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Awarded for service to multicultural affairs
Entered on roll: 2005
I believe if you have love and understanding there are no boundaries between human beings. The bond of common humanity is stronger than individual differences, and regardless of these differences we all have the need for around the same amount of human affection. We should also strive to have a society which values our ethnic diversity, for this makes us all better persons . (Sajini Sumar)
Sajini Sumar was born in Kerala, India in 1947. Sajini chose a nursing career due to her interest in helping others. She worked as a registered nurse in many countries including India, Zambia, Iran, Dubai and England before coming to Australia with her husband and three children in 1985.
Due to injury, she could not continue her nursing career. For the past 10 years, she has been a full-time community volunteer. She is involved in many community activities, such as helping newly arrived migrants to settle in Tasmania by meeting them, letting them know about services, assisting with problems and developing friendship networks. Through the Multicultural Red Cross Group, she also visits sick and aged migrants in hospitals and nursing homes.
Sajini has been heavily involved in the Migrant Resource Centre of Southern Tasmania, the International Wall of Friendship and the Hobart and Kingston Networking for Harmony groups. She has also spoken at a number of schools over the years to promote cross-cultural understanding.
She has been a member of the Multicultural Council of Tasmania for many years. She has worked as a volunteer on many projects including the staging of health education forums for young and old focusing on health related topics such as diabetes management, quitting smoking, nursing home issues and incontinence. She is a founding member and participant in the Tasmanian Community Parliament, a non-partisan community forum that meets bi-annually and focuses on social and economic issues facing the Tasmanian community.
She is planning to involve more migrant and refugee women in the Multicultural Council by supporting and encouraging them to participate in the community as a means of helping immigrants to become part of a wider Australian community.
Sajini’s work continues on weekends as immigrants regularly seek support and help in their difficult situations. She provides transport to and from church and her door is always open to those in need.