Community medicos continue to do us proud
Doctors must surely be one of India’s largest exports. The joke goes that no city in the world is complete without a Chinatown and Indian doctors.
India-trained doctors began to arrive in Australia after the White Australia Policy was done away with in the 1970s. Today, following many years of service, many of these have gone on to become highly valued members of society. A number of them have begun to feature on lists of Government honours announced on Australia Day and on the Queen’s Birthday. This year is no exception, with two Indian doctors in the most recent announcements.
Brisbane’s Dr. Ashim Kumar Majumdar and Sydney’s Dr Shiva Prakash have received the OAM honour in this year’s Queen’s Birthday honours.
Psychiatrist Dr. Ashim Majumdar is Chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee in a private hospital, senior lecturer in psychiatry at the University of Queensland, and a private practitioner since 2000. He arrived in Australia in 1978 after studying psychiatry in India and the UK, to work in public psychiatry.
“It has been a pleasure to work and provide psychiatric service to those in need, and to be able to serve the community,” he told Indian Link.
His particular passion in recent years, has been working with the Indian and wider community in promoting socio-cultural cohesion. Much of this work has been accomplished in his role as patron of the Bengali Society of Queensland and Senior Vice President of the Vedanta Centre, Brisbane.
General Practitioner Dr. Shiva Prakash of the Derby St Family Medical Centre at Kingswood, Sydney, told Indian Link, “It is gratifying that that I have been recognised for serving the community to the best of my ability as a GP, at the initial point of contact in illness.”
Dr. Prakash arrived in Australia in 1971 to work in the boutique Nepean Hospital. Five years later he became one of five resident medical officers and shortly thereafter, Deputy Medical Superintendent. He served there for 36 years, before taking up private practice.
“I love the community aspect of my job the best,” he said. “I came to the Penrith area as soon as I arrived, and I have never left. It is a beautiful place, made even more liveable by its wonderful people.”
As an active Rotarian, and as a board member of the Nepean Medical Association, Dr. Prakash finds many avenues to further his community-based activities.
Both doctors have many pearls of wisdom for newly arrived migrants.
“Australia is a wonderful country, a land of opportunity where one can enjoy life with dignity and freedom,” Dr. Majumdar noted. “As you start your life here, be sincere, honest and focus on your goals. Also, be respectful of others and be good citizens.”
“I like the old adage, what you give, is what you will receive,” Dr. Prakash offered. “At work, be diligent and work to your absolute best. Keep an open mind always, and never stop learning.”