Auckland Event 1: Your Career Journey with Sarv Girn

In Events by sakshamkapoorLeave a Comment


On Friday 4th May, YSPN Auckland held ‘Your Career Journey’, the first keynote event for 2018. The event featured Sarv Girn, arguably the highest ranking Sikh in corporate Australia and New Zealand, with the title of CIO of The Reserve Bank of Australia as one of his most recent accolades.

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The 2018 inaugural event, hosted by the Young Sikh Professionals Network (YSPN) was opened by Sarv Girn, the CIO of The Reserve Bank of Australia. Girn has a career spanning of over 25 years within the global banking industry and is one of the highest ranking Sikhs in Corporate Australia. Sarv Girn is a banker, visionary and a truly transformative individual with firm cultural grounding as a Sikh. The ambience in the room was one of respect and awe as a person of such calibre walked to the podium with such grace and humility, resonating with the concept of ‘nimrata’ as we all hear in the Gurbani. Mr. Girn’s addressed the YSPN network with grace and humility; his interactive keynotes inspired the urge to encourage change, challenge ourselves and accelerate growth within our professional lives.

Sarv opened his keynote by sharing with us the most significant and impactful events of his career journey with lessons learned thus far and stressed upon the idea that “education does not finish upon the completion of a degree”. Girn highlighted the importance of planning versus being spontaneous or in the moment and this resonated with most of the audience as millennials confirmed, through a show of hands, believing in ‘just do it.’

Education doesn't finish upon the completion of a degree

The importance of branding yourself as an individual while, detaching yourself from a comfort zone and the importance of networking were all topics that were portrayed along with examples from his own life. Girn shared with us his regret of not pursuing law because of his fear of not being able to succeed in the industry due to his cultural background.

Girn’s life is one filled with success, failures, and opportunities. He believes that the key ingredients to having a fulfilling career are all about finding the right mentor, wise networking, practical experience and development planning. This information, to a younger audience, who at this stage were internalizing their progress, proved to be invaluable. However, as a room filled with young professionals, the consensus and conversations from the post networking event have been that this event has been the catalyst for taking ownership in their career/educational journeys for the rest of the year. The evening concluded with a question and answer session where a standard line from many was that ‘I am glad I am not in this alone’ which resonates to the modus operandi of YSPN: creating the environment where young Sikhs can succeed and amplify their influence.

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Sydney Event 1: Defining Your Voice

In Events, Reflections by sakshamkapoorLeave a Comment


Sydney's first event as part of the Defining Your Voice series held across the country sought to equip our members with the skills to be confident public speakers, and help them in achieving their goals in their personal and professional lives. Featuring noted panelists from Sydney's Startup scene, Lily Wu and Vaibhav Namburi, the event had over 25 attendees from different industries and experience levels. Ending in a series of speeches by members chosen as strongest among their group, the interactive workshop allowed everyone to develop their skills in a safe environment.

The key takeaway from the event was to adapt your message to the situation.

If this sounds like an event you would have benefited from, come along to our future events!

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Sydney kicked off our 2018 events calendar with our Defining Your Voice series held across Australia. Featuring Lily Wu of Austern International and Vaibhav Namburi of Five2One, the event tried to give our audience the tools to be confident public speakers, with a workshop allowing them to practice what they'd learnt among their peers.

The event also launched our theme for the year, start with a whisper, end with a roar.

Some of the key takeaways from both speakers are below:

Lily Wu

  • It's all about how you position a situation - the $40 bond she got as a downpayment on the shoes was actually (partially) also due to a lack of cash - i.e. a WC loan from her customers
  • It’s all about your network – 100 direct contacts = 200,000 indirect contacts
  • Defining moment for ‘finding her voice’ – realising that entrepreneurship gave her an avenue to explore her talent/passion
  • People care about your why – mould your situation according to the target audience

