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Gay Indian student nominated for education award
Aug29

Gay Indian student nominated for education award

LAST UPDATED // Friday, 29 August 2014 12:04 Written by // James Findlay

International PhD student, Arjun*, is one of five nominees for a prestigious Victorian International Education Award, which recognises and celebrates leaders in Victoria’s international education sector.

Arjun moved to Australia from India two years ago to start his PhD at La Trobe University in Social Movements in the school of Journalism and Strategic Communication, which was partly inspired by the struggles GLBTI people face in his home country.

“There seems to have been a lot of movement in the past five or six years, and an upsurge in awareness as well as campaigning around the issues,” Arjun said.

“It’s also something that continues to develop, and it’s not something that has reached any concrete conclusion.”

Arjun has also been participating in a lot of volunteer work while living in Melbourne, working as a peer supporter at VAC (Victorian AIDS Council) and hosting a program on radio station 3CR called ‘Queering the Air’, which features interviews with queer men from linguistically diverse communities.

“We talk about their journey to Melbourne, what they’ve experienced so far in Australia as well as their cultural background and experiences in their home country.”

If Arjun wins the International Student of the Year Research award, he will win a $10,000 scholarship to go towards his studies, which will help him greatly.

“It’s an opportunity for me to think about what more I can do with my research, how to expand my research and to think about broadening the scope,” he said.

The winner is announced at an awards ceremony on Tuesday September 9.

*Arjun requested his last name be withheld due to laws in his home country in regards to homosexuality.

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James Findlay

James Findlay

James Findlay is a Melbourne-based writer and broadcaster who has worked in community media for many years. He has won awards for his work on The Naughty Rude Show on SYN, and can be heard on JOY 94.9's breakfast program, Triple Threat, and Hide and Seek - exploring sex, sexuality and self. James was also the Marketing and PR Manager for Melbourne's Midsumma Festival for two years, before traveling overseas where he taught English in Germany and worked as a tour guide around Western Europe. He is currently studying his Masters at Melbourne University in Public Health (specialising in Sexual Health).

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