Established in 1975, the Order of Australia medal is the highest civilian honour conferred upon the country’s citizens for their achievements and meritorious service. This year, the prestigious order of chivalry includes three individuals of Indian origin.
Dr. Purushottam Sawrikar, Prof. Makhan Singh Khangure and Prof. Vijay are among the recipients of the 2017 Order of Australia medals.
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Dr. Sawrikar is a renowned medical practitioner living in Sydney, who has been awarded for his contribution towards the medical fraternity as well as the Indian community. He has long been an advocate for community health initiatives and was also the founder of Akashwani Sydney, a Marathi-language community radio.
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Prof. Khangure is a radiologist who has been living in Australia for four decades. He’s known for developing interventional neuro-radiology, a means of treating brain haemorrhage without surgery.
Dr. Vijay Kumar, who hails from Coimbatore, moved to Sydney in the 70s and has lived there since. He is a founding member of the Sydney Tamil Sangam Association. His achievements in nuclear medicine and biology has been recognised with numerous accolades, like the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation Award in 2007 and 2014.
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The three awardees feature among a list of 958 Australians nominated in various categories. The announcement was made on January 2016, which also happens to be National Australia Day.
This year’s Australian of the Year awards in the Local Hero category also included a nominee of Indian origin. Tejinder Pal Singh is known for his efforts at feeding the homeless and hungry in Darwin every Sunday for free.