Australia has honored four people of Indian origin with civilian awards for their contributions in the field of medicine and work towards the community.

Purushottam Sawrikar, a Sydney-based medical practitioner, received the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 2017, announced on Australia Day (26 January) for his service to medicine and to the Indian community Australia.

Sawrikar, who arrived in Sydney in 1972 from city Hyderabad, India, is also known for his social work, having reached out to the community on health-related issues through radio, print, TV and audio CDs. He has also organised several free health check-ups on blood pressure and diabetes, also a former president of Australian Indian Medical Graduates Association (AIMGA) and has advocated on behalf of doctors of India who find it hard to qualify for registration. Sawrikar also founded a community radio called Akashwani Sydney.

Professor Mark (Makhan Singh) Khangure from Perth received Member of the Order of Australia (AM) award for his significant service in the field of neuroradiology, to education, and to a range of professional medical associations, said he was “delighted” to hear the news.

Professor Khangure has also served on the boards of a number of medical organisations, including Australian and New Zealand Society of Neuroradiology, the Australian Medical Association and Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists.

Sydney-based radiopharmaceutical scientist Dr Vijay Kumar got the AM award for significant service to medical research in the disciplines of biology and nuclear medicine, to professional organisations, and to the community. “I feel very honoured by this recognition. What makes me particularly happy is the fact that this will hopefully encourage aspiring scientists to take it up seriously and bring recognition to the discipline,” said Kumar, who is a founding member of the Sydney Tamil Sangam Association, was also awarded by Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation Award in 2007 and 2014.

Melbourne-based doctor Ranjana Srivastava received the OAM award for service to medicine, particularly in the doctor-patient communication field. “I’m very humbled, and a little thrilled,” Srivastava said after she received the Order of Australia medal.

More than 950 Australians were named this year for the Australia Day Honors with former Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Victoria’s Governor Linda Dessau, former Liberal MP David Kemp and organic scientist Andrew Holmes receiving the nation’s top Australia Day medal, the Companion of the Order of Australia.

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