Three Australians of Indian origin have received Australia's prestigious civilian honours for their exceptional contribution to the society.
Sadanandan Nambiar, Radhey Shyam Gupta and Pratish Chandra Bandopadhayay were the recipients of the Australia Day Honours, which were announced on January 26, the national day of Australia.
Nambiar, who works with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), was awarded the Officer of Order of Australia (AO), Australia's second highest award, for distinguished service to science.
Born in Azhikode in Kerala, Nambiar is a forest scientist internationally recognised as a leader in research on sustainable productivity and management of forests. Through his work, he has promoted the sustainable management of forests in Australia and tropical countries.
"This is recognition of the people of diverse backgrounds and skills from different parts of the world who have made Australia their home," said Nambiar, who has lived in Australia since 1970.
Gupta, from Templestowe, Victoria, received the Medal of the Order of Australia for services to the arts through classical Indian music.
Gupta has been teaching and playing Hindustani classical music and is renowned for his expertise across Australia. He is a veteran sitar player who has performed in concerts all over India and Australia for over 40 years.
"I am very happy to receive this award on behalf of all Indians in Australia and particularly the music lovers of Melbourne," he said.
Bandopadhayay also received the Medal of the Order of Australia for community service to the Australian Bengali and Nepali communities.
Lauding them, Australian High Commissioner Patrick Suckling said their achievements were recognition of the extraordinary contribution the Indian community had made to Australian society.
"With an estimated population of over 450,000 people, including permanent residents and temporary visa holders, people of Indian background make up a large and growing part of contemporary Australia.
"People-to-people links between our countries have been expanding rapidly. India has been in the top three source countries for temporary and permanent skilled migration for the past several years," he said.