May 2019. It’s the 7 NEWS Victorian Young Achiever Awards and I’ve just won Young Achiever of the Year, the People’s Choice Award, and the Royal Flying Doctor Service Victoria Regional and Rural Health Achiever Award. It’s a long way from Pala, India.

I was born in a South Indian village on the banks of the Meenachil River, 650 kilometres from Chennai. My siblings and I grew up surrounded by lush highlands, rice paddies, colonial bungalows and rubber plantations. Imagine pastel coloured concrete houses with lines of washing strung across front doors. Our family including my grandparents who lived with us are of Malayalam descent, meaning native to the Kerala region. I attended the primary school in the village, and the high school around thirty minutes from our home.

As a teenager I decided that I wanted to study overseas and dreamt that I might be able to go to Australia. My father agreed to help me if I could achieve above 90% in my Year 12 studies. As a student who had always prioritised social activities above hitting the books, this didn’t come easy. I now had strong motivation to do my best! Australian tertiary admissions entrance scores were also high and so I had a twofold reason to succeed. Much to the surprise of my teachers I achieved 96%. Read more...

2019 Victorian Young Achiever of the Year

2019 Victorian Young Achiever of the Year

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