Winners of Indian Link’s Diwali Art Contest 2023

It’s been another fantastic year for Indian Link’s annual Diwali Art Contest for kids!

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Olivia Banerjee of St Kilda East, Melbourne and Karunya Karthikeyan of Cherrybrook, NSW have won this year’s Indian Link Diwali Art Contest, in their age categories 8-12 years and 7 years & under, respectively.

Both take home book vouchers valued at $75 each.

Karunya Karthikeyan-7 years-Cherrybrook_NSW
Karunya Karthikeyan, age 7, is the winner of Indian Link’s Diwali Art Contest in the 7 years & under category

Ryka Pankaj, 12, of Armidale, NSW and Riya Jain, 5, of Dandenong North, Melbourne, claimed the runner-up prizes in their age categories. They each win book vouchers valued at $50.

12-year-old Olivia’s winning mandala forms the artwork for Indian Link’s Diwali card for 2023. Bright and cheerful, it is at once uplifting and heartening. The colours are pleasing and delightful in their combination, an outstanding feature being carefully considered shaded patterns.

“I started off by thinking about colour combinations,” Olivia relayed to Indian Link while describing her design. “My art usually has two colours. I picked two textas at a time and just started. I chose lighter colours instead of dark ones, because I thought the outlines must remain visible.”


She must enjoy art at school, we put to her.

“Yes, but I find my inspiration online,” she replied with a maturity that belies her tender age. “Currently I’m making drawings in grayscale.”

She’s also into crochet, she revealed. “I saw it on YouTube and learnt on my own. I make animals and toys as gifts for my friends.”

Has she won other competitions before?

“Yes I’ve entered a few competitions and won,” the Year 6 student at Shelford Girls Grammar at Caulfield said. “Last year I won a design competition at Ollie’s Place.”

The Australian kidswear chain eventually commissioned her winning design and it went on sale.

“It was winter wear – a long-sleeved jumper designed to look like a butterfly, with wings at the arms.”

Clearly, we have a designer in the making here.

Seven-year-old Karunya Karthikeyan, winner in the younger age category, told Indian Link, “I feel very happy.”

Her grandmother encouraged her, she revealed. “She saw the competition in the magazine at the shops, and showed me.”

Art is Karunya’s favourite school activity. “I love art – I like to draw leaves,” said the Year 1 student at John Purchase Public School at Cherrybrook NSW.

Karunya also likes to dance and sing, and loves going to Tamil school Balar Malar.

Is she looking forward to Diwali?

“Yes we will light the vilakku (lamp) at our home, wear our Indian clothes and play with sparklers,” she replied.

By a strange coincidence, Karunya’s brother Akhash Karthikeyan had won the same contest in 2019 as a ten-year-old.

The annual Indian Link Diwali Art Contest for kids is an activity is aimed at the youngest members of our community, to include them in the spirit of Diwali in a manner that resonates with them.

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Rajni Anand Luthra
Rajni Anand Luthra
Rajni is the Editor of Indian Link.

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