One of the most respected members of the Sri Lankan community and an Indian Newslink columnist has just been honoured with the Kiwibank Local Hero Award.
Over the past 12 years that we have known him, Thilliar Varnakulasingham has been pursuing and completing a number of degrees, diplomas, courses and programmes, personifying the belief that age has little to do with education.
From medical sciences and physical fitness to Language, Arts and English language, his involvement has been pronounced over the years.
He has so far completed 25 courses, including Real Estate, Insurance, Property Management, School Trusteeship, Pregnancy and Childcare, ESOL Home Tutoring, Medical Terminology, Natural Healthcare, Arthritis New Zealand’s Leadership Training, Employment Skills and Transport.
. He is currently pursuing courses in Petroleum Technology and Chemical Education to gain fellowship of the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry.
Among the organisations which continue to have the benefit of his expertise and experience are the New Zealand Thirumurugan Temple Society, Arthritis New Zealand, Royal Society of Arts, English Language Partners New Zealand and the Community Policing Centre.
Accolades and Awards have been regularly conferred on him. While he deserves each of these, Mr Singham believes that there is a certain pleasure in giving than receiving.
Pleasing manners, robust personality and depth of knowledge on a variety of subjects make him a welcome member of any grouping and soon its star. The organisations with which he is associated are the Royal Society of Arts Australia and New Zealand, Royal Society of New Zealand, New Zealand Institute of Chemistry, and Specialist Interest Group for Immigrant Engineers of the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand, admission to the last of which was based on his past membership to the Professional Engineers New Zealand and the Institute of Petroleum (UK).
His earlier association included the New Zealand Society of Authors, Sports Medicine New Zealand, New Zealand Civil Celebrants Association Inc, the Auckland Division of the Cancer Society and the Vegetarian Society of New Zealand.
Besides being a member of the Auckland Justices of the Peace Association Inc, Mr Singham completed the Open Polytechnic Judicial Studies Course Certificate and the Royal Federation of New Zealand Justices Association Inc in 2009. He has the skill and expertise to apply for training as a Justice in the District Court System.