President George de Souza attended the Vaisakhi Celebrations and to commemorate Sikh Volunteer Australia’s (SVA) 10th anniversary at Bunjil Place, Narre Warren on Sunday 7 April 2024.
Rotary Camberwell was amongst a large number of individuals, representatives from Vic Police, SES, Fire Rescue Victoria, faith leaders, school and college principals, volunteers, volunteer organisations and SVA staff members who were recognized on the day. Overall, more than 238 Appreciation Certificates were awarded. Amongst the guests were Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan, Victorian Opposition Leader John Pesutto, Bruce MP Julian Hill and many more. The Governor-General of Australia His Excellency David Hurley AC DSC (Retired) and on behalf of Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley sent a message of congratulations by video. 
The Prime Minister and the Victorian Premier addressed the gathering respectfully wearing traditional Sikh turban and scarf. Referring to the SVA Mr. Albanese said 'They do extraordinary work. During the pandemic they provided food for students who were in desperate need for that support. During the bushfires, during floods… wherever there are issues confronting Australians, we see the best of the Australian character and there's no community organisation that has done more than Sikh Volunteers Australia. We see them whether it be here in Victoria, or up in Lismore (where he discovered Sikh volunteers were not as he expected from the local area but had driven up from Melbourne), wherever there are floods or natural weather events, we see people putting their values into practice by providing that support to their fellow Australians who are in need.' 
These sentiments were echoed by many others. A recurring theme is that the SVA doesn’t just aspire to do community service they demonstrate their community service through their food vans serving meals to the disadvantaged and emergency workers. They can be relied on for immediate response to emergencies.
The SVA received the Australian Human Rights Heroes 2020 Award for their efforts during Covid lock downs.
The final message addressing the broader audience is the vital role of volunteers to not only be there when needed but their presence symbolizes a community that cares.
What is Vaisakhi?
For Sikhs, Vaisakhi represents two celebrations - the harvest and it is also the day commemorating the establishment of the Khalsa, the Sikh warrior community, in 1699. The 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, chose this day to unite his followers and establish a code of conduct for the Khalsa. The code represents the triumph of good over evil, the importance of selfless service and the courage to stand up for one’s beliefs. The Sikh community embodies these values and the festival celebrates the spirit of courage, sacrifice and community service regardless of religion or background.