Auckland, December 31, 2018
Three friends of Indian Newslink have been featured on the Queen’s New Year Honours List. They are fellow journalist Fran O’Sullivan (Business Editor of the New Zealand Herald), Virinder Aggarwal, Founding Member of the Asian Network Inc and Bhikhu Bhana of the New Zealand Indian Central Association (NZICA).
Ms Sullivan has been recognised for her services to Journalism and Business, Mr Aggarwal for services to Asian Communities and Mr Bhana for services to the Indian Community and Sport.
Ms Fran O’Sullivan is a leading journalist and commentator who has been instrumental in creating significant platforms to advance New Zealand’s key international trade and business relationships.
Ms O’Sullivan championed a business-led strategy to leverage New Zealand’s hosting of APEC in 1999 and was a founding Director of the New Zealand APEC CEO Summit board. She has participated in all New Zealand partnership forums with the United States, China and Australia. She was a founding director and Vice-President in the formation of the United States New Zealand Council and is Chair of the Advisory Board.
She is Co-Chair of the China Business Summit, which she launched in 2012, and is a member of the New Zealand China Council Advisory Board. She is a member of the committee of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council. She founded NZ Inc. in 2005 to further champion business engagement with major offshore markets. She is currently New Zealand Media and Entertainment Editorial Director of Business. She has been a columnist for the New Zealand Herald since 1997, launched the influential Mood of the Boardroom CEO Survey, and was Assistant Editor from 2001 to 2005. She edited the National Business Review from 1993 to 1996. Ms O’Sullivan has received many awards for her journalism including twice as Journalist of the Year.
Bhikhu Bhana has been involved with the New Zealand Indian Central Association for more than 40 years and has been President since 2016, having held other offices previously within the organisation.
Mr Bhana has been a member of the Pukekohe Indian Association for 25 years and has held the roles of Secretary and President. As President he played a key role in revitalising the organisation and helped instigate events with other Indian groups in the region. He has organised a Diwali Festival event at the Pukekohe Arts and Cultural Centre.
He has played a key role in the facilitation of the MOKKA Photo Exhibition showcasing
125 years of Indians living in New Zealand at museums throughout the country.
With a background as a representative player of cricket and hockey for Canterbury, he has been involved with sports administration through the Christchurch and Pukekohe Indian Sports Clubs. He was the Counties Manukau Hockey Association delegate to the New Zealand Hockey Association from 1999 to 2002. Mr Bhana has been Director of the New Zealand Association of Credit Unions since 2014 and was involved with the New Zealand Steel Credit Union Board on a voluntary basis for 17 years.
Mr Bhana was instrumental in the NZICA sponsorship of the Sports Segment of the Fifth Annual Indian Newslink Indian Sports & Community Awards 2018 held at Alexandra Park on October 8, 2018.
Virinder Aggarwal was a founding member of The Asian Network Inc in 2002, served on the Executive Committee, and has been Chairperson for six years.
The Asian Network provides a platform to assist Asian communities in Auckland by identifying and responding to the needs to these communities through information sharing, training opportunities, and submissions to central and local government. Under Mr Aggarwal’s leadership the Network co-hosted two International Asian Health Conferences in collaboration with the University of Auckland’s Centre for Asian Health Research and Evaluation and established an annual Asian Forum focusing on health and wellbeing. He has edited the Network’s monthly newsletter and been on the Editorial Advisory Board for the Migrant News bimonthly newspaper.
He has represented the Indian community on the Older People’s Advisory Group since 2005. He has been founder, President and remains a current member of the Global Organisation for Persons of Indian Origin (West) branch since 2008. He has led fundraising committees for the Shanti Niwas Charitable Trust since 1996. He was Migrant Representative to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs from 2005 to 2011 and has been an Executive Committee member of Migrant Support Services. Mr Aggarwal chaired the working committee of Shakti Family Settlement and Social Services from 2000 to 2012.