Vaibhav Namburi

  • Be resilient – he failed IELTS 9 times but didn’t give up
  • Job ads means the company is desperate to find people
    • Reach out to your network first to find opportunities
  • Cold-messaging (through LinkedIn) is effective
    • Shows confidence and the drive to ‘fake it till you make it’
  • The majority of (73%) people posting about entrepreneurship are actually ‘wantrepreneuers’ – the ones actually working just work without telling everyone about it
    • Nothing wrong with not working at a job – you’ll eventually be friends with the bosses of those who are
  • You can sell all you want, but no one will buy it if you don’t know what you’re selling
    • Say what your audience wants to hear
      • Know/research your audience

Key takeaway

Adapt your message depending on the situation

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YSPN Sydney Presents: “Defining Your Voice”; a Public Speaking Workshop

In by redolencetechLeave a Comment

YSPN would like to invite you to “Defining your voice”, a public speaking workshop hosted by affiliates of Toastmasters International and YSPN Sydney.

This collaborative, multi-group workshop will aim to help people overcome their nerves, face their fears & teach them basic techniques of public speaking with the aim of defining their own unique voice.

Whether you are creating a business case for a new idea, promoting your candidacy in an interview, or making a memorable impression on a date…or a networking event, you will learn how to use effective public speaking to strengthen your communications. In addition, you will learn leadership listening; how to unpack the obstacles and biases that impede listening and discover the power to overcome judgement, opinions and interpretations. Through effective facilitation by our speakers, and short working exercises, you will gain the necessary skills to improve your public speaking skills and further define your voice.

Public speaking is one of the most impactful and connective means of communicating with others. On this night, together, we will explore techniques on how to improve our communication skills to nail that job interview, win that sales pitch or tell your story.

Facilitated by skilled affiliates of Toastmasters International, this workshop will be interactive and engaging to give you those necessary foundations in public speaking whilst still maintaining a friendly and fun atmosphere. These Toastmasters are no strangers to expert public speaking workshops, having delivered and critiqued many high-level speeches from many Sydney professionals. The workshop will involve the following:

Learn your Ice Breaker;
Organising your speech;
Getting to the point;
How to say it; and, finally,
Your body speaks.
This interactive workshop will be a great chance to enhance your skills to ensure that you continue to become the leaders in your chosen fields.

Please join us in what will be another memorable event with this upcoming collaboration!

YSPN Fundraising Dinner with Alex Bhathal

In Blog by sakshamkapoorLeave a Comment

On Monday 25th February, three members of the Young Sikh Professionals Network (YSPN), among other Sikh organisations, attended a fundraising dinner to support Alex Bhathal’s campaign for the Batman By-Election. In addition to Alex, the event hosted other key members of The Greens Political Party including, Richard Di Natale (Australian Senator and Leader of the Australian Greens) and Huong Truong (First Vietnamese Australian woman to sit in an Australian Parliament).

Ms Bhathal hopes to prevail in the Batman By-Election on 17th March, which was triggered by the resignation of the Labour MP David Feeney as a result of his dual citizenship.

Ms Bhathal a social worker in the electorate for over 30 years has high hopes of winning the By-Election, having lost the 2016 Federal Election, by less than 2,000 votes. The result was driven largely by the proportion of Liberal preferences going to Labor. This year, the Liberal Party will not be fielding a candidate, boosting Alex’s chances.

The event was an overwhelming success raising in excess of $10,000 in a matter of minutes and exceeding the pre-event target of $7,000. The event included speeches from numerous influential Sikh organisations; including Preet Toki, Team Lead of YSPN Melbourne who spoke about YSPN’s mission: to create the conditions for young Sikhs to succeed, and amplify their influence in the Australian Community, as well as its recent achievements.

Ms Bhathal has been a strong supporter of YSPN, and was keynote speaker at the YSPN Annual Summit in 2016 and at a recent Event in Melbourne in November 2017. A win for Ms Bhathal will be a boost for the Sikh community and supporters of the Australian Greens, becoming the first Sikh Australian to be elected to Federal Parliament, and second member of the Australian Greens, joining Adam Bandt from the neighboring seat of Melbourne in the House of Representatives.

YSPN Crowdfunding Campaign 2017

In Announcements, Blog, Reflections by sakshamkapoorLeave a Comment

YSPN are launching our 2017/18 crowdfunding campaign and we need your support to reach our $50K goal. You, our valued supporters helped us smash our $10k goal last year, and we want to go even further this year.

