Dhileep wants to share his ’big voice’

New candidate Amirthalingram Dhileepan. (Stewart Chambers: 417033_02)

By Corey Everitt

An ingrained commitment to service may be taken to the next level of leadership with local Dhileep promising to be a ‘big voice’ if elected to the council later this year.

Amirthalingram Dhileepan or ‘Dhileep’ is one of the founders of Australian Tamil Sangam, a volunteer organisation based in Officer representing the wider Tamil community.

He has lived in Cardinia for over 10 years, but his sense of service goes back as far as he could remember to his family in Sri Lanka.

“That’s where my leadership skills and community services all started, they are heavily involved in temple services, the community centre,” he said.

“It automatically motivated me for serving the community.”

Wanting to be a part of the decision making process, he wishes to put the issues of local jobs to crime prevention first.

“Obviously supporting small businesses, buying local, local employment, I want to advocate for that,” he said.

“Strengthening community services for vulnerable residents including people affected by family violence, people with disability and elderly residents.

“Community safety, currently we are seeing a lot of crime and all these safety issues in the area so I want to focus on that area as well.”

He works in the telecommunications industry alongside his volunteer work which further includes being the assistant secretary for the Southern Migrant & Refugee Centre and a member of Cardinia Multicultural Advisory Group.

He is also a part of the consultative committee for the development of the Cranbourne and Pakenham Community Hospitals.

Staying active and protecting the environment are key passions of his, he won the 2003 President Award for Scouting in Sri Lanka and he regularly organises environmental activities for Australian Tamil Sangam.

Dhileep holds core attributes of transparency and being hands-on that he says will remain if elected.

“Any communication whether it is the State Government, Federal Government, the council, anything, I will communicate it to the people,” he said.

“I’m happy to visit as a volunteer to help an organisation, rather than just go and provide a speech.

“Whatever physical help they need, whatever help they want. There is a volunteer shortage, so if I need to go and help, I will go.”

With the current council, he believes more planning for the shire’s significant growth must happen. Whether it be for kindergartens or conservation.

“As an organisation, we want to do so many different things for the community, whether it’s tree planting, working with migrants, bringing people together, they don’t have a clear plan,” Dhileep said.

“Even the kindergarten capacity, at Bridgewood kindergarten they used to have a bigger place and now they have 4 and 3 year olds in the same area, they have capacity issues.

“Why haven’t you planned all this, you know how many people are moving in, how many houses are being built, why haven’t you planned all the facilities and providers needed.”

Starting a family in Cardinia, he most of all wants to contribute to a better place for his children.

“If I live in the community, I want my children to grow with a well connected, strong community,” Dhileep said.

“I want to be a part of the decision making process, if I just sit with the advisers I’m not contributing that much to the bigger impact to the community.”

Dhileep intends to nominate for Toomuc Ward.