Queensland’s first quadriplegic doctor and disability advocate Dr Dinesh Palipana, has been named Queensland Australian of the Year. Now senior resident doctor at the Gold Coast University Hospital he was recently admitted as a lawyer.
Despite facing many barriers he has brought about many changes. He was co-founder of Doctors with Disabilities Australia and has worked with the Australian Medical Association to create first-of-kind national policies for inclusivity in medical education and employment.
Through Covid-19, he advocated for equitable treatment for people with disabilities, including as a witness to the Disability Royal Commission.
Palipana has also contributed significantly to scientific advances in treating spinal cord injury and restoring function to people with paralysis. His national and global impact has been recognised with numerous awards, including Junior Doctor of the Year and the Order of Australia.