Pallavi and Sadhana are our pride as two of the top 100 Women of Influence

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By Neena Badhwar

Indian community is proud of two young women from the Indian diaspora to have made it to the top 100 Women Of Influence.

Both Pallavi and Sadhana were named as two of the top 100 Women Of Influence in national list compiled by The Australian Financial Review and Westpac.

Sydney’s Pallavi Sinha is a talented lawyer who started her own firm, Lawyers with Solutions. She currently serves on the NSW Council for Women’s Economic Opportunity, the White Ribbon Diversity Committee and the Multicultural Consultation Council of Anti Discrimination Board NSW and Sadhana Smiles is CEO of Harcourts Group.

“Women deserve to be recognised as intelligent, capable and equal and these awards not only highlight the incredible breadth of talented Australian women, they uncover those extraordinary women whose tireless commitment to creating change would have otherwise remained unrecognised.”

It’s a sentiment UN Women Australia president and one of this year’s 100 Women of Influence from Western Australia, Beth Shaw, echoes.

Sadhana Smiles

Sadhana hails from Melbourne when she started her career as a receptionist and in 2013 was named the Victorian Telstra Business Women of the Year as well as the winner of Victorian Telstra Private Corporate Sector award.

Sadhana moved to Australia from Fiji in 1982, married and settled with two children says about her work selling real estate for the last two decades, “It has taken me through frenzied, hectic, high flying training, selling, listing, managing, marketing ”“ everything to do with the world of Real Estate. I was absolutely hooked on the energy and excitement and privilege of helping someone buy (or sell) their home.”

Daughter of Dr. Prabhat and Neena Sinha, Pallavi is a well recognised face of young locally born, bred and educated second generation Indian, an intelligent professional who has proved her worth as young woman of substance. Pallavi Sinha is a Lawyer, Lecturer and a former People of Australia Ambassador. She is also currently working as part of the Western Sydney Uni Equity & Diversity Team. As young graduate Pallavi went to India to work as an intern at the National Human Rights Commission & volunteered at an orphanage. Since then, she has been an MC on various community events such as Senior’s forum & UIA India-Australia Friendship Fair. As part of the Western Sydney Uni Equity & Diversity Team where she helped organise an Open Forum this year ”˜The Future of Multiculturalism’ with guest speaker Dr G. K. Harinath OAM, Chair of Multicultural NSW.  Pallavi has appeared ABC TV Q & A as a Panelist as well as was on ABC’s ”˜Drum’ program. She also appeared along with Stan Grant on The Ethics Centre – IQ2 Debate – Racism and the Australian Dream in 2015 broadcast on ABC & BBC World.

Pallavi’s opinion pieces have been published by the Sydney Morning Herald, ABC, SBS and community newspapers and on topics such as Government policy, domestic or family violence, social justice and Australia-India relations. In 2015, she was presented awards for Excellence in Law and Excellence in Journalism.

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Pallavi can be often seen speaking on forums and panels about empowerment in the relation of the unique needs and challenges faced by women from diverse backgrounds. She is happy to promote her Indian roots and creative training in the context of topics such as living in a multicultural society. In addition, she has spoken about the benefits of being an Indian Australian and promoting better ties between Australia and other countries such as India and China.

Pallavi was the only woman of Indian origin selected on the list in NSW. Says Pallavi her, “I would really like more women from our Indian community to come forward and be noticed for tremendous contributions they are making here in the society. There are many talented women in the Indian community doing great things. I would also like to personally thank The Indian Down Under (TIDU) as I started writing for the paper when there were no computers or topics such as the caste system, Indian culture and arranged marriage. I congratulate TIDU on continuing its excellent coverage on community issues to this date.”

Said Shaw, “The most heartening change now is the willingness of more people to recognise that influence comes in different forms, and doesn’t necessarily rely on formal positions of authority to be wielded.”

“It’s about recognising that people have different career paths and experiences, and that experiences we have discounted for not embodying what is traditionally seen as leadership, is actually just a different way of bringing people along, and no less valid,” Ms Shaw said.

As Indian community grows we need young women such as Pallavi and Sadhana who are confident, intelligent, speak their mind on issues that affect us as a society and proudly represent themselves and the community on mainstream media and forums.

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