The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), bestowed Uncle Hashim Abdul Rahman with the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) which was announced on Australia Day 2021. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, only close family members were invited to the Investiture Ceremony on Thursday 6 May 2021, and the Investiture Dinner on the evening of Friday 7 May 2021, both held at the Governor General’s Residence in Yarralumla, Canberra.

Uncle Hashim was awarded the OAM for his dedicated and unabating services to Canberra’s multicultural community through his involvement with international students, Muslim students, and the community, the Rotary Club of Canberra City, and other multicultural organizations that he has been involved with since his arrival to Canberra in 1969.

While studying at the then Canberra College of Advanced Education (CCAE), now University of Canberra (UC), in the early ’70s, he was the CCAE Union Chairman, President of Canberra Council for Overseas Students, President of Malaysian Students Association, and served for several years as Treasurer for CCAE/UC Alumni.

He has had a long and distinguished career with the Australian Public Service, spanning from 1972 to 1998, culminating in some senior diplomatic postings in Ethiopia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Uncle Hashim founded the Islamic Society of the ACT in 1972, became its inaugural President for 7 years, and is still involved with it as its Treasurer for the last 12 years.

He served the Rotary Club of Canberra City for 18 years, with a stint holding positions at local and district levels; he was awarded the Paul Harris Fellow in 1987, Rotary’s highest recognition.

Even at the ripe old age of 80, Uncle Hashim is still active in Canberra’s Muslim and Malaysian communities.

He is involved in the provision of Islamic burial rituals for deceased fellow Muslims which includes bathing, shrouding, and burial at the Muslim cemetery; a cemetery in which he, as the President of the Islamic Society of the ACT in the 1970s, was heavily involved in during its planning stages.

Uncle Hashim is a registered and qualified Pastoral Carer with Canberra, Calvary, and the University of Canberra Hospitals and visits Muslim patients in these hospitals on a weekly basis or as called upon to do so.

AMAR which stands for Australian Muslim Aged and Respite Care Cooperative Limited is the latest venture that Uncle Hashim is involved with.

AMAR’s aim is to provide our Muslim seniors with a home-like living atmosphere coupled with full medical and professional aged and respite care with due respect given to their religious, cultural, social, and dietary requirements. Services to be provided may also include those given in the seniors’ homes.

Uncle Hashim has been the Chair of AMAR since its inception in 2017 and has guided the organization through its formative years which is well on its way to becoming a registered aged care provider.

The OAM awarded to Uncle Hashim has prompted the Governor General’s Office to produce a short video clip featuring him which intends to encourage other migrant communities to nominate personalities within their communities who, like Uncle Hashim, are dedicated to the advancement of the community.

The OAM bestowed on Uncle Hashim has been given to a most deserving, ever helpful, and staunch community-minded Muslim, providing his services not just to Muslims but also to the general Canberra multicultural community.

It would be a great day for Canberra if we could only produce another such personality, probably half as dedicated as Uncle Hashim, to serve members of the Canberra multicultural community.

May Allah shower His blessings on Uncle Hashim and grant him a long life so that his services could continue to be made available in the days to come.