Our Community work

Our Community work

25 March 2019

I am an active part of my community and take part in its activities, either as an individual or as the leader of the team, in a meaningful way.


1. Community work in General:

  • leadership roles in Indian community Medical Associations and community organisations,
  • helping students in my district in India by visiting and giving scholarships etc.

2. My work as the coordinator 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. The committee had Mr Harmohan [Harry] Walia, Mr Vish Viswanathan, Mrs Shubha Kumar, Mr Stanley D’Cruz and  I was its coordinator. This committee had done following activities;

  • met students numerous times.
  • organized a students’ forum on 16th May at Strathfield.
  • co-organized 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.
  • arranged a meeting with the president, NSW upper House [Mr Peter Primrose] and Ms Helen Westwood MLA and Flying school students.
  • arranged a meeting with a community minded lawyer and aviation school students.
  • met the visiting 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.
  • arranged and participated in TV coverage of students’ issues on Channel 7, 9, 10, SBS TV, ABC TV, and Bloomberg.
  • participated in the coverage of students’ issues 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 students’ issues on SBS radio and Radio UMANG [98.5MHZ, Fridays, 8-9 PM]. Radio Umang has ceased functioning now.
  • participated in coverage of students’ issues on SMH, The Australian, Daily Telegraph, other newspapers and AAP.
  • participated in the coverage of students’ issues on Indian newspapers in Australia [Indian Link, Indus Age, The Indian, The Indian Sub-Continent Times and Indian Down Under].
  • participated in the coverage of students’ issues on TimesNow, NDTV, CNN/IBN, Headlines Today, AajTak and other Indian TV Channels.
  • participated in the coverage of students’ issues on main Indian newspapers like Times of India and PTI.
  • assisted some top-grade Australian media programs like Four Corners from ABC, 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] at the request from Indian Consulate.
  • met and networked with Commander Robert Redfern, Parramatta Local area Command of NSW Police several times for students’ issues.
  • counseled students to stop further processions after the ones in Harris Park streets.
  • participated in the community leaders’ meeting with chairman, Community Relations Commission [CRC] at CRC HQ.
  • participated in a CRC organized 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 in regards to these matters several times.
  • discussed and formulated the strategy to solve the problems of our students.
  • submitted this strategy to the Consul General of India and 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.
  • raised our voice forcefully against the exploitation of Indian students by some Indian employers.
  • appealed to the Indian newspapers and Radio programs to ask questions from every leader [on students’ issues] about their involvement in any activity which created a conflict of interest in those matters.

