Adelaide’s VIKRAM MADAN is awarded OAM for service to multicultural affairs
Major General Vikram Madan (Retd) has won major awards in his distinguished military career in India, including the Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) not once but twice.
However, he says being awarded the OAM in his adopted country feels like an even greater achievement, as it is for his voluntary work in the community.
Vikram Madan had been coming to Australia occasionally to visit his sisters who are settled here. On one such visit in 2006, he met Veena. Within a few months, he had decided that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her, and they got married the following year.
Settling down in Adelaide, Vikram closely observed the Indian community around him. It was a time when the Indian community was growing very quickly and there were challenges arising from this. Coming from a service background in a leadership capacity, and having a passion for community work, Vikram Madan jumped in to become Vice President of the Indian Australian Association of SA (IAASA) in 2008.
He went on to become President. During this time there was a lot of conflict in the wider community due to the sudden, huge influx of migrants and students from India. Unfortunately, there were some violent incidents towards international students and taxi drivers.
In his role as IAASA President, Vikram did some outstanding work to help and support the victims and their families and advocate for quick resolution of the issues.
Seeing his commitment and leadership, the Government appointed him to the Board of SAMEAC (South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission).
As a SAMEAC member for the last eight years, Vikram has advocated on behalf of all ethnic communities and says he has learnt about the “needs and aspirations of all our multicultural communities, and assisted them as well as Indian organisations to find pathways to settlement.”
Vikram is involved in many other organisations and committees including Multicultural Aged Care where he is the Chairman, Passenger Transport Standards Committee, OzAsia to name only a few. But one of his major achievements, he says are the fundraiser he organised for the Nepal Earthquake where they raised $43,000.
Another achievement he speaks of with much pride, is his success in securing for Indian defence veterans the right to march in the ANZAC Day Parade in South Australia.
In India, Madan gave 41 years of his life to the Indian Army. In his career he saw action in the Bangladesh war, in Sri Lanka, and during the insurgency operations in India’s north-east. He served eleven years in high altitude postings including Kargil at the India-Pakistan border, and commanded a Division in Punjab/J&K, fighting militancy.
“Community work in a foreign land is full of challenges,” Madan told Indian Link. “I could not have done this without the support and encouragement of Veena and my family.”