Queen’s Birthday Honours: Arvind Shrivastava, OAM

OAM honour for contributions to Melbourne’s Indian community

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Science as well as spiritualism are the defining features of Arvind Shrivastava’s life 

Only happy and dedicated people can make others happy, says Arvind.

The Melbourne-based retired academic and community leader, who was felicitated the OAM in this year’s Queen’s Birthday honours, has always believed that selfless contribution leads to a pleasant, purposeful and satisfying life.

As the founder of the Sankat Mochan Samiti Inc., a community organisation with a mission to assist people spiritually, morally and physically, Arvind feels he has been the greatest beneficiary.

“Serving my community has been a pleasure and privilege that I am grateful for every single day,” the dynamic leader told Indian Link.

“Receiving the OAM is not only a personal honour, but everyone who has cooperated and contributed towards the goal and objectives of the Sankat Mochan Samiti Inc. (SMS) deserves to share this recognition bestowed on me,” he said. 

Arvind came to Australia in 1968 as a graduate scholar in Monash University in the field of mechanical engineering after obtaining a masters’ degree from the prestigious Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. 

His academic and research interests have been in the field of Mechanisms, Computer Aided Design (CAD), Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Robotics, Automation and Engineering education.

He has published books and research papers in peer reviewed journals and participated in conference presentations and lectured in international universities as invited lecturer and visiting professor.

He was Executive Director of the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centre at Monash University when he chose to retire early in 1999. Since then has dedicated his time and effort to volunteering within the community through various organisations.

Arvind and his wife Dr Sunila Shrivastava chose to move to the coastal town of Torquay on the scenic Great Ocean Road for a sea change. Several times a week they commute to Melbourne, driving for more than an hour, to meet family and fulfil other commitments.

His keen interest and research in Hinduism led to spiritual activities like Havan groups and Sunderkhand Path recitations, along with officiating at weddings and other Hindu rituals for local families.

“Hinduism is a way of life, a distinct culture, marked by politeness, hospitality, an intricate web of social courtesies, values and relationships,” mused Arvind. “We should all take that as our personal responsibility and work towards achieving this goal. We are laying the foundation for the coming generations to build the infrastructure to reflect our identity.”

Arvind shared that his mission is to plead to every individual of the Hindu community to take a personal pledge to work towards building the social welfare infrastructure and educational facilities to spread the beneficiary aspects of the spiritual values inherent in their religion.

Arvind’s dedication extends to diverse community groups including multicultural faith, youth and seniors.

The community in Melbourne has also enjoyed Arvind’s lifelong passion for music. Wife Sunila shares this interest and the duo have performed as a team on several occasions. Arvind, who considers music as his meditation, has led spiritual music sessions at our temples, in the homes of devotees, and at events held by community organisations.

He has previously received recognition through various awards including Excellence in Community Service Award, (Government of Victoria, 2009) and Meritorious Service Award (Government of Victoria’s Award for Excellence in Multicultural Affairs, 2009).

Arvind articulated his sincere thanks to his wife Dr. Sunila Shrivastava, his family and the ‘amazing people’ who guided and supported him all the way through.