Associate Professor Jaswinder Singh Samra was among the handful of Australians of Indian origin to receive the Medal of the Honour of Australia, on Australia Day this year.
Meet Dr Jaswinder Singh Samra, OAM. Currently working at University of Sydney as well as at the Royal North Shore Hospital, was named in the Australia Day Honours list for 2019, "For service to medicine as a pancreatic specialist."
Speaking to SBS Punjabi about it, Dr Samra said, "I'm still in disbelief that I am the recipient of this honour".
"It's a credit to the team I work with at the hospital and the university, because our work in genomic studies of pancreatic cancer have received international recognition. So the OAM reflects team work, and isn't mine alone."
Dr Samra was born in England, to parents who migrated from Punjab in the 1950's. He completed his school and college education in England, which included a three-year stay in Oxford University.
"I was lucky enough to receive a scholarship, which enabled me to complete a three year research Doctorate at Oxford".
Dr Samra moved to Australia in 1996 and has been here ever since.
"I moved into the field of pancreatic cancer about 20 years ago, because back then, the outcome for patients was very poor. Only 10 percent people who had pancreatic cancer had a chance of surviving five years."
Dr Samra has made a significant contribution into studying pancreatic cancer and this year, was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia, for his efforts.