Sikh volunteer voted 2023 Australian Local Hero

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Amar Singh with PM Anthony Albanese at the Australian of the Year Awards 2023 event

By Asia Samachar | Australia |

Amar Singh plays a critical role in getting essential supplies to people impacted by natural disasters or the recent pandemic-induced lockdowns. It’s a calling they respond to, day or night.

This week, the founder of Turbans 4 Australia was voted as the 2023 Australian Local Hero.

Hailing from New South Wales, Amar oversees the distribution of up to 450 grocery hampers across Western Sydney every week. The charity also delivers hay to farmers experiencing drought; food hampers to vulnerable people isolated during COVID-19 lockdowns; and supplies to people impacted by floods, bushfires and other natural disasters.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese delivered the award on Jan 25, 2023.

In his acceptance speech, Amar said: “What we want to do is create not just an understanding of our culture but the cultures around us, of every beautiful food, lunch box…Every kid I want them to be proud of their food, their language, their culture and their parents. As a practising member of a religious community, it’s good to see Australians from all faiths and all backgrounds treated I equally.”

He added: “I don’t want somebody judged go for their turban or hijab.”

Amar Singh believes helping others should not be limited by religion, language or cultural background, according to the statement released by the award organiser.

Amar, 41, founded a charity after experiencing racial slurs and insults because of his Sikh turban and beard. He wanted to show people they didn’t need to be afraid and began helping struggling Australians. Every week, Turbans 4 Australia package and distribute up to 450 food and grocery hampers to people experiencing food insecurity in Western Sydney.

They also raise awareness and funds for important causes while promoting multiculturalism and religious tolerance. But the organisation is best known around Australia since its founding in 2015 for transporting emergency goods to those in need.

Turbans 4 Australia has delivered hay to farmers experiencing drought; supplies to flood victims in Lismore and bushfire-impacted people on the South Coast; food hampers to the isolated and vulnerable during COVID-19 lockdowns; and supplies to the Salvation Army in central Queensland in the devastating wake of Cyclone Marcia.

The 2023 Australian of the Year went to body image activist, director, writer and speaker Taryn Brumfitt who leads the Body Image Movement, an Adelaide-based organisation that teaches people to love and appreciate their bodies. Her 2016 documentary Embrace tackled the serious issue of women’s body loathing and Taryn’s path to body acceptance. It was seen by millions of people in 190 countries and is available on Netflix.

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