Britain’s Home secretary, Suella Braverman, wins Queen Elizabeth II Woman of the Year award
Image by UK Parliament
Suella Braverman, Britain’s Indian-origin Home Secretary, has won the first Queen Elizabeth II Woman of the Year award at a ceremony in London.
The 42-year-old barrister was born to Tamil mother Uma and Goan-origin father Christie Fernandes in London and was appointed to the cabinet earlier this month after Liz Truss was elected as the new prime minister.
In a video message that was played at the awards ceremony, Braverman said that it was an honour to have received the prestigious award at the Asian Achievers Awards (AAA) 2022 ceremony which was dedicated in the memory of Her Majesty the Queen’s honour.
“My mum and dad came to this country from Kenya and Mauritius in the 1960s,” she said.
She continued, “They’ve been proud members of our Asian community and I was born in Wembley, the heart of the Asian community, and to be elected to serve in the UK Parliament and now to serve our phenomenal and amazing and welcoming country as Home Secretary is the honour of my life. I hope to do you proud.”
Braverman’s parents were present at the 20th edition of the awards that recognise the achievements of people belonging to the UK’s Asian community. They received the award on her behalf as she could not be present at the ceremony.
According to Eastern Eye, other Indian-origin winners across the different categories included broadcaster Naga Munchetty in the media category, chairman and CEO of celebrated visual effects firm DNEG Namit Malhotra in the Arts and Culture category, and Captain Harpreet Chandi in the Uniformed and Civil Service category for her solo expedition across the Antarctic to the South Pole earlier this year.
Professor Sir Shankar Balasubramanian was named Professional of Year for his pioneering DNA sequencing discovery and Karenjeet Kaur Bains won Sports Personality of the Year as the first female Sikh powerlifter to represent Britain on the global stage.
Sherry Vaswani, CEO of IT services firm Xalient, won Entrepreneur of the Year and restaurateur brothers Shamil and Kavi Thakrar were named Business Persons of the Year as the founders of the successful Dishoom chain of restaurants. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Kartar Lalvani, the founder of the UK’s well-known health supplements brand Vitabiotics, Eastern Eye wrote.
The judging panel included a diverse range of professionals, including Former Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bas Javid, former president of the Royal College of General Practitioners Mayur Lakhani, Monzo Bank COO Sujata Bhatia, music producer Bally Sagoo, Welsh Assembly Member Natasha Asghar, and Artistic Director of Darbar Festival, Sandeep Virdee, Eastern Eye added. Around £100,000 was also raised in a charity auction conducted by celebrated author Lord Jeffery Archer for the educational non-profit organisation Pardada Pardadi, which works in promoting girls’ education in India.