-Work in progress.
#arranged a meeting with the president, NSW upper House [Mr Peter Primrose] and Ms Helen Westwood MLA and students.
#arranged meeting of an aviation school student with consul General [this student gave him his papers].
#arranged a meeting with a community minded lawyer and aviation school students.
#met the mother of a student of an aviation school. This lady’s husband had died only 4 weeks ago due to the serious stress involved in losing the money with the school in Sydney without the required outcome.
#arranged and participated in TV coverage of students’ issues on Channel 7, 9, 10, SBS TV, ABC TV, and Bloomberg.
#participated in the coverage on ABC radio, SBS radio, SBS Hindi radio, 2UE, JJJ, Indian Link radio, Radio UMANG, 2GB radio and SBS Kannada Radio.
#arranged talk-backs on these issues on SBS radio and Radio UMANG [98.5MHZ, Fridays,8-9 PM]-now stopped.
#participated in coverage on SMH, The Australian, Daily Telegraph, other newspapers and AAP.
#participated in the coverage on Indian newspapers in Australia [The Indian, Indian Link, Indus Age, The Indian Sub Continent Times, Indian Down Under].
#participated in TimesNow, NDTV, CNN/IBN, Headlines Today, AajTak and other Indian TV Channels.
#participated in the coverage on main Indian newspapers and PTI.
#involved with some top-grade Australian media programmes with wide audience in getting students’ issues covered.
#arranged funds for the accommodation for the relatives Mr Rajesh Kumar [the petrol bomb victim from Harris Park] within 24 hours.
#met commander Robert Redfern , Parramatta Local area Command of NSW Police several times.
#did what we could do to persuade/help the students when they were on the Harris Park streets for 3 nights.
#participated in the community leaders’ meeting with chairman, Community Relations Commission [CRC] at CRC HQ
#participated in a CRC organised meeting with Indian students at Parramatta RSL.
#participated in the community leaders’ meeting with the Premier, Mr Nathan Rees
#Met Indian Consul General and Consul several times
#helped a prominent Indian TV channel with a documentary on true situation in Australia. One of us [Yadu Singh] was the citizen Journalist.
#discussed and formulated the strategy to solve the problems of our students.
#submitted our strategy to the NSW task force and other relevant authorities.
#provided leadership in the matters relating to Indian students.
#gave our after hours and week-ends for students’ work and provided pastoral care to the needy students.
#provided/facilitated medical help to the needy students/their family members.
#met the visiting Indian journalists at the Consulate.
The committee members were all hard-working people with top-grade integrity. They did not have any conflict of interest in the matters relating to Indian students. None of them were involved in the students’ placement in a school [after taking a commission], running of any such school or running of any business which could have a potential conflict of interest in any manner.
All members worked with full dedication, cohesion and team feeling without any undermining of one another. This itself is a rare thing for an Indian group. We are proud of our work and ourselves.
We appealed to every person from Indian background to stay away from any leadership role if they were involved in any activity which did/could create a conflict of interest in these matters but we did not succeed in this matter.
We raised our voice forcefully against the exploitation of Indian students by some Indian employers.
We also appealed to the Indian newspapers and Radio programmes to ask questions from every leader [on students’ issues] about their involvement in any activity which created a conflict of interest in those matters. We suggested that the media should start with the questions on conflict of interests when interviewing those leaders.
3.My work beyond/outside the Consul General’s committee on students:
a. helped the refund of >$12000 to a student of a Flying school.
b. arranged legal assistance to the students from this Flying school from a solicitor in Sydney and Canberra.
c.1. facilitated a good outcome between parties involving VETAB, Flying school and students.
c.2. held several meetings involving VETAB high authorities, the Flying school and students in VETAB and my offices.
d. organised further refunds/savings [including waiving of about $50000f the legal fees in regards to a legal proceedings in the Supreme Court where students had lost their case and costs was awarded against them]] for a Flying school students from ESOS scheme with the help of VETAB, DEEWR and federal education dept which is worth >$250000 . I was the key and the only Indian person in this work for these students. I did this as I felt it was my duty to help students from my community who were feeling powerless in Australian system.
e. held meetings involving a Flying school people, VETAB and students.
f. helped payment of >$2400 to a student which was originally denied by his employer.
g. arranged funding of about $1000 to the family members of the “Petrol bomb” victim.
h. donated $500 to a students association.
i. arranged sponsorship for foods, meeting hall and public liability insurance for a students’ association [worth >$1000].
