Dr Sadhana Mahajani

Community physician

2013 NT Senior Australian of the Year

For the past 40 years, Indian-born Dr Sadhana Mahajani has made Darwin her home and the health and wellbeing of Territorians her greatest priority. In 1974 she helped establish Darwin’s first community health centre only to see it destroyed by Cyclone Tracey. Undeterred, she continued to provide medical services from a demountable building, before later opening another six health centres. She also started making bush visits to the communities of La Belle Station, Annaburroo and Daly River winning the respect and trust of the Aboriginal people and providing Pap smears to women living in the most remote parts of the Territory. Selfless and never judgmental, Dr Mahajani’s career includes working in drug and rehabilitation services, women’s cancer prevention, breast screening and sexual assault services. Colleagues and patients alike speak of her calming presence, her wealth of knowledge and her practical approach in a crisis. Over the past 25 years, she has devoted her considerable energy and time to the care of the elderly particularly in the diagnosis and treatment of dementia.