One man’s effort to bring communities together

By Our Reporter
Moti Visa

And now Moti Ram Visa hopes to win in the  Melbourne City Council Elections and continue his efforts 

All through his life, Moti Ram Visa has been involved in social service. Both in Kenya, the country of his birth, and in Australia, the country to which he migrated in 1983.

The mechanical engineering graduate of Indian origin, migrated from Kenya in 1983 to Melbourne, his home for the last 37 years.

“In Kenya I organised a number of multicultural functions. We also mentored new expatriates. In Australia too I am involved in helping others. In 1990 I initiated the formation of Sindhi Association to bring the Sindhi Community together and help maintain its heritage and culture,” says Visa, who has worked as a project engineer in various manufacturing industries and the also worked as a journalist.

With years of social and community service to back him, Moti Visa has decided to contest the Melbourne City Council Elections. Visa is currently the director of ATMC Group of Companies as well as runs his own business. He is part of Jennifer Yand’s team “Back to Business”.

Over the years, he has received several awards. Some of them include: the Award of Excellence from the Victorian Parliamentary Friends of India for Meritorious Services towards Indian Community; Certificate of Appreciation to my magazine Beyond INDIA Monthly, from Crime Stoppers for an outstanding contribution in 2009 and 2010; Lifetime Achievement Award from Indian Society of Australia; Media Award from Hindu Foundation; Recognised by Sindhi Association for the service provided as longest serving President (for seven years).

“As a result of my community work I am appointed a “Justice of The Peace” by Governor in Council on the recommendations of Attorney General of Victoria,” says Visa, who speaks English, Hindi, Sindhi, Gujarati and Punjabi fluently.

Visa has also played an active part in the Gujarati Association and organised Diwali (Festival of Lights) in 1993. “But I observed that the various communities celebrated on their own. That sparked the idea of a celebration bringing together all the Indian associations. In 1994, we started the Holi Mela (Festival of Colours) at Shiva Vishnu Temple, Carrum Downs in 1994. It was blessed by Mr. Phil Honeywood (Education Minister then) who attended on behalf of then Premier Jeff Kenneth.  Since then the Holi Mela has grown and is celebrated every year,” he says.

Visa also started the “Diwali Mela” (Festival of Lights) at the same venue.

“Other community organisations in Victoria, NSW and Queensland were inspired with what we did and started hosting these culturally diverse festivals for Diwali bringing together people from different backgrounds,” says Visa.

Apart from mentoring new expatriates and students, Visa also helps organise funerals for students in fatal accidents or other untimely deaths.

“In 2009-2010, there were a series of attacks on Indian students so I started providing free service to students who work late nights and do not have their own transport. We would pick them up and drop them at their homes.

Visa now hopes to expand his efforts after the elections.

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