Community collaboration meeting on 3rd July, 2019

Sydney/Thursday, 27 June 2019

What is expected in this meeting?

  • Meeting and networking with key members of our community,
  • Exchanging and sharing views about our community,
  • Understanding the views of members of our community,
  • Outlining views regarding the important needs of our community,
  •  Focussing on the larger good of our community, while continuing to do our own group’s activities,
  • Dr Harry Harinath OAM, our respected member of the community, will speak first to outline his views in regards to our community. He will chair the meeting.
  • Everyone will get a chance to participate & speak,
  • Focussing on the present and the future, especially the future collaboration for the key goals for the community, and not focusing too much on the prevalent problems, because problems are well known.  The solution is the focus for this meeting,
  • The agenda for the meeting is open and informal, with the focus “Let us talk about the key goals of our community”. You will have an opportunity to express your views about these key goals,
  • There are people from most community associations, key media groups and important businesses in this meeting,
  • Let’s stop focusing on who is invited, who should be invited and who should not be invited. Not everyone can be invited, but most key people are invited. Please leave politics at home,
  • Limited time will be given to everyone to outline their views. Please avoid disruptive attitude and repetition of views.
  • Attack on anybody will not be permitted. We must be able to work with others for the sake of the community,
  • Please come with an open mind and contribute to the larger good and key goals of the community,
  • Future plans will hopefully emerge from this meeting,
  •  Let us understand the concept of “give”, not just “take” to achieve what our community deserves and needs,
  • This meeting is a beginning towards great things for the community. Let’s nurture and progress it,
  • Please assemble at 6.30pm (Latest by 7.00pm), have dinner with community members and let’s go home with a positive outlook for the community and contribute positively towards the larger good and key goals for the community. 🙏🇦🇺🇮🇳🙏
  • ————————————————————————————————–
  • https://yadusingh.com/2019/06/01/collaboration-is-necessary-for-our-community/
  • https://yadusingh.com/2019/06/07/focus-of-community-associations-must-be-on-communitys-welfare/
  • ————————————————————————————————–

Many thanks

Dr Yadu Singh

 

Focus of Community associations must be on community’s welfare

Sydney, 7 June, 2019

Every community group and every community leader from Indian Australian community should reflect on what their core responsibilities are.

They should introspect on what they have been doing so far and what they should be doing henceforth.

They should reflect on whether they are focused on and meeting the key needs of the community.

They must go beyond their events and festivals.

Taking selfies with politicians can’t and mustn’t be the end goal.

We mustn’t allow ourselves to become a target for derision in front of the political leadership and the broader community.

What’s being done to cater to the needs of our seniors when they are in their later years of their lives and need placements in aged care facilities? Are there adequate facilities and opportunities available for them to enjoy the company of other seniors while they are reasonably healthy and mobile? Is once a month gathering adequate? Should it be a weekly occurrence? What resources do they need and how can these resources be made available? These are the questions, which we must ponder over as a community. If someone is providing facilities to seniors, including aged care facilities, what we should do to support that work? It should be collaboration, not duplication with unnecessary competition. We should be asking about what we can do to support every good thing and activity.

Talking about community facilities, we don’t have a single place which we can call “India House”, a place with sufficient facilities, where cultural activities can be organized and where community meetings including meetings of seniors can take place. This place can be the hub for a variety of services ie health education, mentoring for settlement and assisting people in other areas. India House can be delivered if we work together. If numerically much smaller communities in NSW can have facilities like this, then there is no way we can’t have a facility like this for ourselves. Here too, we will need to work collaboratively. Btw, it we were focused and were watchful, GOI-funded Indian Culture Centre would have been situated somewhere in Western Sydney, not at the Consulate General of India premises in the Sydney CBD.

