COMMUNITY SERVICES EXCELLENCE AWARD FINALISTS

Akashika Mohla

Founder

 Abhaya- Women's Little Group

Akashika, over the years has stood up for a number of issues be it NRI voting Rights, Skill Exchange programs, early talks of “Make in India” or long lost Free Trade Agreements. Despite her own personal harrowing story of a victim of Domestic Violence, Akashika channeled her energy to empower & assist women. She has made strides of difference through localised belongingness and awareness raised through her women’s group; Abhaya- meaning Fearless, that has subtly unlocked opportunities for many women.

Caroline Poiner
Founder
Artisans of Fashion

Artisans of Fashion (AOF) is a social enterprise founded in 2011 with the aim to create a platform for community engagement, cross cultural connections and social change by building alliances between Australian designers and artisan communities across rural India. Caroline Poiner has developed a number of programs in partnership with the Australian High Commission (AHC)that support cultural & public diplomacy. She is currently engaged by the AHC to develop an Australian-Indian collaborative project which aims to demonstrate the richness and diversity of Indian culture in a contemporary Australian context.

Nilesh Makwana

Founder

Borderless Gandhi

Borderless Gandhi project brings together Community groups, local businesses and organisations to contribute and work together towards a common goal. So far, Borderless Gandhi has put together a number of major contributions to global peace, equality and non-violence through events such as the month long exhibition “Borderless Gandhi presents Mahatma in Me by Vibhor Sogani”. Nilesh Makwana founded the not-for-profit organisation Borderless Gandhi in 2014 after a wish to contribute towards global peace, equality and nonviolence

Siddharth Verma
Founder & Executive Director

BrainSTEM Ltd

BrainSTEM is a not-for-profit organisation founded with the goal to inspire high school kids from all over the world to think and innovate by solving real world problems that matter to them. BrainSTEM works towards encouraging motivation in students to not only pursue a career in the STEM  (Science | Technology | Engineering | Mathematics) field, but to also link innovation and enterprise with their chosen path. BrainSTEM is fully volunteer-run, by Siddharth and a small team of passionate volunteers.

Dr Subbaram Sundar

Dr Sundar migrated to Australia in 1973 and has been practising for over 40 years in Australia, and has been one of the community's favourite doctors.

Dr Sundar helps the community through contributions to both medicine and a variety of social issues including diabetes, cardio-vascular disease, domestic violence, homelessness, educating the Indian sub-continent community by way of writing journals and visiting the community at their homes or hospitals.

Harinder Kaur

Founder

Harman Foundation

Since 2013-14, not-for-profit Harman Foundation has been alleviating human suffering caused by uncontrollable events like death and trauma, incarceration, disability and/or marital breakdown. It’s well-known for its range of support services, including 24x7 helpline, bereavement services, wellbeing seminars, food drives, and its new homeless accommodation.

Standout 2016-17 activities include raising $120,000 with $25,000 already distributed, taking 145 helpline calls, covering 30 patients weekly Chaplaincy sessions, hosting 26 health seminars, gathering 500* fundraiser attendees, facilitating fortnightly food drives and establishing a women's safe house for victims of domestic violence. 

Rajini Vasan
Chief Executive Officer
Eye Play Sport Inc

Eye Play Sport is an independent community for-profit organization. Under the leadership of CEO Rajini Vasan, the company has excelled at providing opportunities for blind and vision impaired Australians to participate in Sport. Rajini Vasan was the winner of the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Community Business Partnerships in 2006 and was nominated as the South Australian Partnerships Ambassador for the Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

The Young Sikh Professionals Network (YSPN)

The Young Sikh Professionals Network (YSPN) is the largest professional network targeted at Young Sikh individuals in the world. Founded in 2012, the purpose of YSPN has been to engender a sense of belief within the Sikh and broader Indian diaspora that they can achieve exceptional success within Australia. Through hosting over 45 marquee events, the YSPN has succeeded at inspiring several Young Sikh Professionals to pursue their goals in Business and supporting them through their pursuit of these goals.