“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
Human Rights Activist | Writer & Speaker | Juris Doctor Candidate
Founder & Owner, TashMakeupHair
COMMUNITY & ADVOCACY
Director of JK Diversity Consultants | Accredited Mental Health Social Worker
Founder & President, VicWISE
CEO, SOULAB | Co-founder of Her Kitchen Table
Legal Advocacy Officer at Islamophobia Register Australia | Graduate Solicitor
Tasnia Alam Hannan
Co-Founder & COO, Arise Foundation | Lecturer, UNSW
BUSINESS & ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Kiranpreet Kaur Dhillon
Client Partner at AKQA
Founder of Medoo
Founder, Bhumi Organic Cotton
SPORTS & FITNESS
Founder and Director, Women’s Coaching Association
Head of Community Experience, Cricket NSW
Dholi | Athlete| Survivor | Advocate
ARTS & CULTURE
Neurodivergent Indian Australian author and screenwriter
Founder & Art Therapist, Mindkshetra
Performer | Producer | Director | Advocate
Clinical Director | Clinician |Artistic Director
Dr Anushi Rajapaksa
Founder and CEO, Misti
Doctor, NSW Health
Dr Manasi Murthy Mittinty
Senior Lecturer, Flinders University
JOURNALISM & LITERATURE
Digital Journalist at ABC
Author/Illustrator/Business Owner Of Desi Pardesi Kids
Law Student and Writer
Digital Content Producer & Writer at Zee Feed
Poet & Peace Activist
Founder and CEO, The Sharan Project
Lawyer | Founder | PolicyAdvocate | Asia Global Fellow | AIYD
Founder and CEO, The Zubin Foundation
Founder & CEO of Body Buddies
Executive Manager – Business Strategy and Enablement + nbn (National Broadband Network)
Co-founder and director of the Rohingya Maìyafuìnor Collaborative Network