Two-time People of Australia Ambassador Deepak Vinayak says community cohesion and multi-faith activism are his primary goals
Deepak Vinayak, a station Officer at Macleod Station, has always been passionate about helping communities from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
In his different capacities — as a Justice of the Peace (JP), as a People of Australia Ambassador and as the secretary of South Asian Community Link Group-Australasia Inc (SACLG), he encourages young people to join public services like the police or work at the Metro.
His work in community cohesion and multi-faith activism has been inspiring and in June this year, Deepak was felicitated with the Community Cohesion and Multifaith Award.
Born in India, Deepak says it cultivated a philosophy of non-violence in him and respect for other religions. After studying civil engineering in India, he moved to Australia in 1996 and since then has been assisting migrants settle in Melbourne.
Deepak is currently a two-time People of Australia Ambassador (2012 and 2013). He is one of 40 proud Australians who have been appointed in recognition of the help to build bridges, promote inclusion and strengthen ties in their communities and provide input to the Australian Multicultural Council and Federal Government.
“As an ambassador I have great responsibility on my shoulders. I will try to provide every input to the Australian Multicultural Council and Australian government,” says Deepak.
“This is a big challenge and I need to work hard. I am really fortunate that I am getting an opportunity to do something for the community and I am thankful to all my family and friends who always supported and encouraged me to work for the people of Australia. Working for people gives me immense satisfaction. In my spare time I like to visit aged-care homes and hospitals and spend some time with the people there,” adds Deepak, who has also helped raise funds for the Black Saturday bushfires and Victorian and Queensland floods.
Explaining his role as a JP, Deepak says, “As an on-call JP, I have had many opportunities to assist new Australians understand their rights and responsibilities and to introduce them to government services that can help them adjust to their new life. Even after the Black Saturday fires, as a JP, I was able to assist residents who had lost their homes promptly complete applications for social welfare and financial support.”
As a committed social worker leader coupled with his intimate knowledge of the Metro, Deepak’s encouragement has inspired many people to join the Metro and make a quality contribution towards the public transport revolution in Melbourne.
“Many people ask me about my work in the metro and ask me whether Metro can be a long term career option for them,” says Deepak.
Deepak is also the founder of the South Asian Community Link Group, a member of the Royal Victorian Association of Honorary Justices and a member of the Hume Council Craigieburn Festival Committee.
Deepak, who was also nominated for the Pride of Australia award in 2010 and in the same year, received an Award for Excellence from the then Premier John Brumby and the Governor of Victoria.