When Moninder Singh took his oath of office it was a historic day not just for Blacktown but for Australia. Mr Singh is believed to be the second Sikh to be elected to local government in the country. He follows in the footsteps of Coffs Harbour deputy mayor John Arkan, who was elected to the […]
When Moninder Singh took his oath of office it was a historic day not just for Blacktown but for Australia.
Mr Singh is believed to be the second Sikh to be elected to local government in the country. He follows in the footsteps of Coffs Harbour deputy mayor John Arkan, who was elected to the coastal council in 2008.
In his first address to council, Mr Singh spoke about his pride in representing his community.
“I am very proud to be a councillor of this great city and today am equally proud to be an Australian – my adopted country, which not only allows everyone to practice their faith but also has given me the opportunity to take my oath on the Sikh Holy Book,” he said last week.
“I stand here a very humbled citizen.”
A former university professor, Mr Singh moved from India to Quakers Hill in 2001.
In 2008 he started the company Australian Academy of Management and Science. The organisation trains 150 disability care graduates a year.
Mr Singh was elected to ward one, which is also represented by fellow Labor councillor Chris Quilkey and Liberal councillor Jess Diaz.
The northern ward, which covers suburbs including Riverstone, Rouse Hill, Kellyville Ridge and Stanhope Gardens, was the closest contest in the local government election.
Mr Singh said he is committed to mayor Stephen Bali’s vision for Blacktown, including attracting a multi-faculty university to the city. He wants to help the council deliver a 20-year blueprint to the state government that would accommodate for predicted population growth.
“The way we are growing, we will be approaching the half-million mark very shortly. That is equal to what we have in Tasmania today,” he said. “Blacktown has a lot of opportunities but there’s a lot of challenges.”
The educator said population growth and infrastructure is also the biggest concern for ward one.
He has promised to host regular meetings with constituents, and is planning to visit railway stations, shopping centres and coffee shops each month to hear local concerns.