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News ->Asian Women of Achievement Awards 2004 Winners

(27 May 2004)

Sandra HowardSandra Howard, wife of the Rt Hon. Michael Howard QC MP, Leader of the Opposition, stole the limelight at last night's glittering ceremony at The London Hilton Hotel in Park Lane that saw nine leading Asian women pick up the annual Asian Women of Achievement (AWA) Awards. Mrs Howard, in a pale pink raw silk outfit with chiffon sleeves, wore her own jewellery and was clearly very comfortable in the gathering that has become one of Britain's most fashionable Asian events of the spring calendar.

Munir SamjiPresented by a host of well-known personalities from British Society, the AWA awards applaud and celebrate the commitment, dedication and determination of Asian women to their professional and personal achievements within the commercial, professional, artistic and humanitarian sectors. Now in their fifth year, the Awards were set up by Pinky Lilani and Munir Samji.


There are nine Award categories that reflect the diverse lives of Asian women achievers: The Arts & Culture Award, The Public Sector Award, The Social & Humanitarian Award, Business Woman of the Year - Corporate, Entrepreneur of the Year, Media Professional of the Year, Professional of the Year, Young Achiever of the Year and The Chairman's Award.


Baroness Helena Kennedy QC (left)The Awards enjoy the patronage of Cherie Booth QC, who was unable to attend last night's ceremony and Her Highness Begum Inaara Aga Khan. They also receive support from leaders of all political parties, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC and a host of Asian personalities. Julie Mellor, chair of the EOC was chair of the judging panel.


The winners of the AWA Awards 2004 are listed below.


Seeta Indrani, London- Actress

Seeta IndraniSeeta made her stage debut as Cassandra in Andrew Lloyd Webber's CATS and the following year moved to the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 1989 Seeta took on the role of WPC Norika Datta in the UK's longest running police drama, The Bill. In 1995 Seeta was voted Best Supporting Actress by The Asian Film Academy and despite her punishing work schedule created her own dance company, Fuego Flamenco. In 1996 Seeta received further accolade from the Asian Film Academy this time as Best Actress, and in 1998 said farewell to her colleagues at Sunhill and began working on new projects including; working with choreographer Christopher Bruce and appearing at the London Palladium. Seeta is the Vice Chair of Stage for Age and in 2003 was made a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts.


Nishma Patel, 30, London - Sales Director, Teletext

Nishma PatelHaving joined Teletext as Sales Support Executive in 1994, Nishma initially impressed with her drive and abilities far beyond her appointed position. Very quickly Nishma established herself as a key member of the sales team and began a meteoric rise to success progressing quickly through three promotions in one year to the position of Group Head for Holidays Advertising. In 2001, at the age of 27, Nishma was appointed as Sales Director at Teletext, adding responsibility for not only all holiday advertising but also the financial and sports sectors.


Annette D'Abreo, Bournemouth- Ceuta Healthcare

Annette D'AbreoAnnette established Ceuta nine years ago, and the company is now the UK's leading outsourced sales and marketing company for health and beauty products. The founding premise of Ceuta was to establish an ethical company that had a responsible approach to its people and the pharmaceutical industry. Ceuta has taken social responsibility of its people very seriously and consequently the company encourages individuals to undergo vocational and skills training with at least 50% of Ceuta employees having undergone company-sponsored training.


Zaiba Malik, 35, London, Current Affairs Reporter, Channel Four

Zaiba MalikZaiba was born in Leeds in 1969 and was bought up in Bradford by her Pakistani parents. At Nottingham University Zaiba studied Law and Politics but decided to pursue a career in journalism. After a short time working in newspapers she made her move into television and into the area of investigative journalism where she has worked on a number of groundbreaking documentaries including: 'Unreported World - A Quick Fix' an untold story of the deaths of over 2500 people in Thailand during a 'war against drugs' campaign and 'Sleepers - Undercover with the Racists' where Zaiba took an undercover role of a shopkeeper for three months to highlight the problems of racism many Asians face on a daily basis.


Doctor Yasmin J Drabu, London
Medical Executive Director, North Middlesex University Hospital Trust

Yasmin DrabuYasmin came to England in 1959 at the age of nine, and ten years later gained entrance to the Manchester University Medical School - one of only three Asian girls in a group of 160 students. In 1973 Yasmin qualified as a Doctor and chose to pursue a career in Pathology. Dr Yasmin Drabu began her career at the Microbiology Department, North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust as a Consultant Microbiologist in 1982 and progressed rapidly to become lead for Infection Control, a post she is still involved with. Yasmin now holds the prestigious role of Medical Executive Director and is responsible for all matters concerning medical staff, and all clinical governance issues.


