Global Young Achievers Awards Night (GYAAN) a signature event of GOPIO Sydney, a local chapter of GOPIO International was organised on Feb 11, 2017, at Castle Grand Function Centre, Castle Hill 2154 to recognise and honour students of Indian origin for their outstanding successes in HSC exams who obtained more than 97 ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank).
Besides this academic category some other individuals of Indian descent, who have excelled in their areas of expertise and have made significant contribution and organisations that have significantly contributed to community services were also honoured.
Apart from reward, recognition and a line-up of brilliant Bollywood performances, the event provided an ideal environment for personal, professional and business networking and was attended by over 300 audiences. Over the years this event has become a much sought after, envied and awaited event among the Indian diaspora.
Each year GOPIO Sydney focuses on a different charity theme and this year it selected family violence as the theme and Indian Support Centre, a non-profit charity organisation that champions the causes of the family violence amongst many other such activities was chosen to be helped an amount of $1330.00 was raised for Indian Support Centre. Mr. Subbarao Verigonda of ISC spoke at length on family violence which is our primary focus area this year and the services provided by them.
According to a recent report on SBS Punjabi, it has been revealed that after Australian-born women the largest number of women seeking help from the national family violence helpline are those born in India. Many associations are grappling with this social scourge but most seem to be limiting themselves to victim support only.
Balvinder Ruby, President GOPIO Sydney in his address emphasised the need to shift the focus from victim support only to identify the root causes, working on preventive measures, suggesting innovative approaches through community consultation and debate.
Eighteen students were awarded the trophies and certificates in the academic category that included in the order of merit Rohan Krishnaswamy ATAR 99.95); Pritham Kadappu (ATAR 99.95) and first in Chemistry; Jash Vanjara (ATAR 99.85) and Public Speaking; Kabir Agrawal (ATAR 99.70); Sahil Arora (ATAR 99.55) and Public Speaking; Srichakra Motamarri (ATAR 99.55); Sagarika Dey (ATAR 99.45); Vanishka Virmani (ATAR 99.00); Seethal Bency (ATAR 98.40); Karthik Subbana (ATAR 98.40); Harjap Singh (ATAR 98.35); Sunaina Salgame (ATAR 97.20); Marinaak Sinha (First in Hindi); Devarshi Naik (First in Hindi); Rishab Malhotra (First in Hindi); Navreet Singh Virdi (Topped UNSW Civil and Environmental Engineering); Harnoor Jawandha (Topping the state in Punjabi); Nikhil Reddy (Sports-National Junior Chess Championship, he is 7 years old).
Two individuals and one charity organisation were rewarded in the community services area.
Prof Vijay Kumar (Community Service- Nuclear Medicine): Professor Vijay Kumar has been appointed as a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to Medical research in Nuclear Medicine and biology, to professional organisations and to the community. Prof Kumar is also a Clinical Professor at Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney and has served as the President of Australia & New Zealand Society of Nuclear Medicine between 2014 and 2016.
Vinay Kolhatkar (Community Service – English Literature) English Literature: Vinay Kolhatkar is the author of The Frankenstein Candidate, a literary thriller published in 2012, now looking uncannily prescient, because it’s about an independent candidate, a billionaire, who disrupts both major political parties in a U.S. presidential election. He’s also the author of A Sharia London, published in 2016, which is about how a love between a student, an Islamic apostate, and her politically correct lecturer, causes immense turmoil and trans-formative changes in them and in the world around them. He is also the Editor of The Savvy Street, an e-zine dedicated to furthering Individualism.
FoxG1 Foundation Australia (Community Service-Health): FoxG1 Foundation Australia is a Health Promotion Charity with a mission, to provide hope and support to individuals diagnosed with FoxG1 and fund research and clinical trials to find a cure for FoxG1. This is a relatively new diagnosis which wasn’t even heard of in Sydney before 2015, in the first year of operations, the foundation has initiated a Research project at UNSW. A second Ph.D. has also been established by the FoxG1 foundation with strong support from Rotary Club of Hills-Kellyville and The Australian Rotary Health.
Prof Michelle Simmons Dean of Education, represented Prof. Barney Glover, Vice Chancellor UWS presided as chief guest and handed out the trophies and certificates. The other dignitaries who attended the event included Hon B Vanlalvawna, Consul General India, Hon. Ray Williams, Minister for Multiculturalism and Disability Services, Hon. Geoff Lee, Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism, Hon Mark Taylor, Member for Seven Hills, Hon. David Clarke MLC, Hon. Kevin Connolly Member for Riverstone and Clr. Peter Gangemi representing Mayor, Hills Shire Council.