Domestic violence is not uncommon in our community, but there isn’t any group in our community, which is involved in genuine work to support the victims. Real work, not just claims, is desperately needed. Women need to come forward and lead this project. Recently, some people were approached by a victim of domestic violence, who has recently arrived in Sydney. Not sure about what they could do, they came to my office. We called around but no help was available. I contacted the Consulate General of India (CGI) in Sydney and organized a meeting between them and the victim there. They too have their limitations, but agreed to provide some legal help. They gave 3 names from the panel of lawyers. One of them does conveyancing work and doesn’t usually do such work. This person would obviously be of not much help. The second one told the lady that they only do work for perpetrators (defence lawyer) and the third one told the woman to go to a disreputable migration agent in Western Sydney. I have made a complaint about it to CGI, and requested them to review and revamp the panel of lawyers urgently.

Even though we are big in numbers in NSW and have numerous associations, nothing should prevent collaboration among us to work together in organizing a common and big Indian Republic Day and Indian Independence Day events. It look crazy to hold multiple fairs of the same type in the same suburb, often only a week apart. Collaboration, not unnecessary competition, is urgently needed.

There are often instances when someone in the community, especially visitors, gets into difficulties of various nature. Fund collections are started haphazardly, with inadequate accountability and transparency. Money has been swindled at times and money thus raised has been misallocated at times. Not only it is wrong in principle and under law, but it also creates negative impressions and perceptions about benevolent activities in our community. We can and should do better. We must deal with it collaboratively.

There is nothing wrong in joining political parties, but not much is right to take leadership roles in community associations to progress their political prospects. Contesting elections while holding key leadership roles in community associations is not a desirable trend. Community associations are meant to be non-political entities. Their leaders should remain non-political. Contesting election is a political activity. The purpose behind taking leadership in community associations must be altruism, benevolence and selfless service, not self-promotion.

Giving awards and recognizing people is good, but giving awards to undeserving people, calling them “role models” or “excellence in community service” is counterproductive and undesirable. It makes no sense and it doesn’t help the community if awards are given to people after taking money for the awards. “Cash for awards” should cease to happen. There can’t be any justification for awards to those, who sell visa sponsorships for cash, fleece people or exploit vulnerable people like new migrants and international students.

The list is big and the work could seem daunting, but we have to start somewhere.

Nothing can be done if we don’t pull our sleeves up and get into the work with determination and optimism.

While doing this, we should seek guidance and blessings from our sensible seniors, who are able to rise above their pet or favorite associations and look at the whole community as their own. To achieve productive outcomes, we do however need to avoid Dhritrashtras धृतराष्ट्र (a blind king who was not able to see or judge the shortcomings of his offsprings) and Shukracharyas शुक्राचार्य (The guru of demons, who supported bad elements despite full knowledge of their bad behavior).

Remember, United we gain strength, and with division, we fail and fall as a community!

Jai Hind. 👌🇮🇳🇦🇺👌

Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.facebook.con/DoctorYaduSingh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

Premier’s Harmony Dinner at Rose Gardens was a spectacular success

Sydney, 28 February, 2019

Premier’s Harmony Dinner was a wonderful evening. Fantastic to celebrate diversity & multiculturalism in this beautiful state, NSW, with 1500 people in this sold out event.

Wonderful to meet so many friends from various sections of NSW. It was a matter of privilege to have met and interacted with Premier, The Hon Gladys Berejiklian, Ministers Ray Williams, Matt Kean and Victor Dominello.

We support Multiculturalism within the Australian ethos and values, and events like this go a long way in welcoming diversity and Multiculturalism.

Thank you Multicultural NSW and thank you Premier.

Dr Yadu Singh

Parramasala 2018 launched

Sydney, 9 Feb, 2018

(Parramasala, 9-11 March, 2018)

I was pleased to be at the launch of Parramasala 2018 by the Minister of Multiculturalism, the Honorable Ray Williams, at Parramatta River Foreshore, today.

The program for Parramasala (9-11 March 2018) was announced.

It was attended by Dr Harry Harinath, Chair of Multicultural NSW, Dr Geoff Lee, Local State MP and Mr Andrew Wilson, Lord Mayor of City of Parramatta Council. A big contingent of media was present too.