3. My community work beyond/outside the Consul General’s committee on students:

  • helped the refund of more than $12000 to a student of a Flying school.
  • arranged free legal assistance to the students from this Flying school from  solicitors/legal firms in Sydney and Canberra.
  • facilitated a good outcome between parties involving VETAB, Flying school and students. I was the mentor/support person of these students of the Flying school.
  • held several meetings involving VETAB Director and other authorities, the Flying school representatives and students in my office and VETAB offices.
  • worked and organized refunds/savings of $300000 [including waiving of about $50000 of the legal fees in regards to a legal proceedings in the Supreme Court where students had lost their case and costs were awarded against them] for the Flying school students from ESOS scheme with the help of VETAB, DEEWR and federal education dept. 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 robbed of their money and were feeling powerless in Australian system.
  • helped payment of $2400 to a student which was originally denied by his employer in Western Sydney.
  • donated $500 to an Indian students’ students association.
  • arranged sponsorship of $1000 for foods, meeting hall and public liability insurance for a students’ association.
  • mentoring students for their careers and future in OZ.
  • donated $500 to Australia Hindi Indian Association’s [AHIA] seniors.
  • donated $500 to Fiji floods relief fund via International congress of Fiji Indians and organized $2000 donations from other doctors.
  • donated $500 to Sanatan Arya Pratinidhi Samaj, Shane Park, Sydney.
  • donated approx. $5000 for various needy/deserving causes involving victims of earthquakes, accidental deaths, injuries and illnesses.
  • helped several students including assault victims for their work comp, treatment and issues involving their parents.
  • liaised with NSW Police higher authorities and ensured actions in regards to the assaults of 2 Indians in Blacktown, Sydney.
  • advised/mentored several others in regards to the steps they needed to take when they were assaulted.
  • took leadership role on Indian Australian community matters in the media-Indian and Australia media [Chanel 9, SBS, NDTV, Indian ethnic newspapers].
  • helped Radio National in making a documentary on students [see details in this BLOG elsewhere].
  • helping community members from India and South Asia with a concessional fees structure. [a service worth more than $50000/year]. People from other communities, if they can’t afford specialist medical practitioner’s fees are also included.
  • tried to clean the community leadership and making them accountable.
  • exposed commission taking by some leaders of an Indian community association in Sydney.
  • took a leadership role against unfair portrayal of Australia as a Racist nation by Indian media with interviews and debates.
  • took part in “Is Australia a Racist nation” debate with David Penberthy [Ex Editor, Daily Telegraph] in Sunrise programme of Ch 7 in 2009.
  • mentoring medical doctors from India in regards to their training and registration issues.
  • helped a House Surgeon who was facing exclusion from the medical work due to her unfair treatment in a Sydney hospital and then worked actively with this young doctor and her supervisors including Hospital administrators to get her into the internship at a different hospital, thus leading to a successful outcome.
  • worked as a catalyst in resolving the issues between Indian consul General, Sydney and some Indian businessmen with a successful outcome in 2010.
  • took an active and a leading role in resolving the issues between Indus Age [after a controversial ad] and the community in 2010.
  • formed a community committee, Friends of International Students,  www.fairgo4internationalstudents.org. against Visa Capping Bill in May 2010 and lobbied with the Govt 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.
  • spoke as the leading doctor in the Health Summit, organized by GOPIO, Sydney, educating/informing people on Health matters on 4th Dec, 2010.
  • 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.
  • raised $7100 for Qld Flood relief on 28th Jan, 2011.
  • took up the matter involving HINDI in the Australian national draft curriculum-Languages and wrote to ACARA, in addition to supporting Australian Hindi Committee.
  • Organized India Day Fair, 7th Aug, 2011, at Parramatta Park, Parramatta.
  • Organized Australia Day and Indian Republic Day celebrations in 2010, 2011 and 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
  • Took part in “Clean Up Australia Day” events in Liverpool and Toongabbie many times.

4. Health Education Seminars for the Community:

  • First such Seminar with GOPIO in Dec, 2010.
  • Second such seminar in Dec, 2011.
  • Third such Seminar with GOPIO, 28th April, 2012.
  • Multiple Radio interviews and talk backs [Darpan Radio, SBS Hindi Radio, Dhanak Radio, Navtarang Radio, SBS Punjabi Radio] on Health matters.
  • Anchored Radio UMANG Health Show.

5.  Sri Mandir Temple matter:

  • took up the issue of attacks on Sri Mandir temple, Auburn and brought it to the national media.
  • attended meetings with Police, along with temple committee members.

6. Australian Uranium to India Issue:

  • raised the issue of Australian 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.
  • wrote an Opinion Piece on this issue in the prestigious Journal of Mining & Investment Australia.
  • wrote in Foreign Policy Research Centre [FPRC] Journal twice-one on India-Australia relations and 2nd on India’s Look East Policy, advocating sale of Australian Uranium to India.
  • raised Uranium issue during Australia Day/Indian Republic Day event, in Jan, 201o and 2011, in presence of senior Australian politicians.
  • raised Uranium issue in India Day Fair, Parramatta on 7th Aug, 2011, in presence of senior Australian politicians, including Ministers.

7. Incorrect Map of India in DIAC [Dept of Immigration and Citizenship], Australia website:

  • campaigned effectively for removal of an incorrect map of India [which had excluded Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir] in DIAC website and succeeded.

8. Kyle Sandilands & 2DayFM issue:

  • campaigned against insulting comments from Kyle Sandilands, 2DayFM and forced them to offer an apology for his comments against India and River Ganges.

9. Lord Ganesh Vs Third Reich play and Goddess Lakshmi picture on a Bikini matters:

  • campaigned along with others on these matters and made our concerns known assertively, via Blog, calls, Facebook and interview with The Age newspaper.

10. Community Relations Commission [CRC] Working Group on International students 2009-10:

  • participated as an active member of the working party with CRC on students including inputs for Z information card.

