| Australia | 19 June 2016 | Asia Samachar |
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.
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, Australias 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.
[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]
Former Singapore MP Inderjit ‘silently’ served nation, Sikh community (Asia Samachar, 30 April 2016)
“I have more Sikhs in my cabinet than Modi does” – Canada PM (Asia Samachar, 12 March 2016)
Malaysian Sikh girl tops Aussie pre-university exams (Asia Samachar, 17 Jan 2016)
4 Sikhs take up Cabinet berth in Canada (Asia Samachar, 5 Nov 2015)
Thakral into Aussie retirement housing (Asia Samachar, 21 Aug 2015)
Daljit Sanghera: Mother, farmer and Australia’s ‘Woman of the Year” (Asia Samachar, 27 May 2016)
No Sikhs in new UK parliament – BBC (Asia Samachar, 14 May 2016)
First Indian aged care to be built in Australia – SBS Punjabi (Asia Samachar, 9 March 2016)
Melbourne Sikhs debut in Australia Day parade (Asia Samachar, 26 Jan 2015)