We want to start the New Year Edition by sharing with you stories of four inspiring community people who won The Indian Sun person of the year awards in December 2015. Their stories narrate the passion and commitment members of the Indian community display to shape and enrich Australia. From aged care to building stronger ties with India, the winners have set high standards in community work.
There’s Sandra D’Souza, the electrical and electronics engineer who gave it all up to start Home Instead Senior Care Footscray & Hoppers Crossing in 2012. “I want to make a difference in the community and do a great job every day,” she says, about why she stepped out of the corporate world.
Venkat Nookala, TIS Person of the Year, Male, founded the Melbourne Telangana Forum Incorporated to celebrate the culture of Telangana — India’s newest State; and also started the Australian Bharatiya Students Association Incorporated to support international students find accommodation and work. He believes that volunteering is the only way to help a community move forward. Nookala, who has helped more than 200 students settle in to a life in Australia, says there are a great many more who have been affected. It’s a real problem, says Nookala, who is determined to keep forging ahead.
Hindustani classical music teacher and performer Pratima Swarnandan, who won TIS Young Achiever of the Year, Female, says that it is her belief that in every note there is healing, which is what keeps her pursuing her art form, while IT consultant Amith Karanth, who took home TIS Young Achiever of the Year, Male, is the man behind the India Australia Exchange Forum, which works with business, community organisations and the government of both countries. Swarnandan is convinced that children must be taught classical music as it helps build character, which is what she hopes to achieve though her school. Karanth meanwhile, is currently trying to raise funds to help villages in India.
The Awards programme was set up to channel our reader’s appreciation to community work. It gives an opportunity for The Indian Sun team and its readers to thank community members for their tireless work for our common good. The Indian Sun person the Year Awards will be announced at the India Day function in August this year. We hope to see you there, showing your support to those who work hard to make a difference.