11. Diwali in NSW Parliament and CRC Deepavali Committee 2011-12:

  • successfully campaigned/lobbied with NSW to host Diwali celebration in NSW Parliament
  • Worked as a member of this committee to assist NSW Govt to host Deepavali in NSW Parliament-the only such Indian event.

12. Ministerial Consultative Committee for Indian Australian Community in NSW 2011-12:

  • NSW Minister Victor Dominello appointed me as one of the members and worked as a member of this committee to deal with issues relevant to Indian Australian community in NSW.
  • Contributed as an active member of the sub-committes [of this MCC] on Community service, communication, Trade & Investment, Immigration, Youth and new migrants

13. Worked with a team in The Hills Shire & raised >$22000 for Qld floods Victims in March, 2013.

14. Organised INDAUS FAIR, Sunday, 11th Aug, 2013, at Rosehill Race Course

15. Indian Independence Day Celebration on 15th Aug, 2012 at Parravilla, Parramatta:  Free [no cost to guests] event with performances from Shaimak Davar group, Melbourne.

16. Organised a Meet and greet event for visiting prominent writers and Mr Oscar Fernandes MP [Indian National Congress General Secretary] in 2012.

17. Australia Day & Indian Republic Day celebration on 27th Jan, 2013, Ryde Civic Centre, Ryde, NSW.

18. Parramasala working group with Lord Mayor, Parramatta Council-advising about what should be done to make Parramasala more vibrant and popular.

19. Ran a campaign to remove pictures of Hinduism deities from the label on Beer bottles from Brookvale Union brewery

20. Interacted with relevant people and agencies on Ms Monika Chetty’s tragic death in Sydney, including interviews with SMH, ABC news, Radio National Background Briefing, Channel 9 A Current Affairs and ABC 7.30 Report programmes.

21. Interviewed for emigration from Australia by Newes.com.au and SBS Radio.

22. Interviewed for an article on Indians in Taxi industry in Australia, perceptions and realities.

23. Interviewed by Radio National ABC on Hinduism religious affairs.

24. Organised (as part of the team) the Farewell to Consul General, Mr Arun Goel, 18th March, 2014, Harris Park.

25. Took up the matter against Federal Government’s repeal proposal of Sec 18C of Racial Discrimination Act via Blog, Social media and Indian and Australian newspapers like Hills News, Blacktown Sun, Penrith Gazette.

26. Helped a senior member of the community to get his OCI issues sorted out from the Consulate without unnecessary expenses and trouble.

27. Helped an Indian Intern doctor (Dr A. K) in regards to her issues with a Sydney Hospital.

28. Took up the matter of  “upside down” display of India’s national flag during Master Chef Australia broadcast, and got it rectified by the concerned agencies.  

29. Took the matter of Manjit Singh in regards to his issues for Passport and PCC with Indian Consulate General offices, Perth, Nov 2014, and achieved the successful outcome.

30. Took a leading role in Breast Cancer screening seminar with various agencies, Ermington Community Centre, Ermington, NSW, on Sunday, 16th Nov, 2014.

31. Took up the matter of inappropriate label, depicting Hinduism deities, on a Beer bottle, Jan 2015. See Sydney Morning Herald newspaper article (http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/new-controversy-brews-over-offensive-ginger-beer-brand-using-hindu-imagery-20150110-12kv0j.html)

32. Australia Day & Indian Republic Day celebration, Parravilla, Parramatta on 25th January, 2015

33. Included as one of 20 Goldmine leaders of Western Sydney by Daily Telegraph (http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/competitions/fair-go-for-the-west-meet-the-goldmine-leaders/story-fngy6zqs-1226881501042?nk=58ed0c98bf8a436c82ec636e42b57043)

34. Co-organised a Health talk with AHIA on Prostate Cancer for the community, Pennant Hills Community Centre, Saturday, 11th April, 2015

35. Took up the matters with Parramatta Park Trust, Parramatta Council and other relevant authorities for a security review and addressing those concerns. Published in newspapers.

36. Took up the matter involving stereotypical comment from a Chanel 9 anchor in regards to Indians and 7-Eleven shops.

37. Organised INDIA DAY, a mega celebration of India’s Independence Day,  Saturday, 15th August, 2015, Parade ground, Old King’s School, Parramatta, NSW.

