Community Service Award celebrates cultural diversity in this season of giving

December 17, 2021

‘Tis the season for giving and First Class Accounts honor that in our annual Community Service Award. We’re proud to acknowledge the great volunteer work of so many of our franchisees.

Here we speak to one of this year’s winners, Parul Mehta, First Class Accounts, Sunnybank Hills QLD, who we tribute for the third year in a row in these awards.

Parul’s Indian heritage has inspired her focus for almost a decade of community service. Parul has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Australian and Indian charities and brought her community together at huge events to celebrate the best in Indian culture.

The Spirit of Community

I have been with First Class Accounts for 20 years. I am from Bombay, India, where I completed my Bachelor of Commerce and Diploma in IT and Business Management before moving to Australia in 1996. I have been a volunteer for the Gujarati Association of QLD (GAQ) since 2014 and FICQ (Federation of Indian Communities of Qld) as assistant treasurer since 2020.

As a migrant from overseas, I looked for ways to network and meet people. Volunteering was an excellent opportunity to connect with others and celebrate our culture and introduce to my children with our heritage and culture.

Over the years my roles have evolved. I worked as President for a while and now again as Treasurer. GAQ major event we celebrate is Festival Of dance in Sep/Oct.

More than 5000 join together to celebrate the festival of light in the community organized by FICQ

We host a festival in November each year. It’s the ‘Festival of Lights’, which is called ‘Diwali’. Over five thousand people gather from the local area. Various clubs join forces with a major industry association, all level of govt. Multicultural QLD.

I oversee all of the budgets and logistics of the event so everything runs systematically for FESTIVAL OF DANCE organized by GAQ. It is 3 weekend process to manage and it is also attended by large number of people approximately 3000 in 3 day turnaround. I enjoy that as it ties in nicely to my bookkeeping strengths.

The joy on people’s faces is worth the unpaid time and commitment. People recognise what we do is important work.

“It’s important to come out of your comfort zone and enjoy life.”

Making global impact  

I am very proud of our community’s contribution on a global scale. I have helped fund collections for causes including breast cancer prevention, flood victim relief, bushfire appeals, and we’ve supported communities in India in the wake of the pandemic. The COVID-19 India appeal raised $10,000 in just 15 days.

Now we are raising money for a community house where children and families can learn Indian dancing from modern Bollywood to more traditional cultural styles. We are also organising a Christmas party for 100 seniors in the community.

I also write community grant applications. The Festival of Light and Australia India day we received more than $90,000 in total in 2 years.

State and council grants of $35,000 were also generously awarded to the community house. Festival of Dance have secured more then $8,000 but due to Covid we have not been able to achieve our goals.

I have also helped in managing the logistics of food stall by GAQ for 3 years at Roma street parkland for India Independence Day celebration (India day fair)which is again on a very large scale. Attended by almost 8000 plus people, it is a whole day affair organised by Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) another peak body of Indian organisation. All the larger gathering events were done prior to Covid but some still took place by following all the strict guidelines of Covid plans.

An opportunity like no other to be in the First Class Accounts community

I feel incredibly fortunate to have the support from First Class Accounts head office. Much like volunteering in my community, I love being a part of something larger than just myself.

I appreciate the flexibility to work on my terms yet have such sound advice and support from the First Class Accounts team.

It’s so helpful being part of First Class Accounts, to stay across changes in legislation requirements, receive marketing support and access to the best and most innovative software.

Professional development is easy in a community of experienced and knowledgeable people like First Class Accounts.

Looking to get your books in order with the best of Australia’s bookkeepers who give back to their communities? Search our nationwide list of bookkeepers to find an expert near you.

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