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Australian Sikh heritage (Supplied)

The Australian Sikh history will be a significant additional resource and context with which to teach the WA school curriculum from 2017 onward. The Australian Sikh Heritage association has completed this task consultation with History Teachers Association of WA. SBS Punjabi’s Preetinder Singh Grewal reports...

By
Preetinder Grewal
Published on
Wednesday, October 12, 2016 - 15:36
File size
3.2 MB
Duration
7 min

From 2017 onward, WA school students will have access to Australia's proud Sikh history, with the development of a resource which has been written to support history curriculum within Humanities and Social Sciences for year 5, 6 and 9 students.

The Australian Sikh Heritage Association and History Teachers Association of WA (HTAWA) have joined hands to compete this task.

"It is a proud moment. The response from the community has been excellent. WA history teachers are very excited to inculcate this in school books", Tarunpreet Singh

"Since the resources are being prepared to suit other states so the impact will be immense and ongoing for building the image of Sikhs."

"In others words we are discussing about Australian Sikhs’ contribution in 19th – 20th and 21st century."

"The resilience shown by the Sikhs during the 19th century – 20th century and till now is great."

"The journey to the heart of Australia was made possible only after the camels landed in Australia. Australians and others should."

"So the invaluable contribution of Sikhs as cameleers – wrestlers – Anzacs – hawkers – enterpreneurs,etc will all be reflected."

"Australia is permanently indebted to these souls who faced and flourished against the heaviest of odds."

"Our community is lucky to have this history to showcase their contribution for Australia which is second to none."

Harjit Singh from the Australian Sikh Heritage Association said that efforts were done to promote Sikh heritage findings among the wider Australian Sikh community.

"By showcasing our proud history, we also wish to show an expression of solidarity with the wider Australian Sikh community." said Harjit Singh.

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$150K WA grant to highlight Australia's Sikh history

Western Australia's rich Sikh history will come to life thanks to the addition of interpretive panels along the Australian Sikh Heritage Trail in Riverton. Here is WA Sikh representative in conversation with SBS Punjabi's Preetinder Singh Grewal.

Via Australian Sikh Heritage - Know The Facts:

  1. Sikhs first arrived in Australia at least 180 years ago?
  2. A significant number of cameleers (also known as the "Afghans") that helped lay the foundations of our major roads and railways were Sikhs?
  3. Most Hawkers and Peddlers during Australia's formative years were the much loved and adored travelling Sikhs? 
  4. The Sikhs were very active with the wrestling circuit all over Australia in the early part of the 20th century?
  5. There are hundreds of Sikh cremation sites across rural Australia? As cremation was not allowed in most Australian states at that time, the continuing cremation by Sikhs brought about a change in the law in most states across Australia which benefited many other communities as well.
  6. Sikhs and Australians fought together on the same side in Gallipoli with at least 16 Sikhs enlisting and serving in the Australian Imperial Force for World War 1?
  7. A Sikh pilot died on Australian soil in WWII? Flying Officer Manmohan Singh died in Broome, Western Australiaon 3 March 1942 fighting for the Allied forces.
  8. 83,005 turban wearing Sikh soldiers were killed with 109,045 wounded in the last two world wars?
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