j. mentoring students for their careers and future in OZ.
k.1. donated $500 to AHIA’s seniors.
k.2. donated $500 to Fiji floods relief fund via International congress of Fiji Indians and organized $2000 donations from other doctors
k.3. donated $500 to Sanatan Arya Pratinidhi Samaj, Sydney.
l. donated a good amount [>$2000] for needy/deserving causes involving victims of earthquakes, accidental deaths, injuries and illnesses.
m.1. helping several students including assault victims for their work comp, treatment and issues involving their parents.
m.2. Liaised with NSW Police high ups in regards to the assaults of 2 Indians in Sydney.
m.3. Advised/mentored several others in regards to the steps they needed to take when they were assaulted.
n. established a benevolent fund for the community with further activities in the process.
o. participated as an active member of the working party with CRC on students including inputs for Z card.
p.1. took leadership role via the media including Indian and Australia media [Chanel 9, SBS, NDTV, Indian ethnic newspapers].
p.2. helped Radio National in making a documentary on students [see details in this BLOG elsewhere].
q. raised the issue of OZ Uranium sale to India during the Australia India Day celebration on 24th Jan, 2010 where several ministers, MPs, MLAs, MLC, and media people were present.
r. helped community members’ relatives/parents including FIJI Indians’ when they needed medical help.
s. helped students with their medical treatment of all types when they needed such help. This included getting a student admitted for the urgent treatment of his Kidney stone trouble which was threatening his Kidney.
t. helping the community members from India and South Asia with a concessional fees structure because they are part of my community [a service worth more than $50000/year].
u. met NSW Premier, VETAB authorities and NSW Education authorities on students’ issues
v. did all this work without any personal benefits or COMMISSIONs unlike some of our “leaders”. SEE my BLOG for more details.
w.1. trying to clean the community leadership and making them accountable.
w.2. Exposed commission taking by some leaders of an Indian community association in Sydney.
x. taking a leadership role against unfair portrayal of Australia as a Racist society by Indian media.
y. mentored medical doctors from India in regards to their training and registration issues including achieving a successful outcome for a house surgeon who was facing exclusion from the medical work due to her unfair treatment in a Sydney hospital. I worked very actively with this young doctor and her supervisors including Hospital administrators to get her into the internship at a different hospital. She passed her assessment and is now working in Sydney.
z.1. many other charity work in India including scholarships for poor students in India.
z.2. running a weekly Radio UMANG [Health radio] programme.
z.3. worked as a catalyst in resolving the issues between Indian consul General, Sydney and some businessmen with a successful outcome.
z.4. took an active and a leading role in resolving the issues between Indus Age [after a controversial ad] and the community, and achieved a successful outcome [with an apology and a promise to not publish such ads again].
z.5. Formed a community committee [total 10 people in it] against Visa Capping Bill in May 2010 and lobbied with the Gov ministers and Media against this Bill which was very harmful to the students. Worked actively for this committee, visiting community gatherings, temples and Gurdwaras to collect signatures against this Bill. We also met the Immigration minister, Mr Chris Evans, asking him to not proceed with this Bill. See www.fairgo4internationalstudents.org.
z.6. Formed a national organisation called National Council of Indian Australians [NCIA, www.ncia.org.au] with participation from all over Australia [all states and territories representatives].
z.7. Spoke as a lead doctor in the Health Summit, organised by GOPIO, Sydney, educating/informing people on Health matters on 4th Dec, 2010.
z.8. Helped a family locate their son [International student] http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/a-dumped-bike-a-glimpse-on-sydney-stations-cctv-what-happened-to-indian-student-abhijeet-20101006-166rs.html
z.9. Raised $7100 as a team for Qld Flood relief on 28th Jan, 2011.
z.10. Took up the issue of attack on Sri Mandir temple, Auburn and brought it to the national media.
z.11. Took up the matter involving HINDI in the Australian national draft curriculum-Languages and wrote to ACARA.
z.12. Campaigned for removal of an incorrect map of India in DIAC website and succeeded.
I have not listed every thing I have done or am doing. Much more is being done presently.
I had to write this down because some of my detractors were making comments like “what has he done for the community”.
Just to let you know that it gives me a sense of satisfaction to do some community work beyond my medical work.
