Jaya Manchikanti who migrated from India to Australia as a young girl with her parents and siblings in 1970 has won Victorian Premier’s Volunteer of the Year 2021 – Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Award.
The 2021 Volunteering Awards recognise and celebrate the impact volunteers, volunteer leaders and volunteer programs have in building resilient communities, services and connections across Victoria.
The 2021 Awards were run by Volunteering Victoria with the support of the Victorian State Government through the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH).
“We commend Jaya for her truly inspiring work and congratulate her for the well-deserved accolade of Premier’s Volunteer of the Year, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Award.”
Jaya is the Founder and immediate past president of IndianCare, serving from 2013 to late 2021.
IndianCare is a Victorian not-for-profit community organisation dedicated to addressing the welfare needs of people of Indian origin.
This organisation provides direct support and pathway connection in the areas of family violence, substance abuse, health, international students, social isolation, migration, education and employment, and elder abuse.
Jaya is also co-convenor of the Victorian International Community Development Network, and is passionate about equitable outcomes for all and is keen to assist people of Indian origin in Victoria.
She has been an active member of the Telugu Association of Australia and was the co-founder of the Telugu Ladies Club which she helped to convene for 15 years.
She is also currently undertaking PhD research exploring the role of community development praxis in progressing the Sustainable Development Goals.
Her influence and leadership have been instrumental to the Indian community especially during the pandemic.
“Selected by Premier Andrews, this award acknowledges Jaya’s extensive volunteering efforts in establishing IndianCare Inc – dedicated to connecting people in Victoria’s diverse and growing Indian community with welfare services needed to lead a safe and healthy life.”
As the Premier’s Volunteer of the Year, Jaya will receive a $10,000 donation to a not-for-profit organisation of her choice.