New Year Honours List
Three women have been recipients of Indian Newslink Community Awards in 2019 and 2022
Auckland, December 30, 2023
Our men and women in South Asian communities always do us proud.
It is truly gratifying that the New Year Honours List issued in the name of King Charles contains a long list of friends and well-wishers of Indian Newslink. Among them are four women and three men joining the elite group of achievers. We present a few of them here.
Former Parliament Speaker Trevor Mallard leads our list, who is currently serving a tour of duty as High Commissioner of Ireland in Dublin. He is among five Knights and Dames recognised along with 146 others on the Honours List.
A citation said that Mr Mallard is being recognised with high honour for his services as a Member of Parliament and as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
He was elected to Parliament as the Member for Hamilton West in 1984 and was the MP for Pencarrow from 1993 to 1996, Hutt South from 1996 to 2017, and a Labour List MP from 2017. In 1999, he was appointed to Cabinet and became the Minister of Education, Minister of State Services and Minister for Sport and Recreation. He also held several other Ministerial portfolios from 1999 to 2008, including Minister of Labour, Industry and Regional Development, Broadcasting, America’s Cup, Environment, Energy, Coordinating Race Relations, as well as the Minister for the Rugby World Cup.
He was an Assistant Speaker from 2014 to 2017.
Outside of chairing the Business, Standing Orders and Officers of Parliament Select Committees, and the Parliamentary Service Commission in his role as Speaker, he has been a member of the Education and Science, Government Administration, Finance and Expenditure, Statutes Revision and Justice and Law Reform Select Committees.
Mr Mallard retired from politics in 2022, after 35 years as a Member of Parliament.
Dr Vanessa Beavis
Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM)
Dr Vanessa Beavis of Auckland has contributed to anaesthesia in New Zealand and internationally since 1993. She held clinical leadership roles from 1997 at Auckland City Hospital and was Director of Perioperative Services from 2004 to 2020. She helped establish an anaesthesia service in Auckland to facilitate New Zealand-based access for people requiring a liver transplant.
A Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA), Dr Beavis was a member of the College’s examining body from 2002 to 2014.
She joined the New Zealand National Committee of ANZCA in 2004 and was Chair from 2008 to 2011. She has undertaken a range of roles with the ANZCA Council, including founding Chair of the special interest groups Anaesthetists in Management and Perioperative Medicine, driving the development of a new Continuing Professional Development programme, development of ANZCA’s Diploma in Perioperative Medicine, and was President from 2020 to 2022.
Dr Beavis has promoted the importance of Te Tiriti within ANZCA, which has had benefits for the cultural inclusion of Australian indigenous people. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she led ANZCA to continue delivering examinations and maintain continuity and quality of training.
Dr Beavis is the inaugural Executive Committee Chair of the International Academy of Medical Colleges of Anaesthesiologists, which she helped develop and launch in 2021.
Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM)
TV Journalist Barbara Dreaver has been appointed Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to investigative journalism and Pacific communities She has dedicated her career to highlighting issues affecting Pacific communities for more than 30 years.
Ms Dreaver was co-owner of the Cook Islands Press from 1994 to 1998, before working as a feature writer and reporter for the New Zealand Listener and Radio New Zealand. She has been the Pacific Reporter for TVNZ 1 News since 2002, breaking stories uncovering social and economic issues affecting Pacific people living in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
Her investigative journalism has exposed major fraud, drug smuggling, corruption and human trafficking, leading to multiple arrests and decisive government action.
Her reporting of the 2019 Samoa measles outbreak won two major awards at New Zealand’s Voyager Media Awards.
Domestically, her stories focus on advocating for vulnerable and marginalised Pacific communities. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she self-produced daily regional Pacific bulletins for distribution in the islands. She exposed the inequalities experienced by Pacific people during the response, resulting in changes in governmental policy and partnerships with Pasifika providers.
In 2020, she created a two-year training programme through the Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting Ltd to support new Pacific journalists across the Pacific region.
Ms Dreaver was appointed as a member of the Establishment Board for the Aotearoa New Zealand Public Media body in 2022.
Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM)
Dr Anne Perera
Dr Anne Perera of Auckland has been appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to food science and nutrition.
She is a specialist in food and nutrition and has worked in industry, research and academia in New Zealand since 1981.
