2019 BUSINESS LEADER OR PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR - FEMALE FINALISTS
Wild Dreamer Productions
Aarti Bajaj, Gold Coast mother-of-two and medical sonographer, is not only the creative director of Wild Dreamer Productions and lead performer in the stage spectacular, MEERA but also the director of Indian classical and contemporary dance academy, Navrasa. MEERA is the ambitious first offering from Wild Dreamer Productions, a ground-breaking Australian-based production house committed to pushing boundaries beyond the social norm. The stage spectacular will play six shows at the ASB Waterfront Theatre in Auckland on the 31st of May, 1st and 2nd of June this year, after playing to a sell-out crowd of 1,100 at the Home of the Arts on the Gold Coast in November last year.
Southern Aboriginal Corporation
Asha is a post graduate in Mathematics and Business Finance. Currently she is doing her post-graduation in Business Administration. She has been working for the Corporation since 2008. As a CEO of the Southern Aboriginal Corporation in Albany, she is responsible for managing all the Corporation’s operations. This involves overseeing the effective delivery of all grant funded programs and services, taking responsibility for ensuring all externally provided services are of high quality and meet the needs of the Corporation and the community. Asha's organisation won the IABCA Community Services Excellence Award in 2018.
Chief Operating Officer
National Centre of Indigenous Excellence
Indu has a unique position of leading an Indigenous social purpose business, supporting self-determination and impact for our First Peoples. She is the Chief Operating Officer of the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence. The role draws on her expertise in community development, economics, research, gender, cultural development and South Asia. Indu's vision is to combine enterprise, culture and social impact. Her work has been recognised by the UTS Human Rights Award for Reconciliation, the Sydney Tamil Manram Women's Award, the Centre for Leadership for Women, and through the Fulbright Emerging Leadership program.
Communications and Community Engagement Officer
Blacktown City Council
Keiasha is a media and communications professional who has managed major editorial majors and led teams at Fairfax and NewsCorp. Currently Keiasha leads community engagement programs at Blacktown City Council. As one of the largest Council's in Australia and arguably the most diverse communities (with 182 language groups from 186 countries of birth), Keiasha draws on her strong communications and negotiations skills to reach these diverse communities. She also manages key stakeholder relationships with various organisations including government agencies, infrastructure organisations, businesses, peak bodies, community and religious groups. In 2018 Keiasha led 17 community engagement face-to-face projects reaching more than 2800 people.
Journalist & Senior Producer
Pallavi Jain is a senior journalist and commentator and is a known name in the community for her outstanding work. She
has worked in TV, Radio and Digital journalism across two continents and has covered a wide range of issues in her career including Politics, International Relations, Economics, Science, Social issues and Culture. Pallavi Jain has worked with the TV Today group and the BBC World Service in India and is currently a Senior Producer with SBS Hindi. Pallavi Jain has written opinion pieces in print and online for prestigious media organisations like The Age, Sydney Morning Herald,
Canberra Times and ABC’s ‘The Drum’. She has also been a finalist in The New York Festivals - Radio awards, Amnesty
International Australia media awards and NSW Premier’s Multicultural media awards for her outstanding investigative
Detective Sonali Deshpande
Sonali a doctor from India, became the first female police officer of Indian heritage in Victoria Police in 2005 and is currently serving as a Detective Sergeant at Professional Standards Command. Alongside policing, Sonali successfully held a secondary employment as a bi-lingual health educator with Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health where she empowered immigrant and refugee women nationwide through health education and provided leadership, advocacy and training to community organisations. Through both employments, Sonali plays a role that demonstrates a duty to serve the community through decisions and conduct which reflects the community expectation that of treating all people with dignity and respect and in all instances, exercising discretion fairly and transparently. In over 12 years of her police career, Sonali has performed duties to an extremely high standard at various dynamic areas of Victoria Police such as Uniform policing, Divisional Investigations Unit, Sexual Offences and Child Abuse.
Dr Sumathy Mahendravarman
Frontline Medical Centre
Dr Sumathy has been working as a Medical Doctor in Australia for over 25 years particularly in the Western District. In the year 2009, Dr Sumathy started her own medical practice called Frontline Medical Centre in North Parramatta. At that time there were only few family medical practices in the area to serve the local people. She is one of the few female doctors to have started a Medical Centre in her own and successfully built the business to the current level. Sumathy worked alone as a single Doctor and manage her own practice for the last 10 years. She speaks one of the Indian language Tamil fluently. In 2014, Sumathy Mahendravarman was nominated as a “Leading Physician of the World & Top General Practitioner in North Parramatta, New South Wales” and received an award from the International Association of the Healthcare Professionals. Her name also in The Leading Physicians of the world directory Doctors of Excellence in 2015 Edition.