Multicultural Watch-Moments With Reena–Surendra Prasad

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Surendra Prasad OAM, By Reena Augustine

 

Moments With Reena had the absolute delightful pleasure of interviewing one of the kindest and most sincere human beings you will ever meet, Mr Surendra Prasad OAM, at his home in Wishart, Queensland.

 

At the age of 73, this gentleman, in every sense of the word, continues to dedicate himself to the community and still retains a sparkle in his eyes. Even more remarkable is that, when he looks at you, he does so with a look of total honesty in his eyes of wanting nothing from you other than to say hello and to be happy to meet you.

 

The Indian Community in Brisbane has many different elements to it and follows a structure which one could say is of old fashioned values. That said, these old fashioned values certainly do not do anyone any harm and come with an unwritten expectation to honour thy self – something this man clearly does every day.

 

Dressed impeccably in pristine suit, shirt and tie, Surendra presents, carries and speaks with eloquence and dignity. The old saying of the shine on your shoes saying a lot about you is worthy of mention as his shoes were like mirrors.

 

Being the driving force behind creating the Federation of Indian Community Queensland (FICQ) was something he was and still is extremely passionate about. It is this community based group which saw him unite many different Indian groups together.

 

‘We are here to help people in any way we can. It’s about giving and doing and actions speak louder than words ever will. I always do what I can within the community and will continue to do so for as long as I am able – I don’t know anything else.’

 

In 1991 Mr Prasad was instrumental in establishing a Hindu temple in Brisbane…but this was the very first one and to be able to do this took a lot of dedication and commitment to ensure it happened. ‘If you are going to start something then make sure you finish it’ said Surendra.

 

He has held many positions over the years, with some of the highlights being; Vice President of the Fiji Community Association, and is President of the Lions Club of Brisbane Macgregor. He was the founder of the Jyoti Women’s Club and the Fiji Senior Citizens Satsang Association of Queensland, and is patron of Sanatan Youth Sports Club.

 

One of the prestigious positions he has also held was as the Director of the Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland. He was also the Chairman of the finance & audit committee and Chairman of the Multicultural Summit. The Deputy Chairman of Diversity Care was yet another position he held too.

 

He has also worked with leaders of other faiths on many occasions to promote peace and harmony in society which is an action-based continuance of his belief we are all one race. His ongoing commitment to demonstrating a holistic approach to including everyone in society regardless of cultural, ethnic or religious background is an absolute joy to hear and discuss with him.

 

At a time when many have retired and are slowing down, Surendra shows no signs of allowing this to happen. In fact, if anything, he seems to be quickening the pace!

 

His family are extremely supportive and he continues to be an extremely well respected member of the Queensland Community breaking down barriers and stereotypes along the way.

 

The interview for Moments With Reena could have gone a lot longer than it did because when you hear and meet this man and share a room with him, you realise with absolute 100% certainty we are all one human race and we should be helping one another more.

 

If this wonderful man can be so active at 73, be so giving and nurturing of other’s needs, then there is no excuse as to why everyone else cannot be equally as open and active.

 

From the entire team at Moments With Reena we wholeheartedly thank Mr Prasad for his time, dedication to the community and for inviting us into his home to talk with us.

 

We have more amazing people coming your way and will look forward to sharing their stories with you in the coming weeks.

 

Until we meet again, enjoy every moment.

 

Best wishes,

 

Reena

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