Nepali ‘Jwain’ Praveen Kumar to contest local council elections from Moreland City Council

For Praveen Kumar, political representation which includes all facets of multicultural Australia has been an important issue. Keeping this in mind, he announced his candidacy as a Labor endorsed candidate for the North-west ward of Moreland City Council.

His ward, which includes Glenroy, Pascoe Vale, Oak Park, Hadfield and Gowanbrea, is home to several multicultural societies and accommodates one of the largest Nepali population living in Victoria. Having lived 20 years of his life in the area, Mr. Kumar is in tune with the area’s strengths and problems – making him a promising candidate to represent the North West Ward of Moreland City Council.

Kumar, who has been an active community member of Moreland area, especially the Nepali community is also nicknamed “Nepali Jwai (son/brother-in-law). He met his wife, Pooja Rawal from Kathmandu, Nepal in Singapore. They have been raising their family in the Moreland area, and Kumar proudly boasts about the multicultural environment of his own home.

“Apart from English, we speak three other languages at home – Nepali, Hindi, and Telegu. We have 3 kids and they like mo:mos and biryani”, he shares enthusiastically about his family.

Kumar, his wife Pooja, and his three children smile for a family portrait. (Image: Supplied)

When asked for the inspiration behind contesting local level elections, Praveen cites lack of representation within the community being the principal driver behind his decision.

“Nepalis, and South-Asians are engaged in multiple sectors, we have several community members operating local businesses, others in leading jobs across multiple professions – but we lack political representation. Increased political representation will add inclusivity, and further strengthen our community. It will also be beneficial for our future generations”, he shares with Nepalese Voice.

Praveen, who was working as a Political Advisor to the Federal Member of Parliament Mr. Peter Khalil MP until recently, also shares his vision for Moreland City Council with Nepalese Voice.

Keeping sustainable development as his core vision, he has promised to work for the people of Moreland – North West Ward by understanding their concerns, and priortising their needs in every decision.

He has promised to promote a local economic recovery which has been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and will encourage sustainable development that meets the need of the community without jeopardizing local amenity, or clogging the ward’s streets.

Praveen has also promised to advocate for services that families rely on via advocating for more funding towards local childcare, maternal health services, and quality aged care. He will be opposing unfair parking changes, and will vote against unfair increases to rate and support relief for those navigating through tough times.

Kumar has also promised to work towards making the community a safe and secure place for residents. He plans to request for increased lighting and CCTV surveillance, and will advocate for more training and education on families dealing with Domestic Violence.

Working towards a healthy community, Praveen also intends to allocate spaces for parks and grounds and add more sporting facilities where residents can play, exercise or have a recreational time.

Praveen has also worked with several Nepali organisations based in Victoria, and has assured he will be working with the community more extensively. He also shares his vision to advocate for a Sister City Agreement with a city in Nepal and Moreland City Council. “A Sister City Agreement will have many economic benefits in the form of tourism and education apart from improved cultural relationship”, he adds.

Re-visiting the importance of representation, Praveen shares his belief in the Labor Party of Australia.

“Labor Party stands for its people. In Victoria, throughout the crisis, the Labor Party has extended unwavering support to its people, including its temporary migrants and international students. The Party has stood by its multicultural communities – take for example, the recent AUD 100,000 grant to Didi Bahini Samaj Victoria and the Victorian Nepali Covid-19 Relief Taskforce.  The Victorian Government’s support further reinforced my belief in the Labor Party of Australia.”

Concluding his interview, Praveen spoke of Australia, and its people. “Australia is a welcoming country. I myself arrived here as an international student in 2000. In my 20 years in Australia, I have raised my family, and have built my life here. I have always been treated as a valuable member of Australia, and that has always made me feel honoured. I look forward to serving the country that has helped me become myself, albeit one community at a time”.

Mr. Praveen Kumar will be contesting for the local council elections to be held in Victoria in October 2020.