Dr Perera has been a consultant for Hubbard’s, Kiwi Cooperative Dairies, Hansells, Cerebos Greggs, Dilmah and Weight Watchers, and won the New Zealand Guild of Food Writers’ Nutrition Writer of the Year award in 1994 for co-writing the book ‘Nutrition 2000.’
She was elected as Chair of the Central Branch of the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology, through which she organised a Technical Tour for the Singapore Institute of Food Science and Technology members to New Zealand.
Dr Perera became the New Zealand Crop and Food Research Institute’s Team Leader in Nutrition and Health in 2004 and co-authored ‘Hot Potatoes and Cool Bananas’ in 2007. She was a member of the New Zealand Food Standards Committee and the Editor of the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation.
Following retirement in 2010, she has been a Food and Nutrition Advisor to Small Industries Development Organisation in Tanzania and helped rebrand the Tanzania Association of Food Scientists and Technologists. She provided counselling through the Prisoners’ Aid Rehabilitation programme and is a member of several Parish Councils.
Dr Perera was awarded the NZIFST J C Andrews Award in 2022 in recognition of her contributions.
Anuradha Ramkumar has been appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Indian classical dance.
Indian Newslink presented her with a Special Wenceslaus Anthony Commemoration Award for her exemplary services to various forms of Indian Classical Dances in 2022.
She established Nrityabhinaya Anuradha’s School of Indian Dances in 1996, which has contributed to two classical styles of Indian dance forms in Auckland.
Ms Ramkumar has been providing opportunities for future generations of New Zealand Indians to maintain links to their cultural heritage through dance. In the process, she has helped hundreds of youths and adults graduate every year through Arangetram (graduation) ceremonies. Her students feature in various community events across New Zealand and her annual dance productions. Through her dance school, she has worked to preserve two classical forms of dance, Bharata Natyam and Kuchipudi, and has been a Guru (teacher) to more than 500 students across 26 years.
She has incorporated elements of Māori culture as an ode to recognising connections between Indians in New Zealand and tangata whenua.
Ms Ramkumar has directed several dance productions depicting Indian mythologies and social themes including Ramayan, Suryaputra Karna, Maha Yugas, and Krishna Leela amongst others.
Dr Prem Singh
Dr Prem Singh of Wellington has been appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to multicultural communities.
Mr Singh has been an advocate for the integration of migrant communities and former refugees into New Zealand society for more than 30 years.
He joined the Wellington Regional Multicultural Council and the New Zealand Federation of Multicultural Councils (Multicultural New Zealand) in 1989. He has held several roles for both Councils including Secretary and President and is the current Treasurer. During his tenure as President of Multicultural New Zealand, he oversaw the implementation of projects designed to develop youth leadership capability and to support women from ethnic backgrounds to build greater family and community connections in New Zealand.
In 2018, he contributed to the development of Multicultural New Zealand’s Huarahi Hou Strategy, created to provide a pathway for multicultural communities to gain a greater understanding of Te Tiriti O Waitangi and contemporary Māori culture.
He was a founding member of the Wellington Fiji Association and President for three years. Under his leadership, the Association was the first community organisation to celebrate Diwali at Parliament. He has received numerous awards, including the Ann Dysart Distinguished Service Award for community service in 2022. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr Singh organised vaccination drives for vulnerable members of the community and coordinated fundraising initiatives and donations for those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle in 2023.
Queen’s Service Medal Recipients
Athula Wanasinghe of Wellington will be presented with a Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for services to the Sri Lankan community and Cricket.
He is currently Vice President of the Sri Lankan Association of New Zealand, having been President from 2014 to 2020. As Treasurer, he improved the financial management of the Association’s funds.
Mr Wanasinghe was involved in coordinating support following the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, the Easter Sunday 2018 terrorist attack in Sri Lanka and during the Covid-19 pandemic. He was President of the Wellington Sri Lankan Buddhist Association from 2008 to 2013 and helped in the purchase of property to establish the Sri Lankan Buddhist Centre in Wainuiomata.
He has been on the Board of Community Languages Association of New Zealand since 2012 and has provided interpreting services for various agencies. He has provided his banking and real estate experience to help the community with financial and property advice, including workshops in Sinhalese.
