Angraj Khillan, an Indian-origin paediatrician from Victoria state, has been named 2023 Australian of the Year for offering valuable healthcare and health education to a number of Australian communities.
Several media sources mentioned that Khillan had also collaborated with Australia’s aboriginal communities. The people of Australia’s remote Aboriginal communities refer to him as their fly-in, fly-out paediatrician.
Khillan, 56, is a co-founder of the Health Awareness Society of Australia (HASA), an organisation that dispels health misconceptions, taboos, and misinformation through forums in a variety of languages. HASA hosts forums and virtual sessions in English, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, and Arabic on a variety of issues ranging from mental health to Covid-19 vaccines.
As a student in India, he raised funds for his medical study by selling offerings outside a temple. Khillan began working to help raise awareness of dowry abuse and domestic violence after relocating to Melbourne in 2010. According to a government press release, he has been instrumental in providing vital healthcare and health education to Victoria’s diverse communities.
The governor of Victoria, Linda Dessau AC, tweeted, “Congratulations to paediatrician Dr Angraj Khillan, 2023 Victorian Australian of the Year. Dr Khillan has changed lives by delivering healthcare and health education to culturally diverse communities across Australia”.
Khillan, popularly known as “Dr Raj,” began working as a paediatrician at the Royal Darwin Hospital in 2004 and has since dedicated his life to serving the isolated Aboriginal communities.
Along with being a founding member of the Doctors Against Domestic Violence Group and a member of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, he has also been raising money for charitable causes in Australia, East Timor, and India.
The 2019 Small Business Champion Awards, the 2019 India Australia Business and Community Awards, the 2017 Victorian Multicultural Awards for Excellence, and the 2019 Wyndham Business Awards are just a few of the honours he has received.
In addition to Khillan, three other Victorians received prizes. Professor Frank Oberklaid, Darcy McGauley-Bartlett, and Belinda Young are the other three Victoria Australian of the Year honorees. Professor Oberklaid earned Victoria’s Senior Australian of the Year and Belinda Young was given the Victoria Local Hero Award. They will join recipients from other states on January 25, 2023, in Canberra for the national award event.