Gargi Awards 2024

Gargi Awards is concluded for the year 2024 successfully. Thank you to all the team members, volunteers, nominees and judges for participation and involvement this year.

The Gargi Awards Ceremony for 2024 was conducted on Friday, 25th April 2024 at Wentworthville Community Centre.

As most of you know, the Gargi Awards is an initiation of the Hindu Council of Australia, started in 2018.  The award is named after the Gargi Vachanakavi, a rishika and a philosopher of the Vedic era. Gargi was a renowned expounder of eternal knowledge in Vedic Literature. She participated in a philosophical 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 amazing all women team who has taken over the Gargi Awards this year from the planning stage to the execution of the award ceremony. From the left: Srimahi Paravastu, Lasya Paravastu, Shoba Deshikan (Gargi Committee Chair & HCA secretary), Praveen Sethi, Shweta Sharma, Shivani Suresh, Annu Tandon, Bharathi Rengarajan, Sarika Goyal, Neelima Paravastu, Aarti Garg, Devanshi Garg.

                                                                    The young volunteers who helped on the ceremony day are Shivani Suresh (MC), Lasya Paravastu(stage help), Purva Kumar & Devanshi Garg (photographers)

Gargi Awards 2024 consisted of 8 categories, Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Frontline Services, Community Service, Social Welfare, Sports, Language & Literature, Science & Research. 

We have received an amazing amount of nominations. Gargi committee was delighted to see so many women contributing to the community in so many ways despite their daily responsibilities of work, home, kids and social life. HCA is very proud of these women and privileged to know them and be able to recognise their selfless service to the community.   

Gargi Committee goes through a meticulous process of shortlisting nominations, appointing independent judges, keeping each judge’s scores confidential, reconciling all judges’ scores and finally choosing the top 3 scorers as finalists and a winner out of the top 3.

The 3 independent judges for Gargi Awards 2024 were Elizabeth Mackintosh (first female president of Rotary Club) (NSW), Jayshree Ramachandran OAM (Vic) and Promila Gupta OAM (Qld). The 3 amazing judges got to know each other, only through the Gargi Awards.

We have received nominations from almost all states except Tasmania. All women were nominated by someone who had a deep impact because of the nominee’s service

Below is the list of finalists and winners in each category. 

Every nominee from the above list has done amazing things and continues to do their good work. Below are the profiles of all the finalists from all categories.

Visual Arts


Science & Research


Performing Arts


Social Welfare


Language & Literature


Frontline & Sports


We had 3 finalists for all categories but for the Community Services category, 2 nominees tied for 2nd and 3rd places So the committee has decided to recognise all of them

Community Service


Nearly all finalists and most nominees attended the Award Ceremony event and received the awards. The Awards Ceremony started at 3 PM and finished at 5.30 PM, followed by a delicious spread of food.

This year we have presented a special award to Ms Swastika Chandra who stood up to the global giant Uber for not allowing her to use her name on the Uber app because it violated their policy. Ms Swastika Chandra who is a proud Hindu, tried her best to convey to Uber, the meaning of her name and the background of it. Despite her efforts, Uber was not ready to listen to her side of the story behind her name. Then helpless Swastika approached the Hindu Council. Surinder Jain, vice president of HCA took up her case and reached out to Jewish Organisations, Media, Attorney General. Then with everyone’s mediation efforts, Surinder Jain achieved the desired outcome. Finally Uber has allowed her to use her name on their app. The swastika has been used in Hindu tradition since Vedic times. It means good and prosperous and that is what Swastika believed and did not budge from putting up a fight to make Uber accept her name. She is an inspiration to the community at large. 3 cheers to Swasika Chandra.


The event was attended by Niyati Gupta, director of Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre, representing CG Dr Janakiraman, Members of Parliament Julia Fin, Donna Davis and Charishma Kaliyanda, Councillors Sandhya Reddy, Suman Saha, Sameer Pandey, Uma Dommaraju, Reena Jetthy, HCA national president Sai Paravastu, NSW chapter chair Suresh Vashist & secretary Nitin Jayaraman, other HCA team members and members of the community.

Speaking on the occasion HCA national president Sai Paravastu said “Women are the architects of resilience, the poets of compassion and the guardians of wisdom. Their contributions illuminate the path towards a brighter, more inclusive world”

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