Some thoughts on YSPN’s Elevate 2020 Conference and the Sangat of the Future

In Blog, Events, Reflections by Dya SinghLeave a Comment

I was honoured to attend the YSPN Conference/Dinner in Melbourne on Saturday 22nd February. After seeing the professionalism and calibre of the youth who put the event together, it was heartwarming to note that our community’s future is in safe hands. You all should be very proud of yourselves. I certainly am.

I have had certain passions in this lifetime, one of which is to inspire Sikh youth to find general Sikh philosophy relevant in their lives especially as a tool for self-improvement, in addition to our visual identity and other more mainstream features. In this passion of mine, SYA has played a great part over the last 20 years, as a vehicle to promote a progressive brand of Sikh religious ideology that I represent. Now, YSPN has also begun to play a similar role, as a guide for the Sikh community globally, in promoting what is sometimes less well-recognised, the other parts of our identity, one of vibrant economic, professional and social contribution.

I have not had much—in fact any part—in the growth and development of YSPN, until yesterday (I was invited to attend as speaker for Elevate 2019, but was unable to attend). I was totally flabbergasted at the professionalism and quality of the YSPN Team that was involved, whether it was on stage, or in the production of the event. The team was extremely talented, and professional right through from the emceeing, by Malika Singh Kanwar; the speeches by Preet Toki, and Ramneek Singh; to the moderation and interviewing by Jaibeer Singh, Preety Bains, and Manisha Pannu; and finally the facilitation by the workshop captains! We certainly have a group of young professionals we can be proud of.

It’s not only in the sphere of delivering events that this team excels. Last year’s Economic Impact Report of Sikhs on Australia, is another indication of the professionalism, capability and clear direction of the organisation.

It’s immensely pleasing to see the hard work and vision that this young group of Sikh professionals espouses is not going unrecognised. The fact that the event was able to attract the likes of Mr Gurmesh Singh, the first Sikh MP in NSW Parliament, and Member for Coffs Harbour, as well as keynote speaker Mr DD Saxena, and Pam Bains, was most inspiring! That the organisation has been able to pull together an advisory board comprising some of the most eminent Sikhs in Australia and New Zealand is a reflection of its calibre and bodes very well for its future.

But where to from here? An amazingly clear direction was presented by Chair, Ramneek Singh, at the dinner, and some very inspiring Sewa (selfless service) directives were workshopped and put forward. I look forward to how the team will deliver on this over the next three years. But I feel this is not enough. Efforts must be found to draw more Sikh young professionals to become members of this network, to see its value, so that they can contribute back their own, in the vision articulated in the new YSPN strategy. It’s with the efforts of all from our community that we will be able to rise even further.

I’m confident that this is possible because what I witnessed was priceless for a young Sikh professional: the camaraderie, the networking, the professionalism, the mentoring, the ‘Sangat’. I could go on, but I’ll finish with this, that I wish I was 40 years younger, so that I too could be an active member of YSPN. I am simply full of admiration for you guys. Well done.

Thank you again for inviting me yesterday, I look forward to seeing what our youth and YSPN will deliver, and being part of this journey more fully over the years to come.

Dya Singh

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