A three-time Gold Coast spine doctor has been named the 2021 Queensland Australian of the Year.
Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM is a resident of Gold Coast University Hospital, a disabled lawyer and a law graduate, but has now added another success to his list.
Dr Palipana was presented with the award by Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk overnight.
“It was a special moment.”
In 2010, an accident at Brisbane’s Gateway Motorway left Dr Palipana without hearing or moving from the chest down.
Despite the incident, he quickly turned the tragedy into a success and became Queensland’s first medical doctor and medical professional.
He is now an active disability advocate and has worked with the Australian Medical Association to create new national policies for specialization in medical education and employment.
He has spoken to international bodies such as TEDx and has appeared as a witness to the Disability Royal Commission.
Ms Palaszczuk congratulated Dr Palipana on this.
“Dr Dinesh Palipana is unaware of the issues,” he said.
“He speaks, writes and advocates for equal treatment of people with disabilities, and plays a key role in furthering the treatment of spinal injuries and restoring the services of people with disabilities.”
The Queensland finalist will find out if you are the Australian of the year on Australia Day.