‘It is helping and supporting each other, that’s who we are’

‘It is helping and supporting each other, that’s who we are’

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Community Citizen of the Year award winner Mamta Kochhar. Photograph — Aaron Van Rongen.

This year’s Community Citizen of the Year award was awarded to Mamta Kochhar for her contribution to helping migrants and refugees in Canning.

Being a migrant herself, Ms Kochhar said she understood what was needed in the community so she decided to make a difference.

“To me this award means encouragement,” she said.

“There are many people in our community who are doing more work than I am but it is great to get something like this recognised.

“These are some of the features of the Australian community and it is helping and
supporting each other that’s who we are.”

Ms Kochhar said her contribution in the community started a few years ago, which she was head of a program involving skills for education and employment for migrants and refugees.

Whilst teaching English she formed an independent group that would actively gather a diverse number of migrant and refugees that needed to interact and get together with their own community.

The group was able to meet as an intercultural group in a Canning library and six months later thanks to Inclusion Solutions, United in Diversity WA was formed
in 2014.

The organisation was formed with the aim to engage, support and include culturally and linguistically diverse community members who did not have the opportunities to share their talents and skills with the community.

Ms Kochhar also said this award was in the name of all those people involved in the organisation and in particular Hoda Kabbara who is the treasurer and active volunteer of the Kitchen of Diversity a catering service that originated in 2018.

“The aim of our organisation is to foster social cohesion,” she said.

“I hope the community continues to support us in the long term.”