Naaz Coker, 55, Kent
Chair of the British Refugee Council and the St George's Healthcare NHS Trust

Naz CokerNaaz Coker's career spans 30 years in the public and voluntary sectors. She spent 20 years in the NHS where her roles ranged from Pharmaceutical and Clinical Director to General Manager in acute NHS Trusts in London followed by ten years at the King's Fund a large charitable foundation working in the field of health and social care, where she was the Director of the Race and Diversity programme. She has written widely on racism and ethnic health inequalities in the NHS and the plight of refugees and asylum seekers in the West.

Naaz has been the Chair of the British Refugee Council since November 1998. The Refugee Council is the largest charitable organisation in the UK providing services and promoting the rights of asylum seekers and refugees in the UK and abroad. In November 2003 the NHS Appointments Commission appointed her Chair of St George's Healthcare NHS Trust. The Trust manages St George's Hospital in Tooting as well as Bolingbroke Hospital.


Dr Bayan Alaraji, Surrey
Human rights campaigner and refugee doctor

Dr Bayan AlavajiDr Bayan Alaraji is a highly qualified medical doctor. Born in Iraq and a graduate of Baghdad University, she left the country along with her husband and children fearing persecution by the regime. Since arriving in the UK she has devoted her life to helping the Iraqi people and started a campaign for human rights in Iraq. Following the second Gulf War, Dr Bayan Alaraji has committed herself to assisting the Iraqi refugees on the Iran-Iraq borders as well as refugees in Afghanistan and Palestine.


Mishal Husain, 30, London, News Presenter, BBC World

Mishal HusainMishal Husain is a highly accomplished broadcaster and as a key presenter on BBC World since Oct 2000, she has become one of the most familiar faces in news broadcasting around the globe. Mishal anchors the 6 and 7 pm evening news, seen by a worldwide audience of over 256 million and across the United States through cable and satellite on BBC America and public television. Mishal is also a Washington correspondent for BBC News. She has played an integral role in establishing BBC World as an authoritative source of television news in USA.

Mishal studied law at Cambridge University, graduating in 1995, and then completed a Master's in Law at the European University Institute in Florence. Her first job was at Bloomberg Television in London, where she spent two years and had the opportunity of on-camera work for the first time. She joined the BBC in 1988 as a producer at BBC World and then moved to the BBC's specialist Economics and Business Unit as a reporter.


Nina WadiaThe Chairman's Award was given to actress Nina Wadia who is best known for starring in three consecutive hit British comedies - the award-winning 'Goodness Gracious Me', and the sitcoms 'Perfect World' and 'Chambers, all for the BBC. Nina has also starred in Channel 4's critically acclaimed 'White Teeth' and on stage in the ground-breaking Vagina Monologues. She has starred with Jasper Carrot in BBC 1 drama 'All About Me' and worked alongside Tim Robbins and Samantha Morton in Michael Winterbottom's 'Code46'. Her award nominations include an International Emmy for 'Goodness Gracious Me' as well as an EMMA nomination for Best Performance by a TV Actress in 'SitaGita' for Carlton Television. Nina has also hosted the AWA Awards since their formation.


Patricia RozarioThis year's judging panel boasted a number of distinguished and respected representatives from industry and commerce, media and the non-profit sector including Anshu Jain, head of global markets, Deutsche Bank AG London; David Bell, director, Pearsons; David Notts, consultant, Chelsea & Westminster Hospital; Emma Broadbent, barrister; Julie Mellor, chair, Equal Opportunities Commission; Kieran Pointer, partner, Pricewaterhouse Coopers; Lisa Aziz, news presenter, Sky News; Meena Pathak OBE, director, Patak Spices; Nabila Sadiq, managing director, Joslin Rowe recruitment and winner of AWA 2003 Businesswoman of the Year - Corporate; Sir Nicholas Young, chief executive, British Red Cross; Patricia Rozario, opera singer; Richard Greenhalgh, chairman, Unilever UK; Patrick French, author; Stephen Irwin QC and Toni Letts OBE, chief executive Croydon YMCA.


Click here for the AWA Awards 2004 picture gallery.
Click here to read about the AWA Awards 2004 finalists
Click here to read about AWA Awards 2003 winners.
Click here to read about the AWA Awards 2003 shortlist.
Click here to read about AWA Awards 2002 winners.
Click here to read about the AWA Awards 2002 shortlist.
Click here to read about AWA Awards 2001 winners.
Click here to read to about the AWA Awards 2001 shortlist.



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