Queen Elizabeth II honoured two men of Indian origin


Two men of Indian origin were recognised by Queen Elizabeth II in her birthday honours list for their service to the community.

These two were among the 891 Australians honoured in the Queen's birthday honor list for the year 2017. Professor Rajiv Khanna, who was bestowed the title Officer of the Order of Australia Medal told IANS,

We tend to value education highly in India. You go to any Indian parent, they all want their kids to become a doctor or an engineer or something. But in a terms of what it brings to the Australian community is that the highly educated Indian community... whether they're in a medical area or an engineering area, they contribute hugely. And I'm part of that and I'm very proud of that heritage.

Rajiv, who is a professor in Queensland, received the honour for his significant contribution to the field of medicine. He has been working in the field of cellular immunotherapy for the past 20 years to help in the treatment of cancer and chronic diseases.

Rajiv Khanna Image credit: SBS

Rajiv Khanna, who has been in Australia for nearly thirty years, has authored or co-authored more than 200 scientific papers. He said that he was happy that his work was acknowledged by people outside the scientific community.

Another Australian of Indian origin who received the honour is Unnikrishnan Velayudhan Pilla, who is also from Queensland. The founder of Jvala Charitable and Cultural Society was awarded Order of Australia in the general division, for his service to the Malayali community in Australia.

He has also received many awards in the past for his service to the community in Queensland including Lord Mayor's Australia Day Award Bharat Gaurav Award, and the Multicultural community award.

Other significant people who received this award are Hollywood actress Cate Blanchett, Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce, and the departing mining industry heavyweight Jacques Nasser.

Announcing the list of people who received the awards, Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove told PTI,

"To all recipients, I offer my deepest congratulations, admiration, and respect for your contribution to our nation."

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