A glimpse of cultural performances was presented.

I was very pleased to know that the NSW Government has committed an additional $600,000 over three years to one of the State’s largest multicultural arts and cultural festivals, Parramasala.

Now in its eighth year, Parramasala celebrates the cultural diversity of NSW through music, dance, theatre, food and film, representing more than 40 nationalities with the theme of “Many Cultures. One Sydney”.

The minister said “Parramasala is a vibrant festival showcasing Western Sydney’s extraordinary multicultural identity, and its growth as an economic and social hub.”

“The NSW Government is committed to supporting the evolving arts and cultural scene of Greater Western Sydney,” he said.

The 2018 program features some of the best in international and domestic acts, including free concerts by Grammy-nominated group Hiatus Kaiyote and Grammy Award-winning Saharan band, Tinariwen.

Crowds will also enjoy the opening night multicultural parade, interactive drumming and dancing workshops and the delicious Masala markets.

As a partner in Parramasala, City of Parramatta Council welcomed the State Government’s extra funding for what has become the signature event on the Multicultural March calendar.

“We are proud supporters of Parramasala. Western Sydney is home to a lively assortment of cultures and the City of Parramatta is pleased to lead the way in showcasing the very best our region has to offer,” Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Andrew Wilson said.

Parramasala Chairperson Dr GK Harinath OAM encouraged every member of the community interested in arts, music, food and culture to attend the festival this year.

“With a mixture of free and ticketed high-quality events, there is something for everyone at any age this year,” Dr Harinath OAM said.

Since 2016, the NSW Government has committed $2.2 million to secure Parramasala’s rightful place in our cultural calendar until

For more information about the festival, the 2018 program and for daily event schedules, see www.parramasala.com

Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.facebook.com/DoctorYaduSingh

 

Independent Review finds the Ganesh Video decision of Advertising Standards Bureau wrong

Sydney, 21 November, 2017

Finally, it’s a victory for common sense. It’s also a victory for our community.

As we know, there were concerns about a video by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), which used Lord Ganesh in it.

 Lamb video

Concerns were raised by various Indian community groups throughout Australia.

We too did our part. I organised a  meeting with NSW Minister for Multiculturalism, Ray Williams in Sydney. Minister wrote to relevant parties including Prime Minister of Australia.

https://yadusingh.com/2017/09/11/community-reps-meet-minister-for-multiculturalism-on-lord-ganesh-video/
https://yadusingh.com/2017/09/14/nsw-minister-for-multiculturalism-writes-to-meat-and-livestock-australia-and-prime-minister-about-lord-ganesh-video/

Formal complaints were submitted to Advertising Standards Bureau, which dismissed the complaints.

https://yadusingh.com/2017/09/18/advertisement-standards-bureau-dismisses-complaints-about-ganesh-video/the An independent review

This decision was appealed and requests were made for an independent review.

KARTHIKARASU from Melbourne took the lead and submitted the request for an independent review. This was a constructive, targeted, wise and a right step, unlike some others who, for their self promotion,  were more into unproductive stunts, which failed miserably, and ended up harming our community.

Appreciations are also in order for many others including team at Durga Temple in Melbourne and Kapil Sachdeva from Queensland for doing what was necessary.

Independent review has found that decision by Advertising Standards Bureau was incorrect.

Submission for Review-KarthikARASU_Complaint reference number 0412-17 MLA ad on Lord Ganesha

Review Decision-0412-17 on Lord Ganesh Video by MLA

Karthik was rightly and justifiably thrilled with the outcome and said “So happy to receive this good news, not sure how it will transpire in getting that derogatory advertisement removed from online platforms, but I am feeling ecstatic! This is a Victory for the entire community and it is because of the United fight & efforts of the entire community!”

Kudos, Karthik. Great job. We all are just as thrilled.

MLA disagreed with this outcome, but informed that the offending video was not being currently used.

Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.facebook.com/DoctorYaduSingh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

NSW Minister for Multiculturalism writes to Meat and Livestock Australia and Prime Minister about Lord Ganesh Video

Sydney/ 14 September, 2017

I have received communication from NSW Government about letters from NSW Minister for Multiculturalism, The Hon Ray Williams, to Meat and Livestock Australia and Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon Malcolm Turnbull.

He has summarised the feelings of the community, following his meeting with the community representatives on Monday, 11 September, 2017.

As is known, our community is very concerned and unhappy with the video, depicting Lord Ganesh in a Lamb advertisement by Meat and Livestock Australia.

Community reps had met the Minister a few days earlier. Report here: https://yadusingh.com/2017/09/11/community-reps-meet-minister-for-multiculturalism-on-lord-ganesh-video/

Dr Yadu Singh

fianinc1@gmail.com

http://www.facebook.com/DoctorYaduSingh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

Community reps meet Minister for Multiculturalism on Lord Ganesh Video

Sydney, 11 September, 2017

Community Reps with Minister Ray Williams re Lord Ganesh Video

I was pleased to be able to organize a meeting of the Indian community Representatives with The Minister for Multiculturalism, The Hon Ray Williams & Chair of Multicultural NSW, Dr Harry Harinath, today in the Multicultural NSW Offices in Parramatta, Sydney to discuss the Meat and Livestock Australia’s (MLA) offensive video involving Lord Ganesh. The Chief Executive Officer of Multicultural NSW, Mr Hakan Harman, was also present.

Community reps included people from not only Hinduism faith but also from Sikhism and Islamic faith. Seventeen community leaders took part in this meeting, and they included Mr Jagtar Singh, Ms Pallavi Sinha, Mr Gurdeep Singh, Ms Anju Kalra, Mr Surinder Bhogal, Mr Shamim Khan, Mr Brijrajsinh Jhala, Mr Premjitsinh Rathod, Mr Sri Ranga Reddy, Pandit Athreya Ramachandran, Pandit Krishnamurthi Venkataraman, Mr Chirag Parikh, Dr Manish Bhutada, Mr Anagan Babu, Mr Tara Chand Sharma, Dr Nihal Agar and myself (Dr Yadu Singh).

img_3209-1

Every rep expressed their unhappiness with the video. Lord Ganesh is one of the most revered deity of Hinduism and is invoked before every religious activity among Hindus. The video is an advertisement for Lamb. Alcohol is also shown to be served in the video. To people from Hinduism faith, associating Lord Ganesh with meat and Alcohol is inappropriate, incorrect, offensive and hurtful.  They also felt that use of deities and religious figures of any religion for commercial use is wrong. It was also felt that the timing of the ad video was particularly hurtful as the video came out only a few days after Indians celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi all over the world. Reps also felt that video like this don’t help the multiculturalism in Australia and end up creating disharmony and undermine cohesion in the community.  They generate a bad image of Australia, which, otherwise, is a successful example of multiculturalism. A rep also mentioned that Meat and Livestock Australia receives funding from the Government sources, which meant that our taxes are being used to abuse our beliefs and portray our deities inappropriately. This is unacceptable.

Community reps urged the Minister and Multicultural NSW to take the matter of the offensive Video up with relevant authorities, including relevant ministers in the Federal Government, and get the video taken out of circulation. The minister was also urged to get the standards of advertisement reviewed to ensure that public videos are not allowed to use religiously insensitive and offensive  materials.

The minister agreed that the community is offended and agitated. He agreed to write a letter to the Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and to the Federal Government authorities, seeking remedial action.

A proposed protest march to MLA offices in North Sydney is a potential step which our community is planning, but it has been postponed for some time to see the outcome following the discussion today. There will be community consultation in this regard sometime in the future.

Community reps thanked the Minister and Dr Harinath for the meeting.

Dr Yadu Singh

fianinc1@gmail.com

http://www.facebook.com/DoctorYaduSingh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh