Nine years of working with the community in areas of sports, women’s empowerment, and prevention of violence
For her contribution to South Australian communities Saru Rana was recently awarded the Governor’s Multicultural Award 2018. The honour was presented to Ms Rana by His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC who represents the Queen of England in South Australia.
The Governor’s Multicultural Awards celebrate South Australians who promote multiculturalism and increase understanding of the benefits of cultural diversity in the South Australian community.
For Ms Rana this award has brought up a trifecta of terrific achievement over the past few months.
While Ms Rana took the top gong from several finalists for her work with the Governor’s Multicultural Award in Volunteering Sector last week, and the Global Peace Ambassador recognition this month, last month she was honoured by the South Australian Cricket Association.
Ms Rana arrived in Australia in 2009 as a student. With her passion for social and community work she launched a Human Rights Campaign called SHAMSHIR, where she brought people from diverse communities on a common platform to create a peaceful and harmonious society. This was a strong and a successful initiative which provided her impetus to do substantial work towards betterment of migrant communities in South Australia.
Ms Rana has made a mark in the area of women’s empowerment in South Australia. Born to a Muslim mother, Sikh father and married to an Australian, Ms Rana blooms in her secularism from her very own family. A respected figure within South Australian Asian Groups, she is considered to be the flag bearer of multiculturalism and a Winifred in knitting together diverse communities.
Founder of not for profit organisation Shamshir—A Human Rights Campaign, Ms Rana resorted to creating a peaceful and harmonious world amongst the diverse cultures she interacted with on a day to day basis. Born and bought up in India where civil riots are a part of every page of the newspaper, where a loss of a cricket match to Pakistan leads to violence. On the contrary the beauty of the diverse land and parents from different religions taught her how wonderful the world would be if all lived as one.
After moving to Australia, Ms Rana worked towards promoting peaceful relationships between diverse cultures. She took on the task of creating MILAP (meaning UNITE) in 2018, to create a common platform to promote reap harmonious relationships between nations. The forum connects more than 300 people from the Pakistani and Indian communities to share their stories and experiences.
To further promote peaceful relations, she also organised WOW (Women Of Wondrous Worth), exclusively for women where she was able to bring women from 21 different communities to interact of a community’s cultural attributes.
Ms Rana’s work in the field of helping and supporting domestic violence victims in CALD communities is also exemplary. She has been frequently contacted by people, as a community representative, to guide her to find pathways through which she can meaningfully help out the victims. In the last few years she has opened her home to more than 20 women.
“Teach them young, Team them Right” was the basis of Ms Rana’s initiative where she went on to launch projects like MINI ME through which she helped sensitise children about the social perils like child sexual abuse.
Ms Rana took the next leap when she went international with her new chapter THE DARK CAMPAIGN which was her first attempt to bring together various people from around the world for a common cause yet again aiming to make the world a beautiful place to live.
Working in South Australia for the last nine years she has launched many other initiatives including The Dark Discussion and Open Shutter as well as events at the Parliament House of Adelaide.
Ms Rana is an integral part of sporting programs founded by multicultural communities of Australia, through which many CALD children have registered themselves with cricket clubs as part of Australia’s sporting program. Within MCA, she works with peak sports bodies in developing sporting hubs for multicultural youth in SA. She has also worked with MCA and SACA to promote the multicultural Milo2incricket sporting hub for children between the ages of 7 and 13. This year she is actively involved with MCA’s Woolworths cricket blast and super cricket for women programs, where she has encouraged more than 70 children and 20 women to register within these sporting programs. She has also immersed herself in advocating for gender-equality and equal opportunities for all.
In the last nine years, with her dedication and commitment, she has left an indelible mark on the large canvas of cultural diversity prevailing in South Australia today.