With your help, in 2018 we aim to bring you:

All-star cast of speakers and a digitised experience of our events
Enhanced non-event offering across mentoring and content publication
Truly global network following the early success of our first international chapter
Don’t forget to spread the word and donate generously!

We also have an exciting range of perks just for you including exclusive meet & greet opportunities and of course, awesome YSPN merch!

Check it out on

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Leadership and Diversity in a Changing Market

In Events by Ramneek SinghLeave a Comment

Folding his hands and greeting his entire audience with a ‘Sat Shri Akal’ was how our guest, Rashpal Bhatti, greeted and stole the attention of all the attendees during our marquee event. Donned in a crisp white turban and a finely stitched suit, no one would have imagined the Vice President Marketing (Freight) of BHP would have exuded this extent of humility to his audience.

In his calm and soft-spoken voice, Rashpal shared with his audience that he owed his success to his parents who immigrated to Britain in the 1960s from Nairobi, Kenya. Life for his family was not a piece of cake, as they had to go through periods of racial discrimination and being ostracised by many individuals who failed to recognise their identity and respect the background they came from. That did not stop Rashpal’s parents from working hard to provide him with the best education they possibly could. This was when Rashpal’s innate drive and mission to make his parents proud began as he excelled in his academics across various renowned education institutions in Britain.

Confidently quoting various verses from the Guru Granth Sahib and then translating it into English, Rashpal engaged the audience and shared with great conviction on the importance of humility and lifelong learning to be successful at whatever anyone pursued – one of the tenets of Sikhism. Rashpal then progressed to engage the audience with his personal experiences of being adaptive, resilient and agile to be a more effective leader in his organisation.

During the span of his career working across various multinational organisations, Rashpal admits that his journey was far from easy. He faced several challenges but modestly admits how he overcame them by developing his resilience and his ability to rebound, managing his level of mental and emotional openness and also focussing on continuous development to bring him to where he stands today.

Rashpal ended his talk with a famous quote from the late Sumantra Ghoshal, an Indian scholar: “Leaders are not paid to preside over the inevitable; they are paid to make it happen what otherwise would not have happened.” This quote left the entire audience in awe on how Rashpal could articulate his thoughts and communicate his experiences through a mix of spirituality, facts and faith.

After the event, there was immense positive feedback from the audience. For Joel Lim, an intern at Navitas, said that this was the first YSPN event he attended. Beaming from ear to ear, Joel said, “I am greatly impressed by the event as well as the valuable opportunity to network with Rashpal and other honourable guests from diverse careers. I look forward to attend future events organised by YSPN Perth.”

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YSPN Summit 2017 reflections by Sofia Kaur

In Blog, Reflections, Summit by Ramneek SinghLeave a Comment

There is something incredibly enthralling about our human capacity to connect, to love and to put a piece of our minds and hearts into something that is not ourselves. Look at a mother’s love; a teacher’s commitment or a musician’s devotion to their art.

On the weekend of the 16th/17th September, I spent the better part of 48 hours with a group of thirty-something young leaders intent on pouring themselves, wholly and without hesitation, into an organisation and vision that transcended their own.

The 2017 Young Sikh Professional Network’s Leadership Summit was more than a weekend of strategy and planning; it was proof of the power that a giving and committed collective wield – a fitting reminder of Margaret Mead’s insistence that we must never doubt that a small group of thoughtful and dedicated citizens can, indeed, change the world.

2017 has seen the birth of YSPN’s first international chapter; our entity is new with a membership that calls a sleepy cluster of islands at the bottom of the world home. We have always looked up at the flourishing diaspora of apne (our own) across the Tasman Sea, our eyes wide and admiring, like an eager younger sibling wanting to join in. In July this year, we launched YSPN in New Zealand to a room of over 100 young professionals. In conversation with these young people, one particularly compelling sentiment resounded, and in reflecting on the success of the launch, it occurred to me that it wasn’t just the stunning venue, or the wisdom shared by our guest speakers, or even the relevance of the kaupapa (the agenda) of the event that made that launch a success – it was simply that YSPN was needed.

