Queen's Birthday Honours: Dr Sudarshan Sachdev, OAM

Dr Sudarshan Sachdev, Sydney ophthalmologist, gets OAM honour

Reading Time: 3 minutes

For service to the community, and to medicine, particularly to ophthalmology

Ask Dr SK Sachdev about his career highlights, and he will reply, “The crying days at eye camp.”

He means the last days of eye camps in remote areas of India or Fiji, where his patients from some of the most underprivileged sections of society come to bid him goodbye, their vision now restored.

The Sydney-based ophthalmologist has been named by the Australian Government in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list this year.

“I’m very proud of my OAM honour, coming at the end of 46 years of service,” Dr Sachdev tells Indian Link.

Yet he muses, “Is it going to change my daily life much? I can’t say; I’m going to continue doing what I’ve been doing.”

Dr Sudarshan Sachdev arrived here in the mid-1970s, fresh with university degrees from New Delhi and Edinburgh, as an eye specialist at Taree Hospital. He was the only such specialist serving the people in the entire region. In his ten years there, he also taught at Newcastle Medical College.

He moved to Sydney in 1985 and set up a practice at Dee Why and a day surgery at Rosebery.

Very early in his career in India, Dr Sachdev began to give back to the community, working at eye camps in areas where his service was needed most. It is a practice that continues to this day.

As a member of the Roatry Club, he was able to extend this service to needy people in Fiji, taking teams of specialists and nurses, all volunteers, to far-flung areas to set up eye camps.

“The Rotary Club has been a great platform for me,” he observes. “In thirty years now, I’ve served as president of the Rosebery chapter, taken on various portfolios and overseen national and international projects.”

One such experience is his association with ROMAC, the Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children, a program in which members volunteer their time and expertise.

The Rotary Club recognised his efforts by presenting him with the Humanitarian Service Award on two different occasions, as well as with its prestigious Paul Harris Fellowship.

Currently he is involved with the eradication of trachoma. “The WHO aims to eradicate trachoma, a public health disease that causes blindness or impaired vision, by the year 2020. My own work in this regard is with indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.”

Besides ophthalmology, Dr Sachdev has developed a keen interest in the study and prevention of degenerative ailments and in metabolic disorders

His work with CHeBA, UNSW’s Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing, stems from a deeply personal space. “I lost my mum to dementia, and that spurred an interest in healthy ageing and prevention of dementia.”

At Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research, his work is aimed at better understanding insulin-resistant diabetes.

At both institutes, his Sachdeva Foundation raises funds to support research scientists engaged in finding treatments.

The foundation was set up eighteen years ago in association with his wife Naresh, herself a gynaecologist.

“The aim of the Foundation is to promote research into issues close to our heart,” he says.

Together both Dr Sachdevs are a well-regarded team in Sydney’s Indian community, heavily involved in local fund-raising initiatives for other programs such as breast cancer awareness and prevention.

“Naresh is my right hand,” Dr Sachdev says of his wife. “The Foundation was really her idea, and she has been instrumental in the eye camps we organise and in the setting up of our surgeries.”

They met as medical students at Delhi’s Maulana Azad Medical College, an institute that has no less than 102 alumni in Sydney alone. “I am the senior-most of these 102,” Dr Sachdev laughs.

- Advertisement -
Rajni Anand Luthra
Rajni is the Editor of Indian Link.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -


Ep 9: What do young Indians want from love?

  Growing up in Indian culture, most of us know that love has never been as popular as marriage. Even in the movies, the main...

Ep 8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s...

  To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...

Ep 7: In the case of Sushant Singh Rajput

  The torrid and high-octane Sushant Singh Rajput case has been fodder for Indian people and press for the last few months. The actor’s tragic death...
- Advertisement -

Latest News

TiE at Nazaarey wines

TiE Melbourne: developing conscious entrepreneurs

  When Prakash Gupta and his wife Seema migrated to Australia in 2000 as skilled professionals, they were in search of job opportunities. They felt...
b'desh art org qagoma

South Asian artists in QAGOMA’s Asia Pacific Triennial

  In the 10th edition of QAGOMA's Asia Pacific Triennial (APT10), the exhibition hopes to look to the future of art and the world we...

Saahil Bhargava pays homage to Aussie rock band Karnivool

  Fresh off his debut EP released back in August, LA-based singer-songwriter Saahil Bhargava has unveiled what he’s dubbed an “homage” to one of Australia’s...
argyle street parramatta

Police investigate armed robbery at Parramatta jewellery store

  NSW Police are appealing for assistance to locate a vehicle following an armed robbery at a jewellery store at Parramatta. At around 2:35 PM on...
pratham girls

#LightALife: Pratham Australia raises $20k this Diwali

  It started off with a simple concept: for every $20 donation, a diya was lit this Diwali. And for every 25 diyas, adding up...