As an active member of the Strathfield State Emergency Services Sandhya (Sandy) Reddy is currently assisting in Bushfire Information Line, and undertaking jobs as directed by the
Strathfield SES unit.
These are but the latest in a long line of activities of voluntary service that this 41-year-old has undertaken ever since she arrived in Australia in 2006.
It is this community-mindedness that has got her Strathfield Local Council’s “Citizen of the Year” gong on this year’s Australia Day.
“I feel proud to have won this honour, even though I have been an Australian only for 14 years,” Sandhya Reddy told Indian Link. “I have always worked for giving back to the community, I have tried my best to be involved in the local community by helping out wherever I can.”
For Citizen of the Year, Strathfield Council seeks out individuals who, “through their kindness and activities, make Strathfield a better place to be”. These could be volunteers who work with children, the aged, the environment or who provide services for charity organisations.
Hyderabad-born Sandy, a migration and education consultant by profession, helps the newest members of our community by assisting those that have just arrived into the country navigate their way around the Australian landscape, by providing guidance, information and support around enrolling into local schools, accessing the benefits that the council offers to ensure a positive experience to our newest constituents.
She makes time to be involved in community activities such as Clean Up Australia Day, Share the Dignity Campaign, World Vision programs and blood donation camps.
As mum to a very young chess prodigy (her son Nikhil Reddy was junior Australian chess champion in 2017), Sandy has spent much time popularising the game at the primary school level.
What drives Sandhya Reddy to voluntary work is the desire to give back to the community that has given her a great quality of life.
“I believe that every right comes with responsibility, and I just want to do my bit,” she said with humility.
Sandhya Reddy has lived in the Strathfield Local Council ever since she first moved here. “I love this area for its friendly people, and for its beautiful parks where my family and I spend much time. My husband Karri, who has been here 29 years, brought me to Strathfield as a new bride, and this is where I found my first job, built our first home, and made our family!”
The Reddys have also instilled this drive for voluntary work in their children. “Both my sons Neil and Nikhil accompany me to most of the council events like Clean Up Australia, fund-raise with me for World Vision, and help in the Strathfield Spring Festival. They mind the canteen during chess tournaments.”
Looks like the path has been opened for many more Citizens of the Year named Reddy.