Australia’s first Sikh councillor John Arkan to run in July federal elections

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| Australia | 19 June 2016 | Asia Samachar |
John Arkan, first Sikh councillor of Australia, running as independent candidate for Cowper seat in NSW in 2 July 2016 elections - PHOTO / ABC
John Arkan, first Sikh councillor of Australia, running as independent candidate for Cowper seat in NSW in 2 July 2016 elections – PHOTO / ABC

John Arkan, a blueberry farmer from Woolgoolga and the first Sikh councillor of Australia, has confirmed running for the a seat in the New South Wales (NSW) in the 2 July Federal elections

Arkan, who was first elected as a council member of the Coffs Harbour City Council in 2008 and served as deputy mayor in 2012-2013, is one of the six candidates running for the Cowper seat.

He is the third generation of his family to live in the district, the area around Woolgoolga having a significant Sikh population, according to his profile.

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The profile states: “Arkan serves on Coffs Harbour City Council, the first Australian of Sikh background to be elected to an Australian local government body. He is the third generation of his family to live in the district, the area around Woolgoolga having a significant Sikh population. Arkan states that he is well known in the Coffs Coast for creating and promoting Curryfest, Australia’s largest India food and cultural event held every year in his home town of Woolgoolga. He also contested Cowper at the 2010 election when he polled 9.9%.”

His Facebook page also carries the alias of Jorahvar Singh and is married to Surinder Kaur.

Arkan said farmers needed to be at the forefront of every regional candidate’s priorities.

“We’ve got to support farmers…They’re the backbone of the country … They face so many difficulties and people are even taking their own lives because we’re not supporting them,” he was quoted in an ABC report (9 Jun 2016) entitled ‘Australia’s first Sikh councillor John Arkan confirmed as independent candidate for July federal election‘.

Arkan is well-known in the Coffs community both as a councillor and a blueberry farmer, who operates a food stall at the Coffs Harbour Produce Markets each week, the report added.

 

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