Mr Wanasinghe has been a Junior Club Cricket Coach and is a Senior Umpire in the Wellington region. He is on the Board of the Cricket Wellington Umpires Association and is the Liaison Officer between College Sport Wellington and the Association. He served on the Onslow College Cricket Board from 2013 to 2019.
He initiated the founding of Sri Lankan Masters Cricket in 2010 and is the Team Manager and administrator. He established the popular Sri Lankan Annual Quiz Night, which has run since 2009.
Hansa Naran of Auckland is being honoured with a Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for services to the Indian community for more than 30 years. She was a recipient of an Indian Newslink Community Award in 2019.
Ms Naran has used her professional skills as an accountant to contribute to her community organisations. She computerised the accounting systems for the Manukau Indian Association Inc (MIA) and the New Zealand Indian Central Association (NZICA) amongst others, creating a chart of accounts for better financial reporting and compliance with reporting standards.
She has been an Executive Member of the NZICA Women’s subcommittee for 11 years. She organised the 125th Women’s Suffrage anniversary event, with more than 100 people in attendance at Waiau Pa. She has written many articles for event programmes including ‘Self-Empowerment,’ ‘Grieving: A Myth or a Reality?’ and ‘How to age gracefully.’
She was the Treasurer of MIA from 2007 to 2015 and of NZICA since 2015.
She helped manage more than $500,000 in funds raised for India during the Covid-19 pandemic. She has been a Justice of the Peace since 2014, a Victim Support volunteer and a Kiwani (an international service organisation) and has donated incubators, children’s stationary and clothing to children’s missionaries and traditional sarees for women who cannot afford bridal clothing in India.
Manisha Morar of Wellington is being awarded a Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for services to the Indian community. She received an Indian Newslink Arts Award for her achievements as a Historian and Writer in 2019.
She has been a prominent leader and respected voice in the Indian community, and as a member of the New Zealand Indian Central Association since 2001, she held offices for seven years including Vice President.
Ms Morar has organised conferences, written submissions and developed frameworks and strategies to raise the profile of the New Zealand Indian community. For more than 25 years, she has served the Wellington Indian Association, holding several voluntary roles including President, Gujarati language teacher and Historian since 2010.
In promoting Indian culture, she organised numerous events, including leading the city’s Diwali celebrations Namaste Wellington. She was instrumental in curating two national exhibitions, ‘MOKAA: The Land of Opportunity,’ a photographic exhibition celebrating 125 years of Indian diaspora in New Zealand and an exhibition acknowledging the contribution of Chinese and Indian Anzac held at Pukeahu National War Museum. In 2018, she led the publication of the book ‘Invisible’ detailing Indian migrant experiences, and later incorporated New Zealand Indian narratives and developed school resources for the New Zealand history curriculum. She has been a member of the Multicultural Council of Wellington for nine years. Mrs Morar is a member of the Migrant Community Reference Group, providing cultural advice on Immigration, and the New Zealand Police Wellington District Ethnic Advisory Group.
Sadun Kithulagoda (Honorary QSM)
Wellington resident Sadun Kithulagoda, popularly known as Sadun, will receive an Honorary Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for services to the Sri Lankan community.
He has contributed significantly to Wellington’s Sri Lankan expatriate community for more than 20 years.
Mr Kithulagoda has been a member of the United Sri Lanka Association (USLA) since emigrating to New Zealand in 1992 and has been pivotal in supporting USLA’s community events and fundraising activities. He was President of USLA from 2013 to 2016 and was instrumental in promoting a generational shift in the association’s membership towards younger migrants.
He was the Programme Director of Lak Handa, Sri Lankan Community Radio for 25 years, creating a fortnightly programme to connect the Wellington Sri Lankan community. He has been an Events Coordinator for the Sri Lankan Dance Academy Incorporated for 20 years, creating stage sets and backdrops for the dance troupe’s performances at Diwali and multicultural festivals organised by Wellington City Council.
He trained as a traditional Sri Lankan marriage celebrant, volunteering his services at weddings throughout New Zealand. He has organised the Sri Lankan float at Wellington’s Christmas Street Parade for more than ten years, bringing greater cultural enrichment to the event. Mr Kithulagoda volunteers with a group of medical professionals who travel to Sri Lanka annually to perform complex surgical procedures and organise shipments of equipment to hospitals.