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Tamil and Indian groups unite for bushfire victims

Tamil and Indian groups unite for bushfire victims

Tamil and Indian groups unite for bushfire victims

18 September 2020

Members of Canberra community groups – Vishnu Shiva Mandir, the Canberra Tamil Association, the Australian Tamil Cultural Society and the Sathya Sai International Organisation – with ACT Senator Zed Seselja (fourth from left) and The Salvation Army’s Major David McMurray at the Vishnu Shiva Mandir.

By Lauren Martin

Despite COVID-19 interrupting fundraising efforts, the Sri Lankan Tamil and Indian communities in Canberra have donated to The Salvation Army Bushfire Disaster Appeal to assist individuals and families who continue to experience hardship as a result of the Black Summer bushfires.

Major David McMurray presents a certificate of appreciation to Karthika Srinivaasan, of the Canberra Tamil Association, for her assistance in fundraising for The Salvation Army’s bushfire appeal.

Major David McMurray, Public Relations Secretary for ACT/South New South Wales, said it was an honour to receive the donation yesterday at the Vishnu Shiva Mandir in Canberra.

“This was a real community effort, a real grassroots effort,” he said. “It was good to be able to thank the community, and the families who have gone to such effort to help people just like themselves who need these funds – families, individuals and people still doing it tough, still recovering from the bushfires.”

David received the donation of $10,350 from a number of community groups including Vishnu Shiva Mandir, the Canberra Tamil Association, the Australian Tamil Cultural Society, the Sathya Sai International Organisation, the Canberra India Council and the Australia India Business Council. Also in attendance was Zed Seselja, Liberal Senator for the ACT and Assistant Minister for Charities.

Karthika Srinivaasan, Secretary of the Canberra Tamil Association, said some of the groups united in January during the bushfire crisis to raise funds to support those affected. They held a Food Fair at the Vishnu Shiva Mandir as a way of supporting the Australian community in its time of need.

“It’s a really great opportunity for us to show our gratitude to the Australian community,” she said. “When we came here [as migrants], the government and the community gave us shelter, took us in.

“For many in our community who migrate to Australia, we often come with very little. Organisations like The Salvation Army provide services, regardless of where people come from, or their circumstances. Therefore, we strongly believe The Salvation Army is the best organisation that understands people’s needs when they are in crisis.”

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