This year, for his service to the Indian community of Victoria, to aged welfare, and to education, Dr Prem Phakey added another feather to his cap—Member of the Order of Australia. Dr Phakey, president of the Indian Senior Citizens Association, is one of the few Indians to receive this award.
Dr Phakey, who arrived in Australia in 1964—making this his 50th year Down Under—on a three-year teaching contract, and then went on to become a reader in Physics till he left the university in 1994. Dr Phakey is also known for his expertise in crystallography, microscopy and optics, and was the honorary lecturer at the Gemological Association of Australia, Victoria Division from 1968 to 1988.
“I am passionate about Indian diamonds,” says Dr Phakey, who is also an expert on moon rocks and lunar dust.
Dr Phakey was the founding secretary and the vice president of the Punjabi Club of Victoria, vice president and public officer for Australia and Indian Innovation Inc and trustee of the Australia India Charitable Trust.
He is also the founding chairperson of ICSA and its president since 2007. “It is important to make efforts to help our seniors avoid isolation and boredom,” he says.
Published in The Indian Sun / The Indian Sun person of the year nominee 2014