38. Took up the matter involving gun shots firing at a business owned by an Indian Australian in Harris Park on 11th April, 2015.

39. Raised $23000 for “Help Nepal” campaign to help victims of devastating Earthquake in Nepal. https://yadusingh.wordpress.com/2015/05/28/proud-pleased-to-have-raised-23000-for-nepal-earthquake-victims/

40. spoke as an invited keynote speaker at University of Western Sydney event, Parravilla, Parramatta on 24th Nov, 2014.

41. Worked and arranged the rectification of incorrect Indian Map in a Western Union-Australia Post advertisement. https://yadusingh.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/western-union-proves-it-is-a-great-business-and-cares-for-the-feedback-from-people-and-customers/

42.  Took up the matter with authorities when Billu’s Eatery was fired with gun shots in Aug, 2015.

43. Organized a Vigil for Prabha Arun Kumar on 7/3/16 at Parramatta Park, where she was murdered a year ago.

44. Organized a Meet and Greet event for a visiting ministerial delegation from Uttar Pradesh, India and the new Consul General of India, His Excellency Mr B. Vanlalvawna and his wife, Dr Rosy Vanlalvawna at Madison Function Centre, Dural, NSW on 1/4/16.

45. Organised INDIA DAY Fair to celebrate Indian Independence Day in Parramatta, NSW on Sunday, 14th August, 2016. More than 10,000 people attended the event.

46. Meet and greet the Hon Craig Laundy MP, Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Commonwealth of Australia, Harris Park, 13 May, 2016.

47. Took part in a discussion with Scott Matheson, South Asia Manager for Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) at DIBP offices in Parramatta on 18th May, 2016.

48. Organised a tea and interaction between Indian Australian community and visiting Indian journalists, in collaboration with Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Harris Park, NSW, Saturday, 17 September, 2016

49. Organised Shadhanjali (Tribute) event for martyrs of Uri Terror attack, Dezire Function Centre, Blacktown, NSW, Sunday, 25th September, 2016

50. Participated in a Roundtable discussion, organised by Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Holiday Inn, Parramatta, Thursday, 27 October, 2016.

51. Campaigned for Hindi classes at the weekends at Consulate General of India, Sydney, and achieved a successful outcome.

52. Took up the visa matters for Mr MK and Mr DV with Indian Consulate in Sydney, and achieved a successful outcome.

53. Organised a tribute/Vigil for Manmeet Sharma “Alisher” at The Robyn Thomas Reserve, Parramatta, 2 November, 2016.

54. Attended a charity fund-raising Badminton tournament (for Westmead Children’s Hospital), organised by Basava Samithi, Glenfield, NSW, 23 October, 2016.

55. Attended a charity fund-raising Cricket tournament (for Westmead Children’s Hospital), organised by Basava Samithi, Glenfield, NSW, 6 November, 2016.

56. Organised Australia Day & Indian Republic Day celebration on Wednesday, 25 January, 2016.

57. Radio National profiled FIAN President, Dr Yadu Singh recently. https://www.facebook.com/radionational/videos/10154646233077378/

58. Acting as a key leader and working with multicultural community leaders for Keep NSW Safe  campaign to get section 20d of Anti-Discrimination Act of NSW amended.

59. Invited to present my views for 18c of Racial Discrimination Act in front of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, I February, 2017 at NSW Parliament.

60. Federation of Indian Associations of NSW was one of the finalists for the Australia Day awards by the City of Parramatta Council on 26 January, 2017.

61. Invited as a guest to the welcome event for Prime Minister of Israel, His Excellency Benjamin Netanyahu, Central Synagogue, Bondi Junction, Sydney, 22 February, 2017. Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, former Prime Ministers (John Howard and Tony Abbott), NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and many Ministers and MPs from both sides of politics were in attendance in this event.

62. Invited as a guest, representing Indian community, by AFL for a pre-match reception and the match between GWS Giants and Gold Coast SUNS teams at Spotless Stadium, Olympic Park, NSW, 1 April, 2016.

63. Invited as a representative of Indian community, for the welcome Reception for new NSW Minister for Multiculturalism, Ray Williams MP, NSW Parliament, 22 March, 2017.

