Melbourne: The leader of the association of Indian-origin students in Australia who protested attacks against Indians in Melbourne has been given the 2011 Young Victorian of the Year award.
Amit Menghani, a 24-year-old aerospace engineering graduate, is president of the Federation of Indian Students of Australia (FISA), The Age reported on Saturday.
The Victorian of the Year Award is awarded for outstanding public and community services.
Menghani had led a rally of 2,000 Indian students in 2009 protesting a spate of violent attacks against people from the community in Melbourne.
The rally was called after a student was stabbed in the head with a screwdriver.
"There lacked a channel between the media and the students, so I decided to make people aware that these things were happening," Menghani said.
Born in Jaipur in Rajasthan, and raised in the United Arab Emirates, Menghani came to Australia when he was 18.
His middle-class family had taken a loan of USD 100,000 to educate him. In his acceptance speech on Friday, Meghani said he had learnt much from his family`s sacrifice.
He said he owed a lot to Victoria, and hoped it would one day become "a world leader in multi-ethnic co-habitation".