Navy officer honoured as role model at Gargi Awards

Published on LEUT Anthony Martin (author)

Location(s): Wenworthville, Sydney

Topic(s): Honours, Awards and Trophies, Chaplaincy

Navy’s Principal Chaplain Colin Acton congratulates Lieutenant Kamala Sharma-Wing on her Gargi Award in the Defence, Police, Fire and Emergency Services category. (photo: Unknown)
Navy’s Principal Chaplain Colin Acton congratulates Lieutenant Kamala Sharma-Wing on her Gargi Award in the Defence, Police, Fire and Emergency Services category.

It was a proud moment for Lieutenant Kamala Sharma-Wing, when she was recently recognised By the Hindu Council of Australia with a Gargi Award.

Lieutenant Sharma Wing won the Hindu Council’s 2019 Gargi Award in the Defence, Police, Fire and Emergency Services category at a ceremony in Sydney.

The Gargi Awards recognise outstanding women in Australia who serve as good role models for Hindu girls and women.

The Award is named after the ancient female Hindu philosopher Gargi Vachaknavi, who was honoured as a renowned expounder of the eternal knowledge in Vedic Literature, and is famous for challenging the established male sage Yajnavalkya, the only woman lady to do so.

Director General Chaplaincy - Navy, Principal Chaplain Collin Acton noted that Lieutenant Sharma-Wing was nominated for working towards genuine diversity and inclusion in Defence, through her work in Intercultural Diversity reference groups and providing a positive influence and guidance in multi-faith chaplaincy.

“Lieutenant Sharma-Wing lead the collection of two-tonnes of quality items and medicines to support people affected by the 2015 Nepal Earthquake,” Chaplain Acton said.

Lieutenant Sharma-Wing was excited to receive the award and pleased her work had both inspired and raised awareness about the Australian Defence Force as a career option for young Hindu people. 

“I felt very honoured to win the award, and incredibly touched by the warmth shown towards me and the Navy by the Australian Hindu community,” Lieutenant Sharma-Wing said.

“On several occasions during the award ceremony, people commented that they were pleasantly surprised to see a Hindu woman wearing a Navy uniform,” she said.  

Lieutenant Sharma-Wing is a Maritime Logistics Officer who initially joined the Navy in 1995 as a Writer.

She currently works as Staff Officer to the Director General Chaplaincy – Navy in Navy’s Chaplaincy Directorate, supporting reforms to Navy’s Chaplaincy Capability and enabling it to provide pastoral, spiritual and wellbeing support to all Navy people and their families, regardless of their faith or background.

She also continues to work with the Diversity Reference Group.

The Royal Australian Navy is proud of its diverse workforce, and recognises that it needs people who reflect the Australian community it serves and who enhance Navy capability through differences in perspectives, ways of thinking and problem solving.