64. Invited to participate in Israel’s 69th Independence Day celebration, Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney, 2nd May, 2017

65. Organising 350th Birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh ji and Vaisakhi at NSW Parliament, 31st May, 2017.

66. Organised Wreath Laying Ceremony, working with Australian Indian Historical Society (AIHS), at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra for Pte Sarn Singh Johal and Pte Nain Singh Sailani at their 100th death anniversary, 10 June, 2017.  They fought alongside Australian soldiers in WW1 and were killed in Europe on 10th June and 1 June 1917 respectively.

67. Organising INDIA DAY 2017 to celebrate Indian Independence Day, Saturday, 12 August, 2017, Parramatta Park, Parramatta.

68. Was interviewed by ABC 7.30 on Census data for Indian community on 27 June, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4v1Dp5ebINk&sns=em

69. Invited as the guest of the NSW Government to attend Premier of NSW’s Multicultural Media Award, Sydney Olympic Park, 30 August, 2017.

70. Q and A with Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Alex Hawke MP, on 20th September, 2017, Madison Function Centre, Dural NSW

71. Appointed Community Ambassador for 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on 20 September, 2017.

72. Invited to meet Australian High Commissioner to India, Ms Harinder Sidhu, along with a few more community members, in Parramatta on 11 October, 2017.

73. Co-organised Dementia Forum at the Consulate General of India, Sydney on Friday, 27 October, 2017.

74. Christmas Drinks and Dinner for multi-faith Community leaders, Madison Function Centre, Dural, NSW, Tuesday, 12 December, 2017.

75. Co-organised Baisakhi and Sikh New year celebration at Ryde Civic Hall, Sunday, 8 April, 2018.

76. INDIA DAY 2018 FAIR, Saturday, 11 August, 2018, Parramatta Park, Parramatta (In progress).

77. Community Education Seminar Series: Diabetes Mellitus, Sunday, May 20, 2018, 2.15-4pm, Wentworthville Community Centre, Wentworthville, NSW

78. Community Education Seminar Series: Dementia, Sunday, 17 June, 2018, Epping Leisure Centre, Epping, NSW (Working with Hornsby Indian Seniors Group and Dementia Support Group for Indian Australians).

79. Community Education Seminar Series: Health & Wellbeing, The Lake Neighbourhood Centre, The Ponds NSW 2769 (Organised by Punjabi League of Australia)

80. Diwali Fair, Holroyd Gardens, Merrylands, NSW 2160, 28 October, 2018

81. FIAN participated in Cumberland Council’s Diwali celebration, Station Street, Wentworthville, NSW on Saturday, 17 November, 2018.

82. Community Education Seminar Series: Law & You, Sunday, 18 November, 2018, Holroyd Function Centre, Merrylands NSW 2160

83. Invited to the Australia Day Lunch, hosted by the Premier of NSW and NSW Australia Day Council in Internation Conventional Center, Darling Harbour, Sydney, Friday, 18 January 2019.

85. Invited to the Australia Day Reception, hosted by the Premier of NSW in Old Governor’s House, Parramatta, NSW, Saturday, 26 January 2019. 

86. Invited to attend Parramasala Media launch on Friday, 15 February 2019 at Parramatta River Foreshore, Parramatta.

87. Organised a condolence meeting, in the memory of 44 CRPF Jawans in Kashmir, killed by Jaishe-e_mohammed terror group, at Dezire Function Centre, Blacktown NSW on Sunday, 17 February 2019.

88. Invited to, and attended, a Candlelight vigil organised by Indian Diaspora Council of Australia and International Fiji Girmit Association in the memory of 44 CRPF Jawans killed by Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group in India,  in Liverpool NSW on 20 February 2019.

89. Invited to attend International Mother Language Day by Cumberland Council at Auburn Library on Thursday, 21 February 2019.

90. invited to, and attended, the Harmony Dinner, hosted by Premier of NSW at Rosehill Gardens, Rosehill NSW on Thursday, 28 February 2019.

91. Invited to a community leaders’ meeting with NSW Multicultural minister, Ray Williams MP, for an announcement of $400K funding of NSW Rigby League for sports’ promotion in multicultural communities at NSWRL HQ in Olympic Park Sydney on Tuesday, 5 March 2019. 

