The humble Sikh hero who delivers lifesaving food and groceries to victims of floods, fires and drought delivers a moving speech at the Australia of the Year awards – as the big winners from the night are revealed

    • Amar Singh announced Australia’s Hometown Hero of 2023
    • Socceroo Awer Mabil has been crowned Young Australian of the Year
    • Prime Minister Anthony Albanese presents awards

    A humble Sikh hero has delivered a moving speech after being crowned Australia’s Local Hero of 2023 as the evening’s big winners are revealed.

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

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

    His efforts have seen essential supplies needed by Australians affected by drought, bushfires and floods as well as weekly baskets.

    The Sikh hero gave a moving speech as he accepted his award on Wednesday.

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

    “I want every child to be proud of their food, their language, their culture and their parents. As an observant member of a religious community, it is good to see Australians of all faiths and backgrounds treated in the same way.

    “I don’t want anyone to be judged for their turban or their hijab.”

    Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has announced NSW man Amar Singh, the founder of Turbans 4 Australia, as Australia’s local hero for 2023

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

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

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

    The winger is a co-founder of the nonprofit Barefoot to Boots, which aims to improve health, education, policy and gender equality for refugees.

    Mabil grew up in a refugee camp in Kenya after her family fled civil war in Sudan, before moving to Australia with her mother and sister aged just 10.

    “I was given the opportunity in such a beautiful country to be myself and for me the most important thing is to help the next generation and also to inspire them to be themselves and to pursue their dreams,” said Soceroo.

    “Australia gave me and my family the opportunity to fulfill our dreams. I contacted my footballing family and collected all the football boots.

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

    Mabil gave a special shout out to her mother during her televised speech.

    “I would like to thank my mother-in-law for always being there, for me and my siblings. And she was always there, single mother,” he said.

    “You know, she took us around the world to give us this opportunity to pursue our dreams and to me, she’s the biggest inspiration to me.”

    More soon.

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