History of Casey Tamil Manram
Casey Tamil Manram Inc. (CTM) is a highly regarded Australian Tamil community organization that stands as a testament to the remarkable journey it embarked upon. Founded in December 2010 by a group of passionate Tamil Australians residing in the City of Casey, Victoria, CTM was driven by a profound vision to elevate and promote the rich tapestry of Tamil language, culture, and community welfare. It was born out of a pressing need for an entity to integrate and lead activities that foster the harmonious integration and welfare of the Tamil community in the City of Casey, which had become home to a significant number of Tamils from Ceylon and India. Today, CTM operates across the state of Victoria and is widely recognized for its myriad accomplishments, far-reaching influence, and national impact. With a rich legacy of success, CTM has become synonymous with excellence, making significant difference in the Tamil community and beyond.
The founding group reached out to potential community members in October 2010, and together, they had a series of meetings to form an interim committee to devise objectives for the organization and create a constitution. The interim executive committee was formed in November 2010 to lead the formation, settlement, and initial activities of the organization, which was incorporated on December 6, 2010. The interim executive committee became the inaugural executive committee and continued to lead the organization until the first annual general meeting on August 28, 2011.
In its inaugural year, CTM embarked on a dynamic and transformative journey, spearheading many successful initiatives. The year commenced with the celebration of Thai Pongal, a prominent Tamil festival, held on January 15, 2015, at the Balla Balla Community Centre. This momentous occasion marked the genesis of CTM’s resolute objective to preserve and promote Tamil traditions and cultural heritage. Following the Pongal event, poetry book release function was organized in February 2011 to support and encourage Tamil creative works. Recognizing the importance of fostering relationships and empowering the elderly, CTM organized the inaugural Tamil Senior Citizens get-together on March 14, 2011, at the Narre Warren Mechanics Institute. Subsequently, monthly programs were held at the Berwick Senior Citizens Hall, providing a culturally responsive environment for seniors to connect and thrive.
Furthermore, CTM collaborated with the Casey-Cardinia Library Corporation to establish a Tamil section within a library in the City of Casey. This milestone ensured the availability of Tamil magazines and books, preserving the language and providing a valuable resource for the community. CTM also extended its support to Tamil refugees and immigration detainees. Visits to Villawood Immigration Detention Centre, providing Tamil books, magazines, and CDs, demonstrated CTM’s dedication to nurturing the well-being and cultural needs of those in difficult circumstances. Onsite activities and religious ceremonies were organized at Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre to provide support and a sense of belonging to Tamil detainees.
Another notable endeavour undertaken by CTM was the “Identify ourselves as ‘Tamil’ – Census Campaign.” This campaign urged Tamil Australians to identify themselves as Tamil in the Australian Census of 2011, aiming to shape a positive and progressive future for the community in Australia, leaving a national impact.
During its formative year, CTM demonstrated remarkable efficacy in implementing a wide range of impactful community initiatives. The organization swiftly attracted a dedicated cadre of enthusiastic and energetic volunteers, fostering a strong sense of commitment and collective purpose. Through adept collaboration, CTM forged enduring relationships with government and social entities, positioning itself as a trusted partner in community service. These early achievements have laid a solid foundation for CTM, solidifying its status as a dynamic organization capable of addressing the multifaceted needs of its constituents.
With the years, CTM’s activities have expanded across Victoria and grown in breadth and diversity. It’s remarkable journey is characterized by continuous growth, impactful collaborations, and a deep commitment to serving the Tamil community and fostering inter-community and intra-community unity. CTM understands the strength of working together. It collaborates with Tamil community organizations in different states, building strong connections and striving for the progress of the Tamil community at a national level.
CTM not only preserves Tamil heritage but actively shares it with other communities, promoting cross-cultural understanding. Through inclusive celebrations and open dialogue, CTM creates a platform for cultural exchange and mutual respect. The notable achievements of CTM in this aspect are the initiation of the first-ever Thai Pongal Celebration at the Parliament of Victoria in 2019 and the transformation of the Pongal event into ‘The Tamil Festival Australia.’ This grand event goes beyond individual organizational identities, promoting a collective Tamil Australian identity. By uniting various community organizations under one banner, CTM created a vibrant and inclusive environment for sharing and celebrating diverse cultures. The festival serves as a platform for cultural exchange, allowing different communities to come together and appreciate each other’s traditions.
CTM is committed to making a positive impact beyond its own community by promoting the idea of ‘giving back to the community’. This is manifested through various initiatives, including organizing blood donation campaigns, fundraising for organizations such as the Cancer Council and supporting relief efforts during natural disasters. CTM also extends a helping hand to those in need, providing assistance and support to individuals and families facing challenging circumstances.
CTM’s enduring legacy is evident in its relentless pursuit of promoting Tamil language, culture, and community welfare. Its expanding operations and unwavering dedication to the betterment of the wider community have solidified its position as a vital force in the Australian Tamil community.