92. Met the Immigration minister in Sydney on 7 March 2019 in regards to changes in visa matters. Previously,  I submitted a report to Immigration Minister re issues our temples are facing while recruiting priests for the religious work. Pleased to know that suitable changes have been made. 

93. Invited to a community leaders’ meeting with Multicultural minister, Ray Williams MP, for an announcement of $900K funding of festivals and events of the Indian Australian community in Parravilla Function Lounge on Saturday, 9 March 2019.

94. Organised Holi 2019: Festival of colours in Prince Alfred Square Park, Parramatta, NSW on Sunday, 10 March 2019.

95. Invited to the VIP reception for Parramasala at the Prince Alfred Square Park on Friday, 15 March 2019.

 

Networking

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LinkedIn http://au.linkedin.com/pub/yadu-singh/52/581/864

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/25 March 2018

 

Proud again for having helped one more Indian student in Sydney!

A exposure blended photo of the Sydney Opera H...

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Life is a complex thing. We live, eat and work. That is a routine which we all go through. We have fun and face moments of sadness sometimes. We attack [? criticise] people at times and get attacked [?criticised] by people too. This is all a part of living. This is all a part of “Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gam”!

There are things we do with which we experience satisfaction and there are things with which we don’t feel satisfied at all.

Helping our own family members and getting thanked for is clearly satisfying but is also our duty. Helping someone who is not exactly part of the family and getting thanked for is definitely more fulfilling and satisfying. I have no doubt about it at all!

I met Vishal Sarawat, a flying student in Sydney, in a meeting organised for the exploited students in 2009. He is from Gaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India. He was a sincere, decent and genuine Indian student who had arranged the funds in India and came to Sydney to train as a Pilot. He came to Sydney to train and return back to India.

Unfortunately, things did not go according to his plans. He paid the fees but did not get what was expected.

He went through a lot of emotional and physical pain.

I sensed his anguish and felt the need to help him. This then led to an effective networking with media, VETAB, Govt officials, ESOS, Lawyers and Ministers. Cash Cow programme [Four Corners, ABC], for which we gave our assistance, helped us a lot. It was my initiative for Flying school students.

His story is here. >>>>>>>>MyStory-Vishal-Sarawat

Knowing him well over more than 20 months, he has now become a younger brother to me.

I am proud to have been able to help him against the massive exploitation by this school.

I declare right here that  I did it without any personal benefit or consideration. I had no conflict of interest in this matter either.

Yadu Singh/Sydney/21st April, 2011

www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

Community work:what I have done so far.

Updated on 11th April, 2011.

Information

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

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Australia India Day [celebrating Australia Day and Indian Republic Day] function:Report

Report

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.
 
 JAI HO! 

Dr Yadu Singh

President

Australia India Day Function Council (AIDFC)

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31st Jan, 2010

Flying School Students:DEEWR must act soon!

The stories of the Flying school are known to all. These were covered in SMH, The Australian and ABC [Four Corners] recently.

I met a couple of them today, Sunday, in my office.

We all need to know that they came to Australia to train as pilots and return to India. They were not interested in the “PR” here. They had a vision about their career but it did not go according to their plans.

We all know that Vocational Education, Training Accreditation Board [VETAB] has done an enquiry and taken some action. Dept of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations [DEEWR] has created some confusion by circulating a document about this school. I was sent this document by the Indian Consulate, Sydney recently. I already had this document as it was sent by a student a few days ago, telling something contradictory.

It is not our concern whether this school is registered or de-registered. VETAB and DEEWR can sort this out themselves.

VETAB has its role only up to the registration or lack of registration based on the training standards or lack of it. That is what VETAB is saying. They say that further actions have to be taken by other agencies. These are Fair trading Dept, DEEWR/ESOS and Australian courts.

I think it is not a correct view.

VETAB and DEEWR, both, have a duty of care and have a moral/legal responsibility to to help students in getting a fair treatment because,

1. students came to Australia, knowing that these agencies would look after the quality issues and standards,

2. students had an expectation of fair dealing from these agencies when they complained,

3. students had complained to VETAB/DEEWR well before they either left the school or forced out of the school.

Students complained to these agencies in 2008 but not much was done except passing the buck between these agencies. VETAB became serious only after we and students met Hon Mr Peter Primrose, Hon Ms Helen Westwood, Hon Ms Verity Firth, Minister of Education’s senior advisers and others in April/May 2009.

