With a background in dental surgery from India, Dr Jagnoor Jagnoor presently works as a Senior Lecturer at UNSW’s Faculty of Medicine. Dr Jagnoor is an honorary Senior Lecturer at School of Public Health at University of Sydney and the John Walsh Centre for Rehabilitation Research. She is a Senior Research fellow at the Injury Division at the George Institute and heads their India office and is also an Early Career Fellow with NHMRC. She is also affiliated with the Kolling Institute for Medical Research.
Dr Jagnoor feels proud to be acknowledged as one of the 40 Under 40 Most Influential Asian Australians. She, however, voiced concerns over a lack of Asian Australians in leadership roles for our youngsters to look up to. “Despite making up 12 percent of the country’s population, only 4 percent hold leadership positions,” she stressed. “While we must acknowledge that a lot has been done in terms of recognising equity, I think there are some sections within our society that are disadvantaged.”
Underscoring the struggles faced by students, she pointed out that while Australian universities prosper on revenue from international students, when it’s time for academia to give back, we don’t fare too well.
“There are many international and local students who are looking for global exposure, but we are not as diverse as we potentially could be to provide that kind of experience.”
Unlike UK and USA, Jagnoor conceded, Australia sadly lags behind in strong government investment in global health.
Her interest in public health and the inequity in society leading to health disadvantages plays an important part in Dr Jagnoor’s work. She is fascinated by derogatory perceptions about marginalised communities claiming it helps her to understand how discrimination is present outside and within the health system.
Jagnoor has conducted extensive research in injury prevention in many countries focussing on road injuries, burns and drownings and their impact on communities owing to associated disabilities and economic cost.
In Bangladesh she worked on drowning prevention. She was startled to learn that in Bangladesh, Philippines and Vietnam, children under the age of 5 were drowning within 100m of their own home and drowning was becoming the number one cause of child death in those countries
In addition to her work in Australia, Dr Jagnoor is also actively involved in projects in India. She is currently looking forward to working on a burns project due to start in India in October.
Her advice to young Asian Australians? “Actively look for mentors early on in your careers and seek diverse leaders as role models.”
She added, “I’d like to call upon more female leaders to become mentors.”