On 25 May elections the Australian Sikh Association Inc. (ASA) held its annual elections. The Association, with over 2000 financial members, manages the largest gurdwara in the southern hemisphere. More than 10,000 devotees visit the gurdwara every week. The interest in these elections was very high with almost 86 per cent of the members turning out to vote either in person or by proxy. Sikhs for Truth & Democracy, led by Captain Sarjinder Singh Sandhu, received an overwhelming majority of the votes. This group won all the 15 positions contested. Three positions went to the second group called Sikh Sangat Sewa Group.
Speaking to The Indian Sun, after the results were announced, Captain Sandhu said that the outcome of the election is a mandate for greater transparency, accountability and open interaction of ASA in all its dealings.
The incoming executive has the following agenda:
• Organising quality religious programs and inviting renowned Sikh scholars, parcharaks and ragis to the Gurdwara.
• Promoting the Sikh identity in the wider Australian community.
• Encouraging Sikh youth to actively participate in the projects and the management of ASA.
• Harnessing the skills of various professionals in the community for the betterment of the association.
• Building essential infrastructure for the future needs of the ASA, such as accommodation for visitors, aged care facility, retirement accommodation, sports facilities, information Centre, library, kindergarten, and state recognised primary and secondary schools and a Punjabi religious TV channel.
• Restarting immediately the stalled work on the kitchen extension, car park, multipurpose hall and Punjabi school building.
• Catering to the needs of seniors, the disabled and sick members of the community by providing transport from Blacktown station and from home (where necessary).
• Providing for spiritual and social needs to in-patients in hospitals.
• Setting up of a counselling service to assist in the settlement of domestic disputes and helping newly arrived migrants and the disadvantaged.
• Providing information to members on Centrelink facilities, home care services and other local council programs that can be accessed by members.
In addition to the above, an immediate consultation process will begin with the entire ASA membership on the new constitution. ASA has received a directive from the Fair Trading Department to transfer the Association to a Company Limited by guarantee as the Association’s income and assets are above the threshold permissible for an Association.
The new elected Executive Members
Executive Committee: President Captain Sarjinder Singh Sandhu, General Secretary Jagtar Singh, Assistant Secretary Jagdish Singh Kalsi, Social Secretary Dr Albel Singh Kang, Treasurer Jaspal Singh, Assistant Treasurer Gurcharn Singh Dhanoa, Serving Members Jeet Singh Toor and Arshpreet Kaur.
Members Rajmohinder Singh, Mehnga Singh Khakh and Jasbinder Singh Gill.
Punjabi Council welcomes results
Punjabi Council of Australia’s coordinator Dr Moninder Singh has welcomed the results and urged the new management committee to start the process of building a multi-storey car park for the gurdwara. Dr Singh has also urged the newly elected team to prioritise the needs of the elderly and newly arrived immigrants.