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‘All dreams come true if you have courage’

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Kamini Saberwal has been in Australia for just two years now and has clearly discovered that this is the land of opportunities. Following her husband who came here on work, this MBA graduate and mother to a young son wasted no time and joined a beauty pageant so that she could use it as a platform to further her interest in community works. Last November Saberwal won the Mrs India Australia title at the Touch the Soul pageant held in Sydney. Before moving to Australia, Saberwal worked in the corporate sector as an HR manager and now is employed in the same field with a utilities company based out of Melbourne. A corporate worker, part time model, artist and mother, Saberwal tells The Indian Weekly about the joys of discovering newer opportunities in Australia.
Many new migrants feel challenges. What has been your experience so far?
I arrived in Australia a little more than two years ago. The natural beauty of the country and the friendliness of Melburnians immediately made us comfortable. Of course it is never an easy decision to leave a country you grew up in and move far away from your family and friends. Also I had a flourishing career in human resources as I was on a leadership program for one of the top multinationals in India and moving to Australia meant scouting for the right career opportunity. Initially I had to get used to a completely new lifestyle and weather. However at this point I can say that Melbourne has brought some of the most incredible opportunities for us and I can only marvel at how it has welcomed me with open arms.
What were some of your concerns before moving here?
The biggest concern about moving so far away from the country you were born and brought up in is always how one would adjust to a completely new environment. The distance between the two countries also was always on my mind as well. The two countries are amazingly diverse. There are many things that are different; the weather, the way families are set up, that is, one will see more joint families in India.
Given that there are quite a few Indian beauty titles in Australia, do you think the more money you spend on a pageant the better chance you have on winning it?
I feel two things contribute to one winning a pageant. First is one’s personality and confidence on stage; two, the ability to enjoy oneself and the experience which then makes one very comfortable and stand out on stage. The pageant was very competitive with 30 contestants displaying their talent in four different rounds across an esteemed panel of judges including Bollywood Star Karisma Kapoor. My USP was definitely my confidence which came across in my walk and answers on stage.
What have you done post winning the title?
The pageant has opened up many doors for me with regular opportunities for photo shoots, acting offers and runway shows. Also, I have since had the opportunity to get involved in various Indian community events. With this win and being an Indian who lives in Australia, I now hope to lead from the front around causes in Melbourne’s Indian community.
Tell us about your work as a painter?
I do contemporary paintings and my chosen medium is acrylic on canvas. In the last few months, two of my recent paintings were chosen to be displayed across three different art shows, including one of Victoria’s largest art shows The Bayside Art Show. In the past I have also sold two of my paintings with the proceeds going towards Nanhi Kali Foundation, a charity organisation.
So what are some of the issues within the Indian community that you are involved with?
During the pageant, I advocated two key messages. The first was about children and the issues they deal with as they are the most vulnerable. I relate to this cause as I am a mother. My second message was the quote by Walt Disney, “All dreams come true if you have courage”. My big dream currently is to be able to do a lot more for women and children in need of help.
By Indira Laisram

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