Connecting cultures with Community Citizen of the Year

  • 11 October 2022

Originally from South India, Jacob Solomon moved to Western Australia in 2010 following 22 years in Dubai. During a visit to Perth, he saw for himself the benefits of living here, with greater equality and more opportunities for his son and daughter, who are now 30 and 26 years old and both living in Sydney. While his children may have moved over east, Jacob prefers the quieter and calmer nature of the Western capital, where he is very active within his local community.

Group of people

Inspired by his own father who has been involved in aspects of community from sport to religion, Jacob has been driven to help people in need that has led to roles such as an Amnesty volunteer for the Indian community in Dubai, to the President and Advisory Board member of the Malayalee Association of Western Australia and Chairman of Malayalam Community Language School. A significant contribution is Jacob’s involvement with the Indian Society of Western Australia (ISWA), in which he has brought together the North and South Indian communities to include more than 100 individual associations.

“When I came to Perth, ISWA was only made up of North Indians. When they saw my activity with the Malayalee group, they grabbed me! There are 14 Malayalee Councils around WA because they are so spread out, and I’m involved in eight.”

While Jacob predominantly helps and contributes to groups that are tailored to Indian expats, he explains that he is keen to support all people, no matter their culture or background. He is a member of Celebrate Culture, which celebrated Indian culture in September, but has also focused on Aboriginal, Pakistani and Filipino cultures in recent months. This is through his involvement with Connecting Community for Kids, which includes storytelling, sports and mental health awareness. On the other end of the age spectrum, he is a member of a senior citizens group. He also helps to conserve the environment with tree planting.

Two men standing in front a car in a field

“In the community, there are a lot of people in need. If I am able to help them, that is my passion. I want to mingle with all communities – English, African, Chinese – so I have a lot of friends from different communities. In India itself, there are 29 states, which all have different cultures and languages.”

By working a split shift of early morning and late afternoon, Jacob’s community work fits handily around his day job as a customer service officer for TransPerth, which has also given him a lot of people experience. In recognition of his work for customer service, Jacob received the Golden Star Award – Australasia from Transdev in 2015. More recently, he received a Community Citizen of the Year Award.

Man in fancy dress with charity box outside train station

“If you do good things, the community will recognise you, no matter your colour or creed. The City of Kwinana invited me to the Christmas gala dinner and announced that I was the 2022 Community Citizen of the Year. I didn’t expect it at all and there were about 250 people there, so I wish I had prepared a speech! If you serve the community, the community will recognise it, so I’m happy and proud. It’s nice to be appreciated.”

Nominate your 2023 Community Citizen of the Year at

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