Sanjhi Awaaz Radio, a station aimed at helping Punjabi culture permeate to younger generations, organised a hugely successful beauty pageant under the banner of ‘Miss and Mrs Punjaban Australia 2014’ on 24 August at Springvale City Hall.
Miss and Mrs Punjaban Australia was a pageant with a difference, which focused on cultural values and sharpness of mind along with outward beauty.
This regional contest provided foundation skills for contestants to further excel in the entertainment, fashion and modeling industry.
The event was organized by Shama Bhangu, Gurdeep Singh, Amandeep Kaur and Gaganjot Arora. The team worked tirelessly to make this event a huge success in a very short period of two months, and apparently received hundreds of applications for contestants from all over Australia.
After several auditions, 21 contestants were selected for the ‘Grand Finale’. An overwhelming audience of around 450 gathered at Springvale City Hall, and ’State Member of Parliament’ for ‘Clayton District was the guest of honour.
The pageant had a panel of five independent judges — Jaswinder Sidhu (RMIT University lecturer), Surpreet Sekhon (LaTrobe University lecturer), Alex Singh (award-winning film director), Kudrat Makkar (entrepreneur), and Jasmeet Sangha (Miss Australia Punjaban 2013 winner).
The show was hosted by Sunita Sethi, who entertained the audience with her singing, acting and humour.
The ‘Grand Finale’ was divided into five rounds – from bridal, where the girls were dressed as Punjabi brides, to solo dance performances to a talent round, to the ‘Cat Walk & Quick Round’, where the contestants were asked questions, to the final ‘Gidha Round’, where the contestants showcased their ‘Gidha’ skills.
Harpreet Kaur, who has studied baking in Melbourne, was crowned Miss Punjaban Australia 2014 Contest, while Amanpreet Mann Khaira from Brisbane was crowned Mrs Punjaban Australia 2014. Amanpreet is a customer service manager and mother of two, who manages to juggle family and work. Amanpreet also represented India in the Asian Netball Tournament in 2005.
Published in The Indian Sun (Indian magazine in Melbourne)