fbpx
Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Queen’s Birthday Honours 2020: Sivaganga Sahathevan, OAM

Recognised for service to the Indian community of Victoria, and to music

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Queen’s Birthday Honours 2020: Sivaganga Sahathevan

Fleeing the civil war in Sri Lanka and then seeking refuge in India, Sivaganga Sahathevan is no stranger to seeking peace through music. With an appreciation for music from an early age, Sivaganga helped spawn an awareness of an existing stream of Indian music in her hometown in Preston as a gift to the Indian community who gave her a sanctuary.

Sivaganga vividly recalls that she was on her way to Darebin City Council in Preston to pay her council rates when she saw a poster advertising the Darebin Music Feast. As she read the poster, she wondered why there was no Indian component. Determined to find out, she talked to a few locals in the area and crossed paths with the producers of the Feast. With her willingness to contribute back to the Indian community at heart, she helped arrange a performance of Carnatic music for the event. That was way back in 1998.

- Advertisement -

Since then, she continues to actively take part in the Feast. From 2001, her group had a standalone performance in the programme. “We decided to donate all proceeds to the Starlight Children’s Foundation and this very important partnership has continued ever since,” Sivaganga told Indian Link as she discussed the breadth of her contribution. “In 2017 we also started performances that raised funds for the Girls from Oz, a charity that enables indigenous girls from rural and remote Australia to obtain musical education and to help sustain their communities.”

With her efforts and the support from her team, contributions of $37,000 have been passed on to the two charities. Sivaganga is thankful to her team, in particular Dr Chandrabhanu and the Bharatalaya Academy.

“Dr Chandrabhanu gave me my first opening in Melbourne’s world of Indian music and dance, and the Darebin Music Feast gave me the platform to present Indian music to the wider Melbourne community.”

Both enabled her to engage with the community, encourage artists to showcase their talent, and work with groups of people who share a passion for comforting others through music and performance.

“This latest award is for them,” she said with gratitude. “It is also motivation for me to keep going.”

Sivaganga acknowledges the participation and assistance of many organisations in her musical career including the Academy of Mary Immaculate, the Australian Girls Choir, Multicultural Arts Victoria, Vani Fine Arts Society (UK) and Shylar Productions in Chennai. She recognises the incredible devotion of the Taste of India committee, her students, the many families and friends and, very importantly, established Australian and international artists and sponsors.

Talking of the future, Sivaganga shared that her aim is to develop activities to engage the elders in the community and draw on their experiences and knowledge. She also wants to offer a platform to enable up and coming children and students to express their culture through music and performance.

“You can see that this is a pretty challenging agenda,” she laughed. “However, I believe not only that each person can make a difference, but also that being a leader to a team of dedicated individuals keen to work together, will support the community.”

READ ALSO: Queen’s Birthday Honours 2020: Dr. Rama Rao, OAM

- Advertisement -
Avatar
Carl Buhariwala
Carl is a freelance reporter who has a passion to promote community events, the work of not-for-profit organisations and new ideas. He enjoys meeting people and documenting their work for others to read.

Related Articles

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Podcasts

Ep 9: What do young Indians want from love?

0
Growing up in Indian culture, most of us know that love has never been as popular as marriage. Even in the movies, the main...

Ep 8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s...

0
To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...

Ep 7: In the case of Sushant Singh Rajput

0
  The torrid and high-octane Sushant Singh Rajput case has been fodder for Indian people and press for the last few months. The actor’s tragic...

Latest News

sexual assault survivor, sexual assault counsellor, sexual assault victim

I’m a sexual assault counsellor. Here’s why it’s so hard for...

0
  As a senior sexual assault counsellor working with Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, I often sit across from people on the worst day of...
dee domingo and raj shekhawat

A tinnitus update on World Hearing Day

0
  World Hearing Day is celebrated on 3 March to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness along with promoting ear care. I spoke to...
RITU WEDS CHANDNI BOOK COVER

Book Review: ‘Ritu Weds Chandni’ by Ameya Narvankar

0
  "But what is wrong with that? Why shouldn't she marry Chandni didi?," asks Ayesha, the young protagonist in Ameya Narvankar's Ritu weds Chandni (published...
axar patel indian cricket player

IND v ENG: A historic Test… for all the wrong reasons

0
  The only bigger joke than the wicket prepared for the 3rd cricket Test between England and India at Ahmedabad’s Motera Stadium, was the renaming...
Queer support group Trikone Australia’s Alan Maurice, Kunal Mirchandani and Ravin chat with Bageshri Savyasachi

South Asians talking about Mardi Gras

0
  Pride week has already begun in Australia! Since Sydney's fabulous Mardi Gras parade is coming up this weekend, I had a chat with members...