IABC Awards honour Indian community and businesses of Australia



By Manju Mittal

Gandhi Creations’  India Australia Business & Community Awards (IABCA) organised annual awards gala evening on Friday October 28, 2016 at Four Points by Sheraton Grand Ballroom in Sydney. The event was an astounding success with nearly 500 guests from across the nation in attendance. IABC Awards started out in 2014 and now have become an annual a very much looked forward to  event.


VIP guests who graced the occasion included Hon. Gladys Berejklian MP, NSW Treasurer representing the Premier of NSW, Hon. B.Vanlalvawna, Consul General of India in Sydney representing the High Commissioner of India in Australia. Hon. Luke Foley MP, Leader of the NSW Opposition and Tracy Spicer, Ambassador, National Breast Cancer Foundation. They all acknowledged IABCA contribution and its role in showcasing the calibre and breadth of talent from across the nation.


IABCA 9IABCA 2IABC Awards are the  brainchild of Sonia Gandhi, a Paul Harris Fellow, director of Gandhi Creations and the Global Origin for Indian People Award Winner in 2012 for community Arts & Culture. Her goal is to showcase in myriad of ways Indian community and its contribution in areas such as the arts, education, travel, technology and more.

Young and charming CEO of Gandhi Creations Sonia Gandhi flashed a beautiful smile while delivering her speech. She thanked sponsors, judges, finalists, media and guests who attended the event. SBS news presenter  Ricardo Goncalves was the    Emcee,  superb in handling the program as he engaged the audience with roller coaster ride of glamour, achievements, entertainment and the rest.

The function started with Yoga moves watching a practice session of yoga and breathing exercise left everyone deeply relaxed and ready to witness a classy show of food, wine and  fashion interspersed with people honoured with awards by invited guests.


IABCA 2016 Awards recognise individuals and businesses for their innovation and dedication demonstrated in their respective fields of expertise. The award winners were: Indian Australian Ambassador of the Year Award went to Peter Varghese AO. Pritika Desai was the Young Community Achiever of the Year, Deepti Sachdeva- Young Professional on the Year, Dr Khimji Vaghjani won the Community Services Excellence Award, Uppma Virdi, Chai Walli won the Business Woman of the Year, Tamanna Monem the Professional of the Year, Deepak Nangia the Business leader of the Year, Total Alliance Health Projects International (TAHPI) as the Australian Exporter of the Year, Shubhika Dubey won Spirit of Sport Award, Total Holiday Options won Tour Operator of the Year, Saffron was the Indian Restaurant of the Year, BDS Audocare were the Micro Business of the Year, Reach for Training the Small Business of the Year, NandaHobbbs Contemporary got SME of the Year Award.


“Reach for training” small business of the year award winner CEO Mr. Suresh Padmanabhan accepted the award and said “The award is acknowledgement of the hard work that our team here at ”˜Reach for training’ do every day in innovating within our business ventures and vocational training, the award night featured a number of finalists and winning this prestigious IABCA award came as a surprise to all of us”. He added “Our aim to give people with better choice, independence and social inclusion by providing them with skills, training and sustainable employment, It is important for us to recognise of our community, and to ensure that when we are organising our service, we do that in a way that’s inclusive with design services that can be used by everybody”.

Winning the young Professional of the Year award came was a thrilling surprise for Deepti Sachdeva said “I was truly surprised when they announced my name, given the high standards of all the other finalists. It took the walk to the stage for it to sink in and then I truly enjoyed my moment of glory. This award in many ways marks my own journey to seeing Australia as my home now. IABCA engages a wide influential business and community audience nationally so my win has attracted a lot of attention. It’s a wonderful way to have my passions recognised and celebrated. I felt grateful in the moment and feel even more committed to being a catalyst for change in what I do”.

Pritika Desai was awarded Young Community Achiever of the Year, she said “It was overwhelming to even become a finalist. I was grateful to be there on the night and meet other amazing leaders in our community. To me this award means so much as it recognises that mental health is an important issue in our community. I want to use the award as a platform to start the conversation on mental health and stigma in the Indian community”.

Commenting on the Award win Uppma Virdi, Chai Walli – Business Woman of the Year said “Winning Business of the Year award is such an amazing opportunity to shine a spotlight on what we can do for Australia”.



The evening was filled not just with awards ceremony but spectacular Bollywood dance numbers , highlight of the event being  Khadi fashion show which is part of Confluence Festival of India. It was an explosion of colour and designs as models graced the catwalk in their stunning outfits. By the way the Best Dressed Couple award went to Dipen Rughani and his partner. They looked simply stunning.




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