Tejinder Pal Singh wins 2017 NT Local Hero Award for feeding the hungry


Australian Of The Year Awards 2017 Northeren Territory. 2 November 2016. Photo Shane Eecen

Australian Of The Year Awards 2017 Northeren Territory. 2 November 2016. Photo Shane Eecen

The 2017 Northern Territory Australian of the Year Award recipients have been announced this evening at a ceremony at the Darwin Convention Centre.

The NT Award recipients will join recipients from the other States and Territories as finalists for the national Awards to be announced on 25 January 2017 in Canberra.

For the past four years, Tejinder Pal Singh has dedicated the last Sunday of each month to feeding poor and needy locals of northern Darwin. After a gruelling 12-hour shift driving a taxi, Tejinder spends five hours cooking up a storm in his kitchen, preparing 80 kilograms of vegetarian curry and rice, which he then serves as a free lunch. After arriving from the Punjab region with his family in 2006, Tejinder endured a racist tirade of abuse while transporting a passenger which inspired the humble man to break down the negative prejudice associated with turbans. Funding the feast each month from his own pocket, Tejinder attributes his generosity to his deep Sikh faith. His work has inspired three other groups to take up the cause to distribute free food to the homeless on Sundays. And the hungry and thirsty come flocking when they see Tejinder’s van, emblazoned with the sign “free Indian food for hungry and needy people.

Northern Territory Chief Minister, Michael Gunner, recognised the recipients that included Indigenous leader, Andrea Mason. NT 2017 Senior Australian Award winner  85 year old community champion, Sister Anne Gardiner AM,   2017 Northern Territory Young Australian of the Year is 24 year old healthy living advocate, Bridie Duggan and Tejinder Pal Singh NT Local Hero for  their outstanding efforts and contributions to the NT community and the nation.

“These inspirational people epitomise selflessness by often putting others before themselves,” Mr Gunner said.

“We can all learn from their efforts and hard work in helping make our communities and the whole of the Northern Territory a better place to live and work.

“Our recipients hail from vastly different backgrounds yet they all have one thing in common ”“ they have an overwhelming desire to help others.”

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