“My father used to do all this [too] so I carry on with this.”
Mr Murgan is one of 895 Australians across a wide range of professionals and industries recognised on the Australia Day 2018 Honours List.
He was born in the small village of Vunika on the Fiji islands. A varied career saw him work as a law clerk and a primary school teacher before migrating to Australia in 1975.
Upon his arrival in Australia, Mr Murgan threw himself into the local community as a volunteer and advocate, his childhood in Fiji never far from his mind.
"My father used to go to the temple over there in my country so when I came [to Australia] I was proud to do all those social things."
Mr Murgan founded the Satyam Sivam Sundaram cultural society of New South Wales in 2001, which aims to preserve South Indian culture and language.
“I’ll always have that thing in my heart to do things [for] other people,” Mr Murgan said.
“[It’s important to] carry our language and cultures to our younger generations and encourage them on the right path, away from alcohol and drugs.”
Mr Murgan also founded the Indian Senior Citizens of NSW in 2007, an effort that saw him receive local awards for his volunteer efforts. He is also a wedding celebrant.
A letter from the Governor-General confirmed that Mr Murgan would be awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the Indian community of Sydney.
“I was very, very happy,” Mr Murgan said.
“I thought, this is my life’s work, an achievement for my life.”
Anyone can nominate an Australian or permanent resident for an award within the Order of Australia. For more information visit gg.gov.au