Case Study

"Australia is such a beautiful country and Geelong has given so much to me and my family."

- Mandeep Singh

Mandeep Singh arrived in Geelong from Punjab in India as a 19 year old student in 2006.

He was part of the first cohort of a university IT program which offered its students the chance to complete their studies in Australia.

“I did my research about Geelong before I came. I saw the pictures and I thought this is a place I’d like to go,” Mandeep says.

“Australia is such a beautiful country and Geelong has given so much to me and my family.”

During his 16 years living in the Geelong region, Mandeep has worked in many fields; from IT to a chef, to running his own Indian restaurant. He also married and his wife Pawandeep Gill has come out from India and studied here and now works as a nurse. They are  raising two daughters, 10 and 4 who Mandeep says have embraced their Geelong life, whilst keeping closely connected to their Indian heritage.

Mandeep is now completing his Bachelors in Law whilst he manages a legal practice, Senia Lawyers, with his brother who arrived from India some years after him. The practice itself has a 40 year old legacy, but is now the first Indian owned practice in Geelong. And as if he wasn’t busy enough, Mandeep is also embarking on a new hospitality venture, taking on the premises of central Geelong Italian restaurant La Vista.

“One half of my life was about India, the other half of my life is very much about Geelong.”

“My daughters, the eldest of which was born in India, have been welcomed here and there’s been a huge effort to support her Indian culture within the school community.”

Mandeep says he’s witnessed significant growth in the Sikh community living in Geelong and is proud to have played a big part in the Sikh Community of Greater Geelong since its inception as a not-for-profit organisation.

“When I arrived in Geelong, I think I was one of two people with a turban and the community awareness was very different to what it is today. I used to get asked if I was off to play cricket because I was wearing a hat. But now, the Sikh community in Geelong has grown so much and we gather twice a week in Norlane and Armstrong Creek and we are in the process of establishing a Sikh Temple in Lovely Banks.”

Most recently, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sikh community took on the task of preparing and distributing meals for 80,000 people in need, who were isolating and international students unable to get back home.

“We are so proud of our daughters and what they are achieving here. This city has given us so much.”