Sikh Youth Australia marks 21 years

On its upcoming 21st anniversary, SYA will launch an anniversary book and announce the Australian Sikh Awards of Excellence

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Sikh Youth Australia (SYA) is all set to celebrate 21 humble yet glorious years in Australia on Sunday 20 March with a black-tie charity gala dinner at The Epping Club.

To mark this special milestone, the peak organisation representing Sikh youth in Australia will be launching a commemorative book reflecting its history in Australia.

Significantly, it will also announce the first ever Australian Sikh Awards for Excellence to recognise the tremendous efforts of Sikhs who have either excelled in their given field or contributed to the Australian economy and community. Nominees will be acknowledged across a range of fields including sport, culture/arts, agriculture, leadership, community service, professional services etc. The awards will be presented at the inaugural Australian Sikh Awards for Excellence in 2023.

“We are so glad that we have been able to reschedule this event under the latest COVID guidance, and expect over 350 people representing a cross-section of our community to be in attendance,” said Satwant Singh Calais, president of Sikh Youth Australia.

SYA Gala dinner 2022

From humble beginnings, SYA has grown to be the largest youth organisation representing Sikhs in Australia with chapters in New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

“The universal message of Guru Nanak has always been at the heart of our association’s humble efforts, and over the past 21 years we have sought to share that beautiful message with the Sikh youth of this wonderful land. Our driving passion has been to empower our youth with the knowledge and skills to be proud of their Sikh heritage and to contribute to the social and economic development of Australia,” added Calais.

Sikh Youth Australia spiritual practice
The Narrabeen years: 121 jatha kirtan (Source: Supplied)

Starting from its flagship Summer Camps with youth and families, SYA slowly built a full suite of programs focusing on the spiritual, charitable, cultural and leadership development of the community. Today, these activities have impacted over 100,000 lives across Australia. This has included initiatives such as the Future Leaders Program, Young Sikh Professional Network (YSPN), Culture Care, Sikh to Give, Women in Leadership, Spiritual and Self-Development Workshops, Natural Disaster Assistance, ANZAC Day Parades, as well as multifaith collaboration events.

Sikh Youth Australia Divine Steps Festival
SYA’s Divine Steps Festival 2019 (Source: Supplied)

To capture the essence of these initiatives and the commitment, dedication and tireless efforts of hundreds of passionate volunteers, the 160-page full-colour anniversary book will showcase the activities, programs and participants of SYA over the last 21 years.

“At Sikh Youth Australia, we believe the seeds of Sikhism have firmly been planted in the Australian landscape and we are confident that through the ongoing contributions by Sikhs to this nation, both past and present, our faith and sense of community will continue to flourish,” said Calais.

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