We ask;

1.  that VETAB/DEEWR get involved actively in the matters of these students and put sufficient pressure on this school to resolve the matter quickly.

2.  that VETAB/DEEWR encourage the school to use the services of a suitably trained mediator/conciliator to help resolve the problems.

These students are going through a very difficult time in Australia. Some of them have left Australia and others are still here.

We want the VETAB/DEEWR to know that we are willing to be the bridge between the school and the students. We deal with them regularly and know how difficult it is for them. We do however admire them for their resolve to fight against the injustice.

Injustice, they have suffered undoubtedly. We will fight along side them, no doubt because it is the right thing to do. 

They deserve a “Fair GO” from VETAB/DEEWR/ESOS/Australian media.

VETAB/DEEWR/ESOS, Please act fast!

Would the ministers in charge of these bodies [Hon Ms Verity Firth and Hon Ms Julia Gillard] please look into the plight of these students?

Dr Yadu Singh/06-09-09

Stirling College students need urgent help from DEEWR

Dear DEEWR authorities

After the collapse of the Stirling College in Sydney, we understood that these students were going to be placed in alternative colleges within 28 days. This was the promise which was made by ACPET. 

More than 28 days have passed but the promise has not been fulfilled. We further understand that their matter is now with DEEWR/ESOS.

These students are desperate, frustrated and disappointed because;

1. their money has been taken but they have not received the appropriate training,

2. there is uncertainty about their training and future,

3. there is uncertainty about the plan of action by the DEEWR/ESOS.

We are worried that this desperation may go out of hand for some students. They have invested a big amount of money in their courses and things are going out of control.

We ask DEEWR/ESOS to help these students quickly;

1. by acting speedily in arranging an alternate placement of all students including students of community welfare in Sydney/NSW.

2. by helping these students get the certificates, transcripts and other relevant documents/records from the administrators of this college

3. by doing everything to look after the health and Visa  needs of these students until the mess is sorted out.

4. by nominating a “Nodal person” from DEEWR to deal with the matters of the students of  the failed Stirling college.

5. by refunding the full fees under Tuition Assurance Scheme if alternate placement is not possible.

Students of community welfare chose Sydney as the place to have their training. The alternate placement must be in Sydney. Some of them have their jobs in Sydney [for the entitled hours as per the the Visa conditions].

We request Minister Ms Julia Gillard and NSW Premier, Mr Nathan Rees to please direct the relevant people to act in a speedy manner in these matters.

Dr Yadu Singh/06-09-09

Committee’s Strategies for Indian Students’ Issues in Australia

No doubt, our students have several significant issues and these issues have been raised with Governmental and Police authorities here. We are very confident about serious actions in these matters. There is no choice here because the International education industry in Australia worth $16 Billion [about $2-3 Billion from Indian students] is at risk if prompt actions are not implemented.

As you may know, a community committee has been formed in consultation with Indian Consul General, Sydney to help tackle these issues. The committee members are Harry Walia, Vish Viswanathan, Stanley D’Cruz, Shubha Kumar and Yadu Singh [Coordinator].Following is a brief description of issues and proposed action plans by the committee.

These issues are;

1.                     Safety and Security:

 

Brief Details:

Several cases of robbery & bashings of Indian Students in Sydney.

 

Proposed Action Plan

 

  • Educate students to REPORT the incidents to NSW Police. Reporting does not affect their VISA.
  • Lobby with Councils for a better lighting around Railway stations, car parks and  alleys etc
  • Lobby with the local councils for the installation of CCTV for surveillance of crimes
  • Liaison with NSW Police re under-cover policing, more visibility and patrolling in hot-spots
  • Educate the students  to be street-smart and be aware of their  surroundings
  • Employers have a duty of care and must arrange them to be dropped off at their apartments if it is beyond 10 PM
  • Explore the issues involving “Work-cover” matters in case of injury/assaults

 

2.                     Accommodation for Indian Students

 

Brief Details:

No assistance on arrival. Many students forced to share crowded apartments and Poor treatment by rental agents

 

Proposed Action Plan

 

  • Lobby with authorities re the provision of 3-6 months accommodation which must be organised by education providers at the market cost

 

  • Lobby with Immigration regarding  this requirement [Visa must not be issued unless accommodation confirmed]

 

3.                     Quality of training:

 

Brief details:

 

Many students are exposed to poor quality of training by educational service providers & shady, shonky or bogus institutions.

