Gargi Awards 2022 celebrations

Hindu Council of Australia celebrated Gargi Awards 2022 as a part of International Women’s day on Saturday 26th March 2022. Each year, an award named after Rishi Gargi. The award is named after an ancient Indian philosopher considered to be the first woman philosopher Gargi Vachaknavi (c. 7th century BCE). She is honored as a renowned expounder of the eternal knowledge in Vedic Literature. She participated in a philosophic debate and challenged the established male sage Yajnavalkya, the only lady to do so. She is also said to have written many hymns in the Rigveda.

The award consists of a commendation letter and is awarded in multiple categories like Sports, Journalism, Performers, Defense, Community Carers, Home Carers, Seniors Carers, Educationist etc. The awards are open to all Australian women and this year nominations were received from women in NSW, SA, VIC and WA.

This year, the award was given to :

1. Education, Science and Research – Mrs. Saraswathi Shashi

2. Arts Language and Culture – Dr. Preetam Ganu

3. Community Services – Mrs. Niru Patel

4. Age Care – Dr. Sudha Natrajan

5. Journalism – Ms. Rani Hayman

6. Performing Arts – Mrs. Nikhila Kiran

7. Sports – Ms. Shivani Mehta

8. Frontline , Defence Service – Mrs. Remya Ramesh

Click below to see a profile of all nominees :


The Gargi award was instituted in 2018 and the first award was given as a part of Parra Masala festival held that year, according to its founder, Surinder Jain, National Vice President, Hindu Council of Australia. He explained that the purpose of the award is to empower women by recognizing women who have made outstanding contribution to Australian society and are a good role model for young women growing up in Australia.

The event was addressed by Mr Joseph La Posta, CEO NSW Multicultural, Prakash Mehta, President, Surinder Jain, National Vice President and by Bhagwat Chauhan, NSW President. Women’s team consisting of Shobha Deshiken, Director and Bharathi Rengarajan, Chair women empowerment presented the awards. A well known journalist Aparna Vats was the MC.

Speaking on the occasion, Surinder said that each Hindu owes a matru-rinn debt to his daughters who face the full brunt of this men controlled world, to his spouse and sisters who feel insecure and under appreciated and to his mother.

Like previous years, nominations were made online and each nominee application was evaluated by a panel of three independent judges. This years judges consisted of three very prominent women who have a proven track record and include

Lynda Ben-Menashe. Lynda Ben-Menashe has worked in Australia and Israel in education, publishing and public diplomacy. For 14 years until January 2022 she served at the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, the elected representative roof body of the NSW Jewish community.

Dianne North, OAM. Dianne North has been a member of the Pharmacy profession since 1973, in that time focussing on Community, Palliative Care and Oncology fields of Pharmacy practice. Dianne was a recipient of the University of Sydney Gold Medal in 2000 for her service to Pharmacy.

Rosemary Kariuki. As an Asylum Seeker Rosemary arrived in Australia in 1999, with no assets and no family. Since that time Rosemary has made many friends and has volunteered her own time to support the community especially the women and the youth. Rosemary Kariuki is affectionately known as ‘Big Mama Rosemary’ in the western suburbs of Sydney. This is where she works tirelessly for her community both as a Multicultural Community Liaison Officer for NSW Police and in her numerous volunteer projects that support the CALD Women.

Joseph La Posta, CEO Multicultural NSW listening to Kashmiri Pandit Woman Savita Mattoo

The event was followed by a sumptuous lunch.

Hindu Council of Australia thanks NSW Multicultural, HSBC and other sponsors for supporting this award.

Click below to watch the proceedings on You Tube.


Surinder Jain

National Vice President

Hindu Council of Australian

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