I am so impressed by the advocacy of the Australian South Asian Centre – it just shows how much difference you can make with a little effort and dedication and the impact we all can make. Embracing and celebrating our differences as strengths in a free society is certainly a hallmark of all your achievements in this South Asian Heritage month
Coming out of a tough year of being in lockdown (and that too- stranded from home) I was finding it challenging to resume my efforts of building myself as an illustrator. Even though we were supposedly “getting back to the things we loved”, I was feeling majorly distant from my communities. When I signed up for a table at the Soul House Festival Launch as an illustrator, I was just glad to be in the scene again really and didn’t think too hard about how different it might be from my other experiences at art markets in Melbourne/Sydney. What I actually ended up experiencing was a flood of support and a warm welcome into a lovely community. I got to witness such wonderful performances and meet fellow South Asians in the arts that would just “get it”.I can’t wait to see what the community behind it comes up with next!
Not only does ASAC work hard to support South Asian women in Australia, to connect them with one another and to elevate their voices – thereby injecting more diversity into any conversation dominated by the white mainstream; but from what I’ve been seeing, they seem to be cultivating and promoting a culture of honesty and authenticity from the get-go. If you attend an ASAC panel event or interview, you are likely to hear the un-sugar-coated reality of people’s stories, you’ll get the real deal and you’ll hopefully feel less alone in struggles that are infrequently discussed in an open forum. I know I did. Such truth-telling is inspiring, uplifting and empowering.
As an Indian/Australian actor and writer, I felt incredibly moved when I learned I was one of five “Stellar South Asian Women” selected by ASAC. This recognition arrived on a difficult day when I was going into ‘battle’ yet again on matters of inclusion and visibility as a South Asian woman in the Australian screen industry. The unwavering support of the brilliant women at ASAC infuse me with a strength to stay upright, strong and creative. ASAC has created a much-needed space where South Asian women can hold space for each other and celebrate each other’s achievements like there is no tomorrow. It’s a privilege to be part of this fierce, nurturing and ever-expanding sisterhood. Thank you ASAC.