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Media Release

IWD2021: Australia India Business Council Victoria Women in Business International Women’s Day Celebration 2021

24 March 2021

Melbourne, Australia 

AIBC Victoria came together to celebrate International Women’s Day 2021 by recognizing the achievements of 50 professional women from the Indian Community of Victoria. 

The event was an initiative of the AIBC’s Women in Business (WIB) Chapter, which aims to support women in business from different industry sectors from both countries, thus facilitating bilateral trade and investment opportunities through professional connections. 

Reet Phulwani, AIBC Victoria Committee member & Victorian Chair for Women in Business chapter, said “Today at AIBC we are together to celebrate the diverse strengths, achievements and success of outstanding women across various industries. The campaign theme for International Women’s Day 2021 is ‘Choose to Challenge’. A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change. So, let’s all #ChooseToChallenge.”

She continued by saying “there are many women who are role models; women whose journeys teach us endurance, persistence, leadership, compassion, freedom, discipline. There are women who are high achievers, problem solvers and team players. They can be an inspiration to their colleagues and, just as importantly, have the charisma and personality to inspire others to follow in their footstep. We are at a very challenging moment in time, in the midst of a pandemic which is as terrifying as it is debilitating, and we hope that this event will assist in boosting the morale in these crisis-filled times. We hope that this celebration will inspire everyone to dream more, learn more, do more and become more.  Supporting and celebrating women’s rights is a year-round responsibility but more so on International Women’s Day, the day that we all come together globally to celebrate women.”

Ravneet Pawha, AIBC Victoria President said “There is no greater pillar of stability than a strong, free and educated woman. There is no more inspiring role model than a man who respects and cherishes women and champions their leadership and we at AIBC believes in supporting and encouraging women. I will use this platform to send a positive message for women empowerment, gender inclusivity and gender sensitivity. So, I use my voice to draw your attention to achievements of my tribe, to bring home a point that Hilary Clinton had once made about bringing new dignity and respect to women and girls all over the world. We can do this, and we will do it through our actions and voices. I would like to conclude with Rabindranath Tagore’s famous lines -“We women are not only the deities of the household fire, but the flame of the soul itself.” Today, women are taking up challenges, innovating and inspiring a whole new generation to dream big, envision change and empower each other. So, let us all #choosetochallenge everything that comes in our way to success. I am confident that together we can and we will achieve not gender parity but also gender sensitivity.”

Mrs Sheba Nandkeolyar, AIBC WIB National Chair also representing Jim Varghese AIBC National Chair said “AIBC WIB has a very clear focus and vision, where half of leaders are women. The AIBC is keen to promote women as business leaders and entrepreneurs in India and in Australia, thus contributing to our “50-50” vision.  The AIBC is proud to say that its National leadership is reflective of a 50-50 vision, whereby the board composition is represented by fifty percent women. Empowering women contributes to GDP growth of a country and we are proud to be contributing to the bilateral business economy. I am really happy to be addressing the event and celebrating all women achievements.”

The AIBC WIB chapter also signed a memorandum of understanding with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry Ladies Organisation (FICCI FLO) aiming to boost bilateral trade and business amongst their members.

“I am confident and optimistic that this new MoU between AIBC WIB and FICCI FLO will fast-track bilateral trade and business between the two countries. Empowering women could lift the GDP of any country by at least 1- 2 per cent.” added Mrs Sheba Nandkeolyar.

Mr Vasan Srinivasan, AIBC Victoria Patron, added his “congratulations to all women here celebrating their achievements and contributions in their relevant fields and the community. You have made us stronger and better and wish you all to continue your contributions to the uplift the community.”

The event was followed by the presentation of certificates of recognition to women for their exemplary contributions to Women in Business, to the community and their relevant industries sectors. 

Abinaya SrinivasanHealthcareMisha MahendruEducation 
Aditi SharmaArt and CultureNatasha ChakuMedia – Journalism
Ann R Vinodhram (Anandhabhavan)HospitalityNirmal GhummanAgriculture – Winemaker
Anita Barar Media, FilmNisha BajajBuilding and Construction
Angelica GandhokSmall Business CommunityNitu Ahuja Art
Avneet AroraMedia, BroadcastingNomeeta MistryFinancial – Tax Agent
Candice Wilson OholBanking and FinancePoonam D SinghLogistics – transport
Dilpreet JaswalEducation SchoolPreeti Jabbal Media
Dr Manognya KamisettyHealthcare MedicalPreeti LakhaniJeweller
Dr Rama Rao OAMMusic – Carnatic Vocal SingerRashmi GoreArt , Holistic health
Dr Usha Kamisetty Medical Doctor (GP)Reema BhandariMining
Harlin GandhokHealthcare/Medical – Mental HealthRuchika OjhaRenewable Energy
Harpreet SinghCouncillingSaranya NagarajanInformation Technology
Helly RaichuraChefShika KansalEducation
Kamini SaberwalMedia – EntertainmentShindy Gill (Jasvinder K Singh)Healthcare – Beauty and Makeup
Karishma SareenAIBC and EducationShivani DuttaEngineering 
Karishma SinghPublic ServicesShobha GuptaHealthcare – Wellbeing
Kazween MarkerReal EstateShruthi VedamHealthcare – Dentist
Latha SrinivasanArts and Culture – DanceSudesh Singh Textile Retail
Maithili NagaArts and Culture – DanceUsha GullapalliFinancial Management
Manavi Batra MankuFashion and Design – TextilesVishali KarnatiEducation
Meghala BhattClassical DancerVijaya VaidyanathanGovernment – Council

The event truly celebrated the success of Women in Business. The evening was extremely insightful and joyful supported by AIBC VIC Committee members and National Secretariat. 

AIBC would like to acknowledge the sponsors for the event:

Australia India Community Charitable Trust (AICCT) – Venue sponsorship

Lal Pardasani, SG Catering – Financial sponsorship 

Bollywood Dance School Australia – Entertainment (Dance Performance) sponsorship 

SDS Audio – Audio Video Management sponsorship 

AB Business Group – Photography and Videography sponsorship

Sri Anandhabhavan – Dinner sponsorship

Stockman Wines – Wine sponsorship

Tandoori Junction – Cutleries, Crockeries and Soft Drinks sponsorship

Professional photographs of the event can be accessed here

– Ends –

About Australia India Business Council: 

AIBC was founded in 1986 and is the only national body representing bi-lateral trade and investment relations between Australia and India. The AIBC is a national membership organisation with active chapters in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra and maintains close relationships with federal and state government agencies, the diplomatic corps and industry bodies, and showcases opportunities to the Australian business community through an active program of events throughout Australia. For further information, please visit