Australia Day honours to enterprising youth from our sub-continent

 

Australia Day and India Day is tomorrow on 26th January, celebrated jointly by Australians in all walks of life and Indians settled here remember this day in quite an emotional and patriotic feeling singing songs and remembering their mother nation with a lot of love and nostalgia.

Australia day honours are conferred every year to distinguished citizens of the country which includes this year among many achievers some wonderful workers in our own community who have made a difference to the lives of people here in their adopted homeland. Nipuni Wijewickrema from Australian Capital territory who is the National Finalist Young Australian of the Year 2016 has been thus chosen for her contribution through her floristry shop designed to create employment opportunities for people with special needs. Dr Vinay Menon is Western Australia’s young finalist for his work helping young refugees from countries including Sudan, Burma and Pakistan start their new lives in Australia. Kenneth Kadirgamar, a young engineer, is Northern Territory’s young finalist of the year who has devoted many hours to youth radio and plays an active role representing young community broadcasters and organising national conferences and events

Nipuni Wijewickrema – Florist – National Finalist Young Australian of the Year 2016

Nip ACT

Social entrepreneur

A young woman trying to change the world “one flower at a time”, Nipuni Wijewickrema runs a floristry business designed to create employment opportunities for people with special needs. Nip, as she is affectionately known, first established GG’s Florist with her family to ensure her 16 year old younger sister Gayana would have fulfilling work after graduating from high school. Gayana, who has was born with Down syndrome, is now famous around Canberra for her floral deliveries that always come with a big hug. From a backyard garden shed, Nip has shown other local organisations how to create safe working environments for people with disabilities. As well as working full-time and managing the family floristry business, Nip is a volunteer counsellor with Lifeline and contributes regularly to community initiatives, assisting many young people through her work with the ACT Youth Advisory Council. Passionate, dedicated, driven and incredibly sleep deprived, Nip has developed a socially sustainable business model which is changing the way Canberrans think about inclusion.

Dr Vinay Menon – Doctor – WA Finalist Young Australian of the Year 2016

Australia Day Awards - Vinay Menon

Graduating with First Class Honours in Paediatric Medical Science in 2010 and awarded a Rhodes Scholarship in 2012, Dr Vinay Menon’s academic achievements are well-recognised. Less well-known is his work in malaria research in Burkina Faso, with leprosy patients in India, or in Tanzanian refugee camps. In Australia, Vinay has served homeless people while on Soup Patrol, and volunteered with Aboriginal children through medical clinics in the Kimberley, and in holiday programs in Arnhem Land. In his extensive voluntary work, Vinay was elected the national youth leader of Red Cross for three years, contributed to numerous advisory boards and represented Australian Red Cross overseas. As the co-founder of the Red Cross World Aware program, Vinay has helped young refugees from countries including Sudan, Burma and Pakistan start their new lives in Australia. Now a Resident Medical Officer at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, Vinay’s long-term ambition is to create change for children in communities most ravaged by preventable disease.

Kenneth Kadirgamar, Engineer & Youth Leader – NT Finalist Young Australian of the Year 2016

Australian of the Year Awards - Kenneth

After migrating to Australia at the age of 10, Kenneth Kadirgamar has employed all his talents and skills to contribute to his community. Kenneth has been a member of the steering committee overseeing National Youth Week, has judged Young Achiever Awards and as Vice-Chair of Multicultural Youth NT, has helped to foster the young leaders of tomorrow. As President of the Charles Darwin University Engineering Students’ Society, Kenneth fostered a collegiate educational environment. Deeply involved in community radio broadcasting, Kenneth is a regular presenter on the youth-led multicultural radio show Tectonic Youth Radio and is the national youth convenor for the National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcaster’s Council. Despite a taxing role as a graduate civil engineer, Kenneth continues to devote many hours to youth radio and plays an active role representing young community broadcasters and organising national conferences and events. A shining example of community service, Kenneth inspires other young people to find their passion and make a difference.

Short URL: https://indiandownunder.com.au/?p=6140

Posted by on Jan 25 2016. Filed under Community, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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