 

Proposed action plan:

 

  • Accreditation authorities/bodies to audit the quality of training randomly and frequently
  • Lobby with respective Govt. Agencies to take proper actions on proved cases
  • Surveys from the present/past students re the quality issues [anonymously]
  • Effective and prompt action by DEEWR/ACPET re alternate placement in schools/institutions or refund of the tuition fees if the educational provider goes out of business

 

4.                     Exploitation of Indian students:

 

Brief details:

 

Indian students are exposed to exploitation of all kinds & bullying in part time employment or by educational service providers. They are getting below-award wages in many cases. Some Indian employers are also involved in this type of exploitation.

 

Proposed action plan:

 

  • To advise & educate students about their RIGHTS in Australia
  • To educate them re the appropriate agencies to deal with such matters
  • To encourage/facilitate genuine students’ associations which are largely run by students themselves, not business people with hidden agenda and purposes.

 

  • Indian community leaders to understand the “conflict of interests” concept when taking the leadership role in students’ matters. They must stay out from a leadership role if they are involved with any business involving students [schools or consultancy].   
  • To lobby for establishing an  overseas Students’ Ombudsman

 

5.                              Health Cover, other appropriate insurance matters and  emergency insurance:

 

Brief details:

 

Lack of proper/current Insurances and coverage by some students, particularly when they are on bridging Visa

 

Proposed Action plan:

 

  • Pre arrival Information package-in India
  • Lobby with government agencies re the need for the medical cover and emergency including death insurance.
  • Proper medical insurance including death insurance must be a condition for the Visa and such cover must be current at all times during the stay in Australia

 

6.                Social issues:

 

Brief details: poor communication, insufficient participation in local community events & meetings and poor public behaviour in many cases

 

Proposed action plan

 

  • Communication/education through community Radio, TV, newspapers and website.
  • Encourage participation of students in community events
  • Accept that we are the ambassadors of India
  • Know what is expected in every situation.
  • Encouraging and promoting “when in Rome, do as Romans do” policy for our students
  • www.indianstudents.net.au will be launched very soon with info on Australian rules/regulations, Australian ways, expected behaviour and rights/obligations [There is now sufficient information in these matters in High Commission of India, Canberra and Australian Gov websites]

 

7. Brief details: Indian students are unaware how to deal with emergency situations

 

Proposed action plan:

 

  • To provide information packages on service providers and counselling services
  • Look into possibility of a Community Helpline for non-emergency matters
  • Set up a website and link it to the Indian High Commission/CGI

 

8.   Develop the Indian media leadership group for students’ and community issues. This would give an opportunity to exchange views, form strategies and execute them effectively. India Media group will help in dissemination of the information. We recognise that we need a good relation with Indian and Australian media to be able to do an effective advocacy of Indian students’ issues with various Gov agencies and relevant stake-holders.

 

9.   To set up an INDIAN Students’ Emergency assistance and BENOVALENT FUND

 

10. To seek actively sincere and genuine community members and students for the continuation of the outlined tasks. Most times, Indian community members are aware about the exploiters from our own community. We must take it as our social/community responsibility to do a social boycott of such exploiters. We believe that exploitation of Indian students by Indian community members is the lowest of low and a despicable behaviour.

 

11.  To lobby for some transport concession.It is available all over Australia except NSW and Vic. It would encourage more use of public transport which might also reduce the assaults/robberies of students.

 

12.  To bridge the gap between Indian students and established Indian Australians by reaching out to Indian students, inviting them to social gatherings, mentoring them and providing help whenever practicable/possible.

 

 

 

 

Dr Yadu Singh

Co-ordinator

singhyadu@gmail.com

 

**PS: 29/8/09

[1]. The above mentioned committee had prepared its report and forwarded its recommendations to the relevant authorities.

[2]. After completing its job, the committee had dissolved itself at the end of June 2009 and communicated its decision to the Consul General on 1/7/09.

[3]. This report is being published with the purpose of making the community aware of its contents.