Australia: A gay Indian student studying in Australia is one of five nominees for the prestigious Victorian International Education Award that celebrates leaders in the international education sector.
The International PhD student who asked to be identified only by his first name Arjun due to strict anti-gay laws in India that criminalizes same-sex relations, has been in Australia since the past two years ago to start his PhD at La Trobe University in Social Movements in the school of Journalism and Strategic Communication.
He said he was inspired by the struggles GLBTI people face in his home country, according to gaynewsnetwork.com.au.
“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 told gaynewsnetwork.com.au. “It’s also something that continues to develop, and it’s not something that has reached any concrete conclusion.”
Arjun has also taken up volunteering work while living in Melbourne, working as a peer supporter at the Victorian AIDS Council besides hosting a program on radio station 3CR called ‘Queering the Air’ that features interviews with gay 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,” he said.
If Arjun were to be awarded the International Student of the Year Research award, he will win a $10,000 scholarship for his studies, a grant which he said 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 scheduled to be announced at an awards ceremony on September 9.