Meet The Finalists Of The ASAC Stellar South Asian Women Awards

The theme ‘It Takes A Village’ perfectly captures the experiences of brown women.

“It takes a village”. As the theme for the 2023 Australia’s Stellar South Asian Women Awards, this phrase perfectly encapsulates the experience of many brown women in Australia, striving to create meaningful change.

In a world where being a woman can be hard enough, the challenges are often tenfold as women of colour – and South Asian women know this far too well. Have you ever felt like you can be the only brown woman in the room? By pitting us against one another for job opportunities, event invitations and a ‘place’ in friendship groups, society has long led us to believe that there isn’t enough space for all of us, when that couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

There’s room for all of us. It isn’t a competition, and the most meaningful change and success for our communities happens when we come together and support one another. “It takes a village” captures this seamlessly.

“​This year's awards theme #ItTakesAVillage identifies not only the stellar women but everyone who has helped them along the way,” says the awards night’s organiser, Australian South Asian Centre. “It takes a village to make us who we are and our success lifts everyone along with us!” 

The 2023 awards feature nine categories: Content Creator, Community & Advocacy, Business & Entrepreneurship, Sports & Fitness, Arts & Culture, STEM, Journalism & Literature, International, and Global Impact. 

Finalists in each category are leaders, creatives and founders who are pushing boundaries, striving for excellence, and leaving a lasting impact that elevates the community around them. 

“These women are paving the way for the next generation of South Asian community leaders. What and who we celebrate and recognise as a community is a powerful message of what matters most,” says the Australian South Asian Centre. 

“We aim to amplify the voices of change makers whilst also inspiring others to take action on their ideas of making the world around them a better place. The awards exist to recognise emerging and established South Asian creatives, activists, founders and leaders whose voices and work are a force of good.” 

This year’s judges are three incredibly inspiring South Asian women in their own right. They are Amrit Gill, Creative Program Lead at City of Melbourne, Dr Amandeep Hansra, a practising GP and an expert in digital health and innovation, and Chaman Sidhu,  a non-executive director, advisor and legal and governance professional. 

Check out the list of finalists below, and don’t forget to purchase a ticket to the Australian Stellar South Asian Women Awards taking place in Melbourne on Wednesday, November 29. Ticket details here


Anuradha Gonadeniya Hewage
Digital Content Creator | Volunteer Program Assistant @ Future Forte Australia

Devni Wimalasena
Human Rights Activist | Writer & Speaker | Juris Doctor Candidate

Nitasha Malik
Founder & Owner, TashMakeupHair

Ridhima Khanna
Public figure


Jatinder Kaur
Director of JK Diversity Consultants | Accredited Mental Health Social Worker

Manorani Guy
Founder & President, VicWISE

Nazia Ahmed
CEO, SOULAB | Co-founder of Her Kitchen Table

Sabreen Hussain
Legal Advocacy Officer at Islamophobia Register Australia | Graduate Solicitor

Tasnia Alam Hannan
Co-Founder & COO, Arise Foundation | Lecturer, UNSW


Div Pillay
CEO, MindTribes

Kiranpreet Kaur Dhillon
Client Partner at AKQA

Paulwyn Devasundaram
Founder of Medoo

Vinita Baravkar
Founder, Bhumi Organic Cotton

Yesha Patel
Founder, After


Aish Ravi
Founder and Director, Women’s Coaching Association

Nechal Gill
Head of Community Experience, Cricket NSW

Priya Gakhar
Dholi | Athlete| Survivor | Advocate


Nandita Chakraborty
Neurodivergent Indian Australian author and screenwriter

Rupa Parthasarathy
Founder & Art Therapist, Mindkshetra

Sashi Perera

Sonya Suares
Performer | Producer | Director | Advocate


Aarti Bajaj
Clinical Director | Clinician |Artistic Director

Dr Anushi Rajapaksa
Founder and CEO, Misti

Ashna Basu
Doctor, NSW Health

Dr Manasi Murthy Mittinty
Senior Lecturer, Flinders University


Angelica Silva
Digital Journalist at ABC

Heena Bhojwani
Author/Illustrator/Business Owner Of Desi Pardesi Kids

Janika Fernando
Law Student and Writer

Simran Pasricha
Digital Content Producer & Writer at Zee Feed


Amy Singh
Poet & Peace Activist

Polly Harrar
Founder and CEO, The Sharan Project

Sagina Walyat
Lawyer | Founder | PolicyAdvocate | Asia Global Fellow | AIYD

Shalini Mahtani
Founder and CEO, The Zubin Foundation


Aayushi Khillan
Founder & CEO of Body Buddies

Divya Pasupuleti
Executive Manager – Business Strategy and Enablement + nbn (National Broadband Network)

Noor Azizah
Co-founder and director of the Rohingya Maìyafuìnor Collaborative Network


Pyrawy Sivarajah