Saturday, March 6, 2021

Australia Day Awards 2021: Dr Anand Naidoo OAM

Dr Anand Naidoo is honoured with the OAM for his service to paediatric medicine.

Reading Time: 2 minutes 

“I am pleased and honoured,” Dr Anand Naidoo of Coffs Harbour NSW told Indian Link, about his Australia Day felicitation this year.

- Advertisement -

He added laughingly, “It never crossed my mind that I would be put up for this honour. Wondered why anyone would bother!”

Dr Naidoo came to Australia from South Africa as a young doctor in 1978, serving in Sydney and Coffs Harbour.

What would he say has been his career highlight?

“Saving many lives, working as a regional paediatrician. But that’s what we do. If you’ve been in this line of work long enough, you’ll have faced several situations in which you’ve been able to save lives and help young families.”

To serve in a regional setting is another highlight, he noted, taking medicine to regional and remote communities, even though Coffs Harbour is not exactly remote.

“The advantages for rural doctors of course, also include lifestyle. Coffs, with its beachside setting, is paradise!”

‘Paradise’ is a term he also uses to describe his adopted country, especially given his experiences of Apartheid South Africa, where his family has lived since the early 1900s.

“Although I have good memories of my childhood, these are overwhelmingly predominated by the racist rule, police brutality, control of where we could or could not go. I’m pleased or see the back of it. Of course, the situation has changed, now that it is politically different.”

He faced no such issues here in Australia.

“There were many doctors of colour when I arrived here,” he recalled. “I’ve worked with many doctors of Indian origin for example – all brilliant, they function at a very high level.”

How would Dr Anand Naidoo advise young doctors coming in today as New Australians?

“I’d say to them, do work to the best of your ability. It’s all about effort, effort, effort. This is a fair country, and it will give you opportunities. There could be barriers to entry to begin with, but isn’t that true of any country – no one will accept you straight off with open arms. Many people of colour are now heads of departments, doing really well. You can see that in the Indian diaspora – the barriers are high, and those that do get through are talented. By no means is this sheer luck; there’s thousands of years of history behind such achievement. Today’s Uber driver is the parent of tomorrow’s professional – it’s part of their cultural strength.”

READ ALSO: Australia Day Awards 2021: The late Dr Amarjit Singh More, OAM

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

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


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...

Latest News

Guess The Song rj ekta

LISTEN: Will you be the one to correctly guess this tune?

  Are you good with guessing tunes? Keen ear for rhythm and beats? RJ Ekta might've been able to stump you with this one. She recently...
Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah twitter thread

Women, what would you tell your school age self?

  Ahead of International Women's Day on 8 March, Monash University's Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah was asked to speak at a girl's school. The inspiring academic,...
women empowerment

WATCH: Hindi poem about women empowerment

  Ever have those days where nothing is going your way? You feel demotivated and wonder, "what's the point?". The last couple of weeks in Australia...
march 2021 shows and movies

Indian shows and movies to watch in March 2021

  Bombay Begums (Netflix) After the award-winning Lipstick Under My Burkha (2016), director Alankrita Shrivastava is back with another empowering series about women. Set in urban...

Japanese billionaire seeks eight artists for free Moon ride

  Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has invited eight people to join him for a free ride to the Moon on a SpaceX Starship rocket sometime...