DELIVERED IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Waheguru ji ka khalsa waheguru ji ki fateh.
I am delighted to follow the member for Lalor in extending my heartfelt congratulations to the Sikh community on the occasion of the 550th anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. Guru Nanak was a leader, teacher and social reformer. Although he is long gone, his teachings have had an enduring impact on the world. He taught that a person is not determined by some social label or innate characteristic, but, rather, by the way in which one interacts with those around them and the goodness in their hearts. Guru Nanak rejected the caste system and the poor treatment of women as antiquated, often resulting in strong criticism from many of his contemporaries. He was a man ahead of his time. His emphasis on love and respect are everlasting teachings, and they are, too, Australian values.
As the Member for Greenway, I have the privilege of representing a large and vibrant Sikh community in north-west Sydney. We've seen the service and community mindedness for which Sikhs are known during their recent support for exhausted firefighters protecting homes in Sydney. Many of my professional relationships with local Sikhs have blossomed into personal friendships. I'm so grateful for your passionate advocacy and belief that we can build a stronger society together. To all Sikhs, I wish you happiness and peace on the 550th anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak. May we all strive to learn from his example and make this country fairer and more equal.