Yadu Singh/Sydney/22nd November, 2010
Australia India Day Function
[Celebrating Australia Day and Indian Republic Day]
Held on the 24th Jan, 2010 [6-11PM]
Venue – Ryde Civic Centre, Ryde NSW 2112
Australia India Day Function Council celebrated its first Australia / India Republic Day at the Ryde Civic Centre, Ryde on the 24th January 2012. The program was an astounding success with more than 500 prominent Indians, representatives from over 20 Indian Associations, and star-studded politicians from both the Labor and Liberal parties from State and Federal level attending this event.
The celebration started with the singing of Indian and Australian anthems, followed by entre which was followed by the first part of the entertainment programme. The guests were welcomed by Harish Velji and the MC was Dr Yadu Singh. Vote of thanks was given by Ms Shubha Kumar.
At no time in the past 20 years, any function organized by any Indian Association/s had such massive response for such events. The only limiting factor in getting more numbers to attend the event has been the capacity of the Ryde Civic Centre function hall.
One of the major aspects contributing to the success of this program was the enormous representation from both the Labor and Liberal parties. ALP took 2 tables and Liberals took 1 table in our function. More than 40 political leaders and party workers from both sides attended the event. Prominent people from the political leadership included:
Hon Ms Maxine Mckew [Parliamentary secretary, Fed Gov & representing Prime Minister of Australia], Hon Mr Joe Hockey [Shadow Treasurer, Fed Parliament & representing Hon Tony Abbott, Leader of Opposition in Fed Parliament],Hon Mr David Borger [NSW Minister], Hon Mr Peter Primrose [NSW minister], Hon Ms Barbara Perry [NSW minister & representing NSW Premier], Ms Angela D’amore [Parliamentary secretary, NSW], Hon Mr Laurie Ferguson [Parliamentary secretary, Fed Gov], Mr David Clarke MLC [Shadow Parliamentary secretary & representing Mr Barry O’Farrell, Leader of Opposition, NSW], Mr Phillip Ruddock [Shadow Cabinet secretary, Fed Parliament], Mr Greg Smith [Shadow Attorney General, NSW], Hon Ms Amanda Fazio [President, Upper House of NSW], Hon Ms Tanya Gadiel [Deputy speaker of NSW parliament], Mr Chris Hayes MP, Mr Michael Richardson MP and Mr Shaoquett Moselmane MLC.
Clr Mark Adler – Canterbury Council, Clr Tony Hay – Hills Shire, Clr Barbara Burton – Hills Shire, Clr Vaseekaran Rajdurai – Holroyd Council, Clr Bill Whelan, Hawkesbury Council, and Crl Trent Zimmerman, North Sydney Council also attended this function.
Hon Mr Amit Dasgupta, Consul General of India, Sydney and Mr Gautam Roy, Consul from the Indian Consulate, Sydney also graced this function with their presence.
In a highly emotional and charged up speech, Mr David Clarke [representing Mr Barry O’Farrell] from the Australian Liberal Party, said that if his child goes to India he is sure the parents in India would treat him as their son and look after him. On a similar manner, he urged that the Australian Moms and Dads to treat the Indian students as their own sons and look after them. He went on and paid tributes to India and its traditions by saying that ‘India practices what it preaches.
Ms Barbara Perry [representing the Premier of NSW] spoke eloquently about the contribution of Indian Australians and declared that violence against Indian/international students will not be tolerated. She said that students are very welcome in NSW. She was dressed in Indian attire which people appreciated with enthusiastic applause. She spoke about the interest of NSW premier and Gov in working actively with the Indian Australians.
Hon Joe Hockey, speaking at the function, said the Liberal party is fully committed to its policy of supplying Uranium to India. Dr Yadu Singh, while responding to Hon Joe Hockey’s speech encouraged the Labor party to consider similar policy and implement it as early as possible. He explained that the issue of NPT is not relevant in case of India after India has been given an India-specific exemption from NPT by the NSG [Nuclear Suppliers’ Group] in Vienna last year.
Ms Maxine Mckew also spoke very highly of India, Indian Australians and multi-culturalism in Australia. She also explained that India and Australia have a great relations and it will get even better despite some hiccups. She was very impressed with the enthusiastic participation of women Indian Australians in this function. Her speech generated a thunderous applause from the audience.
All the speakers from both the major parties spoke highly of India, Indian traditions, Indian sports – in particular Cricket, and the Indian political landscape, which stood the test of times for more than 62 years since securing independence from the British rule in 1947. All speakers were enthusiastically applauded by the audience.
