On Saturday evening, 14 November, The Asian Executive with event partners, Pitcher Partners, ASHA and Australia India Institute hosted over 100 guests to a charity evening of Indian fine dining, Bollywood dancing, and formal speeches to celebrate India’s most holiest of events, Diwali. Net proceeds from auctions and pledges were dedicated to ASHA – a foundation dedicated to helping slum residents in India gain access to healthcare, financial services, and Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights; it is the most popular of all the festivals from South Asia. The festival of Diwali extends over five days. The festival celebrates the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance.
Co-founders, Grace Lim, and Rick Wong, presented a cheque of $1,800 to board member, Harish Rao on behalf of ASHA.
The first guest speaker was Professor Craig Jeffrey is Director of the Australia India Institute and former Professor of Development Geography at the University of Oxford and Official Fellow of St. John’s College. A leading authority on South Asian youth, he also writes on Indian democracy, educational transformation, globalization, and the ‘social revolution’ that he sees occurring across India in the Twenty-First Century.
The second speaker was Rohini Kappadath, who has over 25 years experience as a pioneer, corporate entrepreneur and advisor in sectors such as Information Technology, Management Consulting, and Professional Services.
She has built an international career working with organizations in Australia, India, Singapore, Japan, New Zealand and North America across diverse industries.
The vote of thanks was delivered by Robert Johanson, Executive Chairman of the Australia India Institute, Chairman of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited & has worked at corporate advisory firm Grant Samuel since 1993 and is responsible for its Melbourne office.
Robert is also Deputy Chancellor at the University of Melbourne and Chairman of Australian Friends of Asha.
The charity auction was conducted by Andrew Smith from Kay & Burton.
- The Consul General of India, Melbourne, Ms. Manika Jain
- John Richardson, Director Victoria State Office, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
- Robert Johanson, Executive Chairman of the Australia India Institute
- Professor Craig Jeffrey, Director of the Australia India Institute
- Ms. Rohini Kappadath, Director of Cross-Border Business at Pitcher Partners Consulting
- Board members of Asha, Harish Rao, Caroline Chernov, Richard Leder & Vicki Kyritsis.