Officer Cadet, Australian Army Reserve

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My name is Satbir Singh Kahlon, and I’m officer cadet at Melbourne University Regiment.

I came to Victoria in 2002, February. Originally I’m back from India. For me, to be able to live somewhere and at the same time being able to contribute to that state or community is a very big thing.

That was one of the biggest reasons I applied for Army Reserves. I belong to an organisation where I can feel sense of belonging, where everyone is equal. It’s one team. There’s no… there’s no differences amongst us. I think everyone from Defence Force, they’ve been training away to able to be a positive role model for the community.

When I put this uniform on, lot of people have come up to me and say, “You’re doing a great job.” I think that’s one of the feelings you can never replicate in a normal day-to-day life. I always was very fascinated about Australia, watching sports loving communities out there where you can play and at the same time be part of that community.

Sports is one of the spheres where people put their differences aside. I’ve been part of my local club, which is Essex Heights Tennis Club back in Mount Waverley. When parents come up to you, say, “We need help for our kids playing tennis.”

I feel they accept me for what I’m doing for the club. That has given me a lot of confidence and a boost that I can still be part of the whole community and people will accept me.

To me, Victoria is very special because it’s people from different faiths and different cultures and different communities coming together and making Victoria a place well worth belonging to.

I’m Satbir, I’m Victorian, and I’m proud of it.

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