The event was also graced by Mr Amit Dasgupta, the Consul General of India. Speaking on the occasion the Consul General touched on two fundamental issues. On the issues related to the Indian students the Consul General paid glowing tributes to the NSW Police force and the political landscape of NSW for containing the student issues in NSW. As a clear indication to vindicate this matter the Consul General said that out of the 1340 attacks on Indian students in 2009, only 13 such attacks occurred in the state of NSW and South Australia – the States which fall under the jurisdiction of Mr Amit Dasgupta. He further stated that these statistics do not however condone the vast majority of attacks on Indian students that occurred and still occurring in other States. He urged that the law enforcement agencies and the political parties should work closely in this direction and ensure safety of the Indian overseas students
On a second major issue, the Consul General spoke about exploitation of the Indian students by Indian business – in particular the food/restaurant industry whereby the restaurant owners pay less than the wages stipulated under the labor law. He insisted that all business owners must do ethical business. He further went on to say that ‘I will not attend any function where he is not assured of suppliers to that function follow ethical standards in conducting their businesses’. The entire hall including all the politicians from both major parties echoed with a big applause.
The overwhelming response to this event is an indication of the ‘changing times’ and ‘changing outlook’ to the leadership and responsiveness to the current issues and challenges being faced by various sections of the Indian migrant and student community living in the State of New South Wales.
Surely the representation of more than 40 students from the International Student community is an indication that they want to hear from the leadership and also from the large number of politicians on their views and actions proposed to be taken to address their issues. The Chief of VETAB [Ms Margaret Willis] and her assistant, Mr Shona Tannock and Mr Robert Redfern, Commander, Parramatta Police command [representing NSW Police Commissioner] were present as our guests. Ms Willis’ and Mr Redfern’s presence was meant to send out the message that quality of training and safety of students are 2 key issues in relations with Indian students.
It is noteworthy that students had paid at a very subsidized rate and all others including the organizers, except a very small numbers of VIP guests, had bought the tickets for their participation in the function.
The representation from more than 20 Indian Associations is a clear indication which shows they are bewildered with the current policies and practices, and financial management of our current top associations and leaders. The one fundamental reason for this large support stems from the fact that they found a new leadership in the AIDFC which can respond to the current issues and make representations at both Australian and Indian Government levels with a solid and united voice. Some of the major Indian organizations who supported the event included the India Club, The Sydney Sangat, Australian Punjabi Business Association, Australian Indian Business Congress, Punjab For Ever, The Australian Tamil Association Inc (ATA), Hindi Samaj and the Aligarh Muslim University Alumni Association (AMU) in addition to others.
ACR International Tours and Travels added spice to the event by offering one return air ticket through Singapore Airlines for auction. The auction added nice A$1,000 to the much badly needed money for the ‘benevolent fund project’. Mr Navneet Chaugar was the winner of this ticket. For the raffle draw which helped us collect about $750, the Good Guys offered a Plasma 26 inch TV which was won by Councilor Bill Whelan of the Hawkesbury City Council. Congratulations to the winners!
Media-both Indian and Australian, were represented with Indian Link, The Indian, Punjab Times, Hamare Rang [Pakistani] and most importantly, Channel 9 team present in the function. This was the very first time that Channel 9 crew was present in an Indian function.
Many other ethnic community leaders also graced the occasion with their presence.
The Future – the AIDFC Benevolent Fund
AIDFC has made a number of public announcements at the function to the community as a part of its commitment for the future. Prominent among them is the creation and implementation of the AIDFC’s Benevolent Fund. We are committed to get this fund going and make a significant contribution to the well being the Indian migrant and student community, our fellow Australian community and finally to our mother country – India.
Finally we promise you that we will provide you a solid leadership and will representation at various levels. We will have clean governance in all matters of the AIDFC management – in particular finance management. We will adopt an ‘open book’ approach in all these areas. Consideration will be given to broaden the current AIDFC to include more Associations, individual members and businesses. The community will be getting more frequent updates in the coming weeks and months!
Ghungurus Group of Shalini Patel was the provider of the entertainment programme which was of 50 minutes duration and had the mix of Bhangra and Bollywood songs/dances. Every one enjoyed it tremendously.
Catering was done by Billu Group with great food, dessert and wines.
This function was so well attended and so well done that it has become a matter for the discussion among Indian Australians and the political eaders in NSW and Canberra.
This function has now become the talk of the town.
Dr Yadu Singh
Australia India Day Function Council (AIDFC)
31st Jan, 2010