Last Saturday, Scott Morrison visited La Trobe’s Officer Sikh Gurdwara ‘Siri Guru Nanak Darbar (SGND)’ to reinforce multicultural ties to the Sikh community, joined by La Trobe MP Jason Wood and Alex Hawke, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs.
Scott Morrison and the MPs were met with gratitude in the lead up to several Federally funded projects for new facilities, including a multipurpose room, children’s play area, and an organic community farm. Children who awaited their arrival prepared flowers with thankful messages attached to the stem.
Also on the schedule, was a visit to the community kitchen, where the Prime Minister and other guests were taught to prepare langar and roti.
After the visit, Scott Morrison said that: “Australia is the strongest multicultural country on Earth. We’re supporting our amazing multicultural communities to ensure a stronger future for all those who call Australia home”.
Further evidence of the support for a flourishing Sikh community has been accounted for in the Federal budget.
In May of this year, the Officer Sikh Gurdwara, the youngest Gurdwara in Victoria, received $500,000 in Federal funding with Jason Wood, the Federal Member for La Trobe and Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs. This funding is being put towards vital security measures, including new lighting, fencing, CCTV and to extend their accessibility features.
As a minority group in the community, the Sikh community amongst other religious groups have been shown to be more susceptible to discrimination and harm. Jason Wood said:
“I’m proud to have secured this federal funding on behalf of the Liberal Morrison Government for the Officer Sikh Gurdwara. The Prime Minister has been very clear about our government’s commitment to protecting places of worship in Australia, particularly after the tragic events in Christchurch.”