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'Proud of my Sikh identity', says WA’s nominee for the 2022 Young Australian of the Year

(L-R) Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa with her mother and sister. Source: Supplied by Ms Khalsa

Nominated as the Young Australian of the Year for Western Australia, 27-year-old Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa wants to represent Sikh families on Australian TV shows.

For the last ten years, Perth-based Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa has created awareness on diversity, racism, and inclusion through performing arts.

Besides being a spoken-word artist, Ms Khalsa is an educator, performer, and human rights reformer who has performed in Australia, South East Asia, Canada, US, and UK.


Highlights

  • Australian of the Year awards honour exceptional Australians for Australia Day celebrations since 1960
  • Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa has been one of Western Australia's nominees for the Young Australian of the Year 2022 
  • For the last ten years, she has been actively involved in creating awareness about diversity and visibility through performing arts

One of the finalists from Western Australia for the 2022 Australian of the Year Awards, Ms Khalsa, believes that these awards are a good platform to show the representation of different communities.

sukjhit kaur
Sukhjit Kaur is a spoken word artist, writer and performer.
Supplied by Ms Khalsa
Australia Day celebrations have been framed by the Australian of the Year Awards, which recognize outstanding achievements of those who have made an extraordinary impact.

Speaking to SBS Punjabi, this first-generation Australian Sikh says that apart from awards, a bigger change is needed when it practically comes to racism and feminism.

"Coming from diverse backgrounds, we have to work 200% harder than others to ensure the right representation of our community and to show our honesty and belonging," says Ms Khalsa.

Guided by her values, Ms Khalsa is very proud of her Sikh identity and she says "it's evident in her work".

Working as a producer and screenwriter, she wants to create an allyship between different communities to understand each other better.

We need to understand our responsibility as Sikhs to become allies of indigenous people

sukhjit kaur
A sketch depicting Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa.
Supplied by Ms Khalsa.

She brought together emerging South Asian female storytellers from non-performer backgrounds for her sold-out project, Saga Sisterhood.

"I am writing TV shows these days and I hope to bring a representation of Sikh families on Australian TV shows and big screen," says Ms Khalsa.

She urges the Punjabi community to engage, educate and understand other communities to create a better Australia.

"As Punjabis, we shouldn't forget the roots of standing up for social justice in everyday life," she says.

Listen to the podcast in Punjabi by clicking on the audio icon inside the picture at the top.  


SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at https://www.sbs.com.au/language/coronavirus

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