Hutt City Council Candidate pledges closer community engagement

Prabha Ravi, Independent Candidate for Hutt City Council (Photo Supplied)

Venkat Raman
Auckland, August 23, 2022

One of the most dynamic members of the Indian community and a prominent resident of the Hutt City has promised qualitative changes to the Local Council if she is successful in the ensuing local government elections.

Prabha Ravi, who has an impressive record of achievements in the fields of education, arts and culture, is contesting as a City-Wide (At Large) Independent United Hutt Candidate for the Hutt City Council. A resident of the area for the past 23 years, she has been a vibrant member of many community and social welfare organisations, championing the cause of the common people.

The common bond of service goes back to almost the same time that Ms Ravi migrated to New Zealand and commenced her professional and dancing careers as Indian Newslink was launched.

While the local government election scene suffers from a dearth of candidates all over New Zealand, prompting the return of many incumbents, the entry of fresh faces like that of Ms Ravi deserves encouragement- or at least a chance.

Ms Ravi said that she is excited to stand as an Independent United Hutt Candidate along with a few others, who she believes are like-minded.

“I am a proud Hutt resident for the past 23 years since I migrated to New Zealand with my family and children. My professional background has been predominantly in the Education, Art and Culture sectors. I am also very involved in the community and sit on many not-for-profit boards across diverse sectors such as Arts, Health, Education, Sports, Community, Women, Youth and the Community Panel of the Hutt City Council. Such engagement with people has provided me immense satisfaction over the years motivating me to stand for the Council,” she said.

Ms Ravi set four priorities, which she will pursue if elected to the Council. They are (a) bringing diverse voices of communities to the discussions (b) actively supporting art and culture and celebrating diversity (c) promoting the wellbeing of women, youth and children and (d) proactively engaging, connecting, listening and representing constituents at the Council.

About Prabha Ravi

Prabha, her husband Ravi and their two children migrated to New Zealand in 1999 and since then she has been a part of the Hutt City life. Her professional pursuits have seen her in a number of management and governance roles across many sectors and industries.

“As a management consultant and an independent director on many national and local boards, I understand and appreciate varied cultural perspectives. I am contesting in the local government election to improve significantly the services provided to residents. I will actively listen, engage and consult with our people and represent them effectively at the Council. My vision is to see the Hutt as a vibrant, inclusive and diverse city that supports art & culture and thrives on good leadership at all times,” Ms Ravi said.

Contribution to Art and Culture

Ms Ravi started teaching the South Indian Classical dance of Bharata Natyam from her home in Lower Hutt soon after she arrived in New Zealand in 1999 and established the Natraj School of Dance in 2002.

Today the institution is among the bastions of the art and she has singularly fostered its structure, form, course content and quality of teaching and learning.

Her penchant for dancing sprung from her innate passion for the arts and took her (at the age of three) to Kalaimamani Krishnakumari Narendran, a renowned Bharata Natyam teacher who runs ‘Abinaya Natyalaya’ in Chennai.

Following her Arangetram in Chennai at the age of nine, Ms Ravi pursued advanced training under Guru Udupi Sri Lakshminarayan (who was honoured with the Acharya Choodamani (or ‘Uncrowned Master’) title at an art conference held in the Tamil Nadu capital in December 2002).

Ms Ravi is credited with more than 100 solo Bharata Natyam performances in various academies and associations in Tamil Nadu and at community and dance festivals held in Canada, Sri Lanka and the US.

Wellingtonians and visitors have seen her performing at a number of functions organised by the Wellington City Council and associations.

Students of The Natraj School of Dance have added dignity and honour to their Guru with their energetic display of talents over the past several years in Wellington, Manawatu and Auckland. Specialising in the Pandanallur and Kancheepuram Ellappa styles, Ms Ravi has been a source of inspiration to her students, many of whom would nourish the ambition of graduating in the art.

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