Melbourne: Indian-origin pediatrician Angraj Khillan from Victoria state has been honored with the 2023 Australian of the Year award for delivering key healthcare and health education to several Australian communities.
Khillan, 56, is the co-founder of the Health Awareness Society of Australia (HASA), which dispels myths, taboos, and misinformation about health through forums in a range of languages.
HASA delivers forums and virtual sessions in English, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, and Arabic on topics from mental health to Covid-19 vaccinations.
“It is an honor, and privilege at the same time it brings a lot of responsibility to me to work harder to cater to the needs of Australian multicultural communities,” Khillan told The Australia Today.
As a student in India, he sold offerings outside a temple to fund his medical education.
After moving to Melbourne in 2010, Khillan worked to raise awareness of domestic violence and dowry abuse.
He has played a pivotal role in delivering key healthcare and health education to culturally diverse communities in Victoria, a government release note stated.
“Congratulations to pediatrician Dr. Angraj Khillan, 2023 Victorian Australian of the Year. Dr. Khillan has changed lives by delivering healthcare and health education to culturally diverse communities across Australia,” Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria, tweeted.
Having been associated with the Royal Darwin Hospital in 2004 as a pediatrician, Khillan, also known as ‘Dr. Raj’, has tirelessly worked for the remote Aboriginal communities.
He has also been raising funds for philanthropy in India, East Timor, and Australia, apart from being a member of The Royal Australasian College of Physicians, and founder of the Doctors Against Domestic Violence Group.
He has several awards to his credit, including the 2019 Small Business Champion Awards, the 2019 India Australia Business and Community Awards, the 2017 Victorian Multicultural Awards for Excellence, and the 2019 Wyndham Business Awards, among others.
Apart from Khillan, there were three other recipients of the award from Victoria, who will come together with awardees from other states for the national awards ceremony in Canberra on January 25, 2023.