Six months after Amar Singh was named Australia's Local Hero in the 2023 Australian of the Year Awards, the community champion's life and work have been transformed.
Turbans 4 Australia, which he founded, is a Sikh charity for people of all beliefs. It can barely keep up with the demand. It provides hampers of essential goods to people in need, "regardless of their race, religion or ethnicity".
It's just opened an operation in Melbourne and the one in Sydney is running full tilt, giving out 400 to 500 hampers a week.
Demand is high because of the "cost-of-living crisis", he says. But also donations to help those in need are also under pressure because of the same "cost-of-living crisis".
He calls the award a blessing because it has given him greater leverage when he propounds his message of hope - but it's also come with much greater work.
"In a way, it's good," he said. "This is what I wanted to do. But funding has been slow because people who donate to us are struggling."
The demand is there. "People are lined up outside the door to pick up a hamper," he said.
Mr Singh has also been doing a lot of public speaking. He is about to start a two-month tour of Australia promoting a "yes" vote for the Voice.
He is concerned that some ethnic minority people will think the issue doesn't concern them. He thinks it does: "Sometimes migrants think it's not an issue for us but it's actually important because we have to address this situation as a society and try to make it equal, especially for First Nations people."
His big message is that Australia is a country for all groups - and all groups must embrace Australia.
Migrants, he said, came to Australia "because it was a beautiful country". They could share their culture and partake in a greater Australian culture.
"It's our duty as migrants from ethnic backgrounds to make sure everyone that calls Australia home, to make sure they can learn about our culture and our values," he said.
"We're all equal. We all come from different lands, from a wonderful First Nation people to our newest migrants, we're all equal."
Mr Singh knows about racism. The turban he wears as a Sikh brought racist abuse on him in 2004.
He was so outraged at the slurs that he phoned into a radio station and told the story. Amazingly, the abuser heard the broadcast - and phoned in to apologise.
The outrage didn't leave Mr Singh so he decided to do something about it rather than just allowing himself to seethe inside.
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