Austral Sikh Mission Centre receives funding boost

Sikh Mission Centre secretary Bawa Jagdev said their $20,000 state government grant will boost the Sikh community's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and allow for better engagement to improve testing and vaccination rates and support services.

Multiculturalism Minister Natalie Ward visited the centre's Austral temple on Tuesday to meet with leaders and volunteers after the organisation was awarded the grant through the $5.25 million Empowering and Supporting Local Communities program.

Sikh Mission Centre was founded in 1988 and opened its Austral temple, or gurudwara, in 2010.

"It's vitally important that we continue to produce resources in Punjabi, so vulnerable members of our community don't miss out on key health messages or the help they need," Mr Jagdev said.

Mrs Ward today said the "important program" is supporting 279 local projects across NSW.

"I'm delighted that our Sikh community will benefit from this support," she said.

"We know our multicultural community organisations play a vital role in delivering important public health messages, and this has been especially important during the COVID pandemic.

"This funding will allow the temple to support the community through direct conversations over the phone, in person and online to support testing and local vaccination bookings."

Camden MP Peter Sidgreaves said the Sikh Mission Centre has "worked tirelessly" to ensure its community members have the right information and tools to cope with COVID-19.

The temple, which is a place of worship for about 5000 members of the local Sikh community, offers free meals and support services to vulnerable people.

"This grant will ensure the great work continues as our local community gets stronger following a very difficult time," Mr Sidgreaves said.