Friday, June 18, 2021

Queen’s Birthday Honours 2019: Shashi Kant Kochhar, OAM

Reading Time: 3 minutes“Respect the people, places and laws of the country you choose to call your home. Try to improve on what’s there, but don’t try to create your old home at your new home.”
These golden words of advice from his father have stayed with Melbourne’s Shashi Kochhar ever since he migrated to Australia from India in 1978.
Receiving an OAM in this year’s Queen’s Birthday honours is a huge privilege, according to him.
“It makes me feel humbled, privileged and further motivated to continue doing my community service,” Shashi told Indian Link.
Kochhar1.Indian Link
“Each day I wake up more energised to see how my dream of giving back to the community is being fulfilled,” said the septuagenarian.
Shashi laughingly shared that his friends often tell him ‘he is different’.
Some acquaintances even joke about ‘forgetting their wallets at home’, in case Shashi has yet another cause which needs some contribution.
He takes it all in his stride with good humour, because he is on an ongoing mission.
He wants to ensure that the future generation is happy and for that he is prepared to clean up parks of waste and rubbish, walk miles to raise funds, plant trees, donate blood and stand on streets collecting tin box donations.
As the founder of Friends of Children Foundation, Shashi has helped raise millions of dollars for Monash Children Hospital and Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.
Established in 1998, this not-for-profit works with organisations that provide better health and education for the citizens of tomorrow.
Shashi laments the damage caused by parents of his generation, for not teaching their children about looking after the environment.
“We may be living in the lucky country, but we need to look after it and help maintain it.  We need to give more to this country that has supported and rewarded us,” he emphasised.
He believes that for communities to prosper and sustain, all young people should be valued, engaged and supported. He strongly encourages people to volunteer in various ways and involve young children to inspire them as good role models.
He walks the talk by leading a cleaning campaign for Clean Up Australia Day every year and organising 24-km charity walks since 2012. He has donated blood over 145 times and delivered bread to aged care, asylum centres and other needy places for years.  
With his appointment as Justice of Peace, he has plenty of opportunities to contribute by volunteering his services to provide an integral link in the judicial system. As a JP, he has signed over 30,000 documents for people till date.
Shashi believes in one god but feels that faith has somewhere along the years, overpowered cultures.
As current chairperson of the Monash Interfaith gathering, he supports collaborative relationships with various faiths and beliefs committed to working towards understanding, respect, peace and dignity.
Kochhar.Indian Link
His passion for community work has been recognised by various awards and recommendations including Sir John Monash Award, Multicultural Champion Category, City of Monash, 2018 and Sir John Monash Community Service Award, City of Monash, 2007.
Abiding by his father’s parting words, Shashi has spent most of his working and retired life ‘paying back’ and showing respect to the society he lives in. The impact of this amazing volunteer is extraordinarily positive: with his compassion and unselfish caring and unconditional love for his fellow human beings, Shashi has gone on to become one of the most loved personalities in Melbourne’s Indian community. The world definitely needs more of his tribe.

- Advertisement -
Preeti Jabbal
Preeti is the Melbourne Coordinator of Indian Link.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -


Ep 9: What do young Indians want from love?

Growing up in Indian culture, most of us know that love has never been as popular as marriage. Even in the movies, the main...

Ep 8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s...

To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...

Ep 7: In the case of Sushant Singh Rajput

  The torrid and high-octane Sushant Singh Rajput case has been fodder for Indian people and press for the last few months. The actor’s tragic...
- Advertisement -

Latest News

Skater girl movie review (netflix)

REVIEW: Skater Girl (Netflix)

  Director Manjari Makijany is best known for her award-winning short films; however, her debut feature film Skater Girl on Netflix is a fictitious yet...
Photograph is representative.

Scottish graveyard in Kolkata reveals the untold stories of colonial women...

  When I was a child growing up in Kolkata, I would hear stories about the European colonisation of Bengal – the precolonial name of...
Australian Government Poster for Stop it at the Start campaign

Stopping family violence: Call out disrespect

  Some mistakes often start small but if left unrectified, soon become a bigger problem. Harinder Kaur, the co-founder of the Harman foundation, whose mission...
little India Harris Park

‘Little India’ precinct announced in Harris Park

  In a historic move, the motion was passed unanimously in Parramatta Council yesterday that a certain section of Harris Park will be named 'Little...
Vishal Jood supporters in India

Vishal Jood supporters in India rally to demand his release

  Vishal Jood, the 24-year-old Indian student who was arrested by NSW Police in alleged connection with violent activities in Harris Park, has amassed substantial...