Narmatha Ravichandhira, OAM: Australia Day Honours 2023

Melbourne's Narmatha Ravichandira receives Australia Day honour for her service to the arts in music and dance

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A leading name in the Melbourne Indian community’s classical scene, Narmatha Ravichandhira has played an active and key role in developing and promoting new music and dance repertoire in Australia and NZ, in both the performing arts and research sectors. Since 1992, her expertise in Carnatic vocal, violin and Bharatanatyam, has guided many students over the course of more than three decades, at her institutes Bharatha Choodamani Australia – School of Indian Classical Dance and Sruthi-Laya Kendra (Australia) School of Indian Classical Music.

She has long been regarded as a pioneer in her field – showcasing her creativity, skill and experience in her dance and musical compositions which express cultural nuances and deep technicality.

For her contributions to the arts, Narmatha Ravichandhira has been felicitated with the OAM honour this Australia Day.

“It gives me immense pride and happiness to undertake more compositional and choreographic work. On each occasion, it is indeed a very proud and humbling experience for me to see audiences appreciate my work.”

Narmatha’s work is widely acclaimed domestically and internationally. Her music recordings have been played at the Olympic Village in Homebush during the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and have been included in the permanent soundscape of the William Barak Bridge in the Melbourne CBD.

Beyond her contributions in the performing arts sector as a dancer, musician, teacher, artistic director, choreographer and founder of a leading dance school, Narmatha has been greatly involved in social service.

narmatha ravichandhira with her students
Narmatha at a student showcase (Source: Supplied)

A strong proponent of giving back to the community, Narmatha actively seeks out opportunities for her institutions and her students to contribute to and support various causes such as social inclusion and cultural diversity. She has fundraised for and supported countless charitable causes through dance and musical performances. These include productions for charities and organisations such as World Vision, Oxfam Australia, the Lions’ Club and the JET Australia Foundation (2009), Mental Health Foundation Victoria (2018), and PNSS Charitable Trust projects for social causes during pandemic times (2021).

Her most recent production Pranavam: A Dance Odyssey was a spectacular event exploring pandemic experiences in dance. It was presented as a fundraiser for the youth group of the Sri Vakrathunda Vinayagar Temple (2022).

Sharing knowledge about Indian classical performing arts field, is also a key interest and mission for both Narmatha and her husband Ravi Ravichandhira OAM. They have collaborated with the award-winning Artistic Director Aravinth Kumarasamy of Apsara Singapore, and Monash University to organise the Indian Performing Arts Convention (IPAC) in Australia. IPAC is multi-day celebration of creativity, featuring performances, collaborations and talks by local and foreign artists.

Having contributed so much to the arts sector and the wider community, Narmatha has received numerous prestigious awards and accolades over her extensive career. And she is incredibility delighted and excited to be receive the OAM honour.

“It is a great honour and privilege. I would especially like to thank my parents, my family members, my esteemed gurus (teachers) and associates who have helped and guided me,‘ Narmatha Ravichandhira says.  “And to those who thought my contribution is worthy – thank you too!”

READ ALSO: Service to the Tamil community of Victoria: Selvarajah Muraledaran, OAM

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