ABA Awards

The Association of Bhutanese in Australia (ABA), Sydney has been having discussions and deliberations on awarding its active volunteers on various fields for their selfless contribution for a few years. The idea of awarding was first to recognise and then thank the volunteers for their contribution to the community. But it was quite challenging for executive committee to select these recipients since most of the community members were active volunteers already and making contributions in various ways.

The committee had quite an extensive discussion during their monthly meeting in September 2016. The committee discussed different types of award categories, targeted recipients and the list of selection criteria. It was also decided that anybody from the community who has won a national award would be automatically eligible for ABA Awards.

Some of the important selection criteria that was discussed were:

  • Long-term service to the community, at least 5 years
  • Consistently contributing to the community
  • Example of role model and leader
  • Contribution to community with no self interest
  • Women and youth volunteers were more encouraged
  • Significant contribution in arts and music to the community
  • Any other quality that needs recognition


The meeting also elaborated that this was a starting point to recognise our volunteers and this will be an ongoing event. Every year, during the Annual Day Celebration, some new ABA members would be awarded. The committee also felt that those who were very deserving during 2016 awards but were not nominated would have their chance in 2017 or in future. A member can receive only one ABA Award in a particular category and will not be eligible for nomination is the same category in future.

The meeting entrusted the President, Dr Naresh Parajuli to work out the categories for different awards which was further fine-tuned by other ABA Executive members.  The committee unanimously agreed on the following categories:

National/State Award recipients

ABA Long-term Community Service Award 2016

ABA Volunteer of the Year Award 2016

ABA Sportswoman of the Year Award 2016

ABA Sportsman of the Year Award 2016

ABA Talented Artist of the Year Award 2016

ABA Talented Artist of the Year Award 2016


Based on the above categories and selection criteria, the following volunteers were awarded:

National/State Award recipients

Om Dhungel                           2016 NSW Premier’s Community Service Lifetime Achievement

Nawal Khatiwada                  Australia Contemporary Art Awards

Divyanka Gadtaula               Silver Medals in the 2016 National Junior Acrobatics Competition

ABA Award recipients

Puspa-Lal Acharya               ABA Long-term Community Service Award 2016

Pabitra Kafley                       ABA Volunteer of the Year Award 2016

Kabita Dhungel                    ABA Sportswoman of the Year Award 2016

Parshu Ram Acharya           ABA Sportsman of the Year Award 2016

Bhakti Ram Khatiwada       ABA Talented Artist of the Year Award 2016 (men)

Hemanta Acharya                ABA Talented Artist of the Year Award 2016 (women)


The Executive team of the Association of Bhutanese in Australia (ABA), Sydney congratulates all 2016 Award recipients and looks forward to awarding more dynamic volunteers in future.