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Sikh hero gives emotional speech at Australian of the Year awards as the winners are revealed

A humble Sikh hero has made an emotional speech after being crowned Australia’s 2023 Local Hero as the rest of the night’s winners are revealed. 

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced NSW man Amar Singh, the founder of Turbans 4 Australia, was Australia’s 2023 Local Hero of the Year. 

Mr Singh has been credited with promoting multiculturalism and religious tolerance by supplying emergency relief to Australians in need. 

His efforts have seen essential supplies delivered to people impacted by drought, bushfires and floods as well as those vulnerable and isolated by Covid lockdowns.   

The Sikh hero made an emotional speech as he accepted his award. 

‘What we want to do is create not just an understanding of our culture but the cultures around us, of every beautiful food, lunch box,’ he said. 

‘Every kid I want them to be proud of their food, their language, their culture and their parents. As a practising member of a religious community, it’s good to see Australians from all faiths and all backgrounds treated I equally.

‘I don’t want somebody judged go for their turban or hijab.’

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced Amar Singh, the founder of Turbans 4 Australia, was Australia’s 2023 Local Hero at the Australian of the Year Awards on Wednesday night

Sikh hero Amar Singh made an emotional speech as he accepted his award from the prime minister at the ceremony on Wednesday

Sikh hero Amar Singh made an emotional speech as he accepted his award from the prime minister at the ceremony on Wednesday

Soceroo Awer Mabil was soon after crowned the 2023 Young Australian of the Year with his proud mother and uncle accepting the award on his behalf. 

The talented winger is a co-founder of the not-for-profit organisation Barefoot to Boots, which aims for better health, education, and gender equality for refugees. 

Mabil grew up in a Kenyan refugee camp after his family fled civil war in Sudan, before moving to Australia with his mother and sister at just 10-years-old. 

‘I’ve been given an opportunity in such a beautiful country to be myself and for me the most important thing is to help the next generation and also inspire them to be themselves and follow their dreams,’ the Soceroo said. 

‘Australia gave me and my family that opportunity to follow our dreams. I reached out to my football family and collected all the football boots. 

‘I took them to the refugee camp where I was born and Barefoot to Boots has grown since. It has become something more than football.’

Soceroo Awer Mabil (pictured) was crowned the Young Australian of the Year with his proud mother and uncle accepting the award on his behalf

Soceroo Awer Mabil (pictured) was crowned the Young Australian of the Year with his proud mother and uncle accepting the award on his behalf

Professor Tom Calma, a strong supporter of the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, took the opportunity to encourage Australians to vote yes in the upcoming referendum

Professor Tom Calma, a strong supporter of the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, took the opportunity to encourage Australians to vote yes in the upcoming referendum

Mabil made a touching shout-out to his mother during the speech. 

I’d love to say thank you to my beautiful mother for always being there, for me and my siblings. And she’s always been there, single mum,’ he said. 

‘You know, she moved us across the world to give us this opportunity to pursue our dreams and for me she’s the biggest inspiration for me.’

ACT Professor Tom Calma AO was awarded Senior Australian of the Year for 2023.  

Prof Calma, a strong supporter of the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, took the opportunity to encourage Australians to vote yes in the upcoming referendum. 

‘Australians have only ever known a system where Indigenous peoples are treated as problems to be solved, not as partners and active participants in determining their destiny,’ Mr Calma said in his acceptance speech.  

‘I believe we must have enduring partnerships so that Indigenous communities can help inform policy and legal decisions that impact their lives.

ACT Professor Tom Calma AO (pictured) was awarded Senior Australian of the Year for 2023

ACT Professor Tom Calma AO (pictured) was awarded Senior Australian of the Year for 2023

Documentary director, best-selling author and body image activist Taryn Brumfitt was then announced the 2023 Australian of The Year

Documentary director, best-selling author and body image activist Taryn Brumfitt was then announced the 2023 Australian of The Year

‘Surely it is obvious permanent change that is not party politically driven is needed to deliver better outcomes for first Nations peoples and all Australians.

‘To all Australians tonight, I want to say the referendum is not a choice between improving people’s lives or amending the constitution, we can do both. 

‘It will require bipartisanship, all levels of Governments working together and it must involve those most affected, namely Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.’

Finally, documentary director, best-selling author and body image activist Taryn Brumfitt was announced the 2023 Australian of The Year.

Ms Brumfitt told the audience she was having an ‘out of body experience on live television’ as she took to the stage to tearfully accept her award.

‘Australia, it is not our life’s purpose to be at war with our body,’ she said. 

Ms Brumfitt's 2016 documentary Embrace tackled the serious issue of women's body loathing (she is pictured receiving her Australian of the Year award from Mr Albanese)

 Ms Brumfitt’s 2016 documentary Embrace tackled the serious issue of women’s body loathing (she is pictured receiving her Australian of the Year award from Mr Albanese)

Ms Brumfitt (pictured) said she was having an 'out of body experience on live television' as she took to the stage to tearfully accept her award

Ms Brumfitt (pictured) said she was having an ‘out of body experience on live television’ as she took to the stage to tearfully accept her award

‘Collectively we are facing some of the most challenging environmental, humanitarian and social issues of our time. 

‘What if instead of spending our days consumed by hating our bodies we could invest our time together to solve these challenges.

‘Australia, we have 28,000 days on the planet if we’re really lucky and we’re not meant to spend them at war with our bodies. 

‘When you take your final breath on this earth, what thoughts will be going through your mind? What will you be thinking about? 

‘And no one has ever said to me the size of their bum.’

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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