Being a part of YSPN’s international expansion is exciting as it is: to be able to take bold actions and make brave moves in creating conditions for our young people to succeed is, in equal parts, exhilarating, humbling and fulfilling. To be a young Sikh woman learning to enact a purposeful leadership in sewa (service) of our community is a whole new experience of empowerment.

Of course, this endeavour is not without challenge. There is an entrenched status quo; a slowly unravelling youth apathy; the navigation of a previously uncharted space where ‘us’ and ‘them’ meet and of course, the inevitable roadblocks of any pioneering effort. Being the first people to do something for the first time demands tenacity and tact – a learning familiar to those who have worked tirelessly over the years to make YSPN what it is today in Australia, and a learning that we carry as we approach these challenges face-on in our city.

The fruits of a mother’s love, a teacher’s commitment or a musician’s devotion to their art are plentiful. With our sibling chapters as our muse, an incredibly adept team on the ground, and a weekend spent at the Summit enveloped in the wairua (spirit) of an enduring commitment to the cause, I cannot wait to be witness to the impact YSPN will undoubtedly have on our young people, our community, and our legacy.

Mā te wā – until next time.

Sofia and the YSPN Auckland team

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Creating the Society We Want to Live In with Sapreet Kaur

In Blog, Events by amardeep.gillLeave a Comment

It’s all too easy to feel helpless in today’s era of fake news; the rapid flow of news and even faster reactions makes it easy to feel overwhelmed. Sapreet Kaur, Executive Director of the Sikh Coalition showed that the smallest actions while seemingly insignificant, can snowball into large movements over time.

Speaking at YSPN events in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney, Sapreet illustrated how her parents inculcated values of sewa in their children through making sandwiches for the homeless. Her belief in the powerful of small, targeted actions in shifting our societies is energizing and communicates vital messages of our roles as human in being socially and civically conscious.

Simren Samrai from Indian Link, wrote about how individuals can drive lasting change, and her own experiences listening to Sapreet in Sydney, you can read more here:

YSPN Brisbane team members Manpreet and Simran Selected to Participate in GC2018 Multicultural Community Ambassador Program

In Announcements by Ramneek SinghLeave a Comment

Manpreet and Simran from YSPN Brisbane announced as GC2018 Commonwealth Games Ambassadors

About the program

The GC2018 Multicultural Community Ambassador Program has been developed to engage cultural communities, working with community leaders to maximise awareness and engagement and drive attendance to events. There will be 400 multicultural community ambassadors from communities across Australia representing Commonwealth nations.  YSPN is honoured to be represented by two Brisbane-based team members – Manpreet Kaur and Simran Kaur.

Participation in the program is on an honorary volunteer basis and multicultural community ambassadors are selected by appointment only and are key community influencers who are acknowledged leaders in the following areas:

  • Community organisations
  • Sports players, fans and administrators
  • Local Government
  • Community VIP/ Celebrity/ Social
  • Community media
  • Community festivals
  • Student groups
  • Embassies/ Consulate

The role of a Multicultural Community Ambassador is provide for a successful GC2018 Commonwealth Games, through the following initiatives:

  • To promote GC2018 through events, social media and personal networks
  • Where possible and relevant promote GC2018 through community organisation

channels and groups

  • Provide cultural entertainment options for events
  • Group ticket sales to create community fan bays

We are so proud of you Manpreet and Simran, congratulations again!

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2017 IABCA Awards Community Excellence Finalists!

In Announcements by Ramneek SinghLeave a Comment

We’re proud to reveal that YSPN has been nominated for the India Australia Business & Community (IABCA) 2017 awards.

IABCA celebrates the Australia-India relationship while honouring migrant entrepreneurship and community leadership. The awards acknowledge migrants and organisations, who have achieved and contributed to our Australia. The IABCA raises awareness of Indians in Australia and Australians in India, encouraging further growth in relations between the two countries.

YSPN was nominated under the Community Excellence category, in recognition of being the largest professional network targeted at Sikhs in the world, and hosted over 45 marquee events since being founded in 2012.

To read more about our nomination, check out the IABCA category page. You can learn more about YSPN, our mission and success to date through our About Us page.