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Turbans 4 Australia Joins Forces With Convoy For Kids Sydney

In a major coup, the inaugural Harmony Day event being staged this weekend by charitable organisation Turbans 4 Australia  – and sponsored by NTI and TruckAssist – has joined forces with Convoy For Kids Sydney to stage a much larger combined event that will better promote multiculturalism within the Australian trucking industry.

With widespread flooding in the Hawkesbury region, the convoy will now travel a 25-kilometre route from its traditional starting point of Sydney Raceway at Huntingwood, along Ferrers Road, The Horsley Drive, Cowpasture Road and Hoxton Park Road, arriving at the Harmony Day event at the Liverpool Catholic Club “green area” around 8am. Normally the convoy runs from Huntingwood to the Hawkesbury Showground.

Convoy For Kids Sydney president Mark Smallwood says the event’s usual activities – including rides, food stalls, displays, auction, monster raffle, truck viewing and more – will now be held on sporting fields backing on to Liverpool Catholic Club, accessed via Joadja Road.

Despite recent bad weather he expects between 300-500 trucks to take part in the convoy. While most trucks will be forced to park on the roadside due to limited off-street parking, he’s hopeful a selection of approximately 20 of the best rigs will be on show in the main precinct.

Turbans 4 Australia founder Amar Singh says he welcomes the approach from Convoy For Kids Sydney to join forces.

Founded in 1992, the annual Convoy For Kids Sydney has grown into a large event attracting more than 500 trucks. Funds raised on the day will go to the Newborn & Paediatric Emergency Transport Service (NETS), a state-wide service which provides 24-7 expert clinical advice, clinical co-ordination, emergency treatment and stabilisation and inter-hospital transport for very sick or injured babies and children up to the age of 16 years.

“We can’t preach harmony and not practice it,” says Singh, who founded Turbans 4 Australia in 2015 with the aim of establishing a charitable organisation to enable fellow Australians to receive a glimpse of Australia’s 150,000-strong Sikh community and its “honourable beliefs”, which include “equality, respect, benevolence and help extended irrespective of caste and creed”.

Since it began seven years ago, Turbans 4 Australia has helped people in need, both in Australia and abroad, from driving seven semi-trailers full of hay to drought-stricken farmers in Coonamble, to providing supplies to the victims of Cyclone Marcia in Queensland, to helping renovate a community hub in Mount Druitt.

Just recently it has been hard at work organising and transporting much-needed supplies to victims of the floods in and around Lismore in northern NSW.

Sunday will also see the launch of a new social enterprise, Green and Gold Charity Logistics, which will aim to provide logistics support to Australian community-based charities, some on a “paid” and others on a “pay forward” basis.

Singh says the Harmony Day event, to be held on Sunday, March 20, from 11am to 5pm, aims to promote multiculturalism based around the theme ‘Everyone Belongs’.

Staged in partnership with Multicultural NSW and the Liverpool Council – and with support from sponsors including NTI, NHVR and RMS NSW, the event will feature food stalls and a BBQ, multicultural performances, a jumping castle, petting zoo, and daytime fireworks. They’ll also be a show-and-shine, with Penske committing to prizes for the best three trucks: $1,500 for first, $1,000 for second and $800 for third.

In particular, Singh, who runs a family-owned transport business in western Sydney, says the event seeks to counter the “hatred and racism” that’s running rife in the trucking industry, especially on social media.

“I’ve seen a lot of hatred, a lot of racism, which seems to be treated as normal. But if transport was a normal 9-5 office environment it wouldn’t happen at all. It’s not very nice, and it’s not what Australia is about,” he says, noting that drivers from multicultural backgrounds are being criticised for poor driving skills when the licensing system is to blame.

“The main point of the event is to create harmony. [The trucking industry] should be sticking together, asking for better roads, better truck stops, a better licensing system. We need to stick together, and we need to work together to raise awareness among the general public about what the transport industry does.”

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