Sandipan Mitra, local hero
For more than 60 years the Australian of the Year Awards have celebrated the achievements and contributions that unique individuals make to our community and society. This year we are very proud to speak about one such person, Sandipan Mitra, a finalist in the Australian of the Year Local Hero category. We know him as Sandi. He is an unassuming man, but his character and passion speak with volume.
Sandi has worked with us for seven years. Now employed by our subsidiary company, Service One Financial Services as a Senior Lender for Bendigo Bank, he goes above and beyond the call for customers both new and existing, but that’s not why he’s been nominated for this auspicious award.
Sandi’s has come a long way. He experienced extreme poverty during his childhood and now his obvious enthusiasm for life and desire to help others sets him apart. He is inspiring: a community leader known for tackling social inequity.
Among his achievements, Sandi helps children by employing low-cost tutors to provide free tuition, and partners with local senior care facilities to provide residents with opportunities for interaction.
During COVID he distributed food and supplies, provided essentials to international students and free meals to healthcare workers, organised online wellbeing seminars, and assisted vulnerable and elderly community members. Sandi also stood against the resurgence of racism during lockdowns.
Sandi created an event, Stories That Matter, to celebrate the lives of migrants and refugees that have settled in Canberra. Through the Indian Australian Association Canberra, of which he is President, fundraising events shine a light on mental health issues, the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Painaustralia and CARE Australia among others.
Sandi is also a winner of the ACT Outstanding Excellence Award for Diversity and Inclusion. His many contributions foster unity, compassion and inclusivity among the ACT community, and we are very proud to know him and to work alongside him. Congratulations Sandi!