THE Bombala community will be very excited to welcome Prashanth Shanmugan to our Australia Day festivities this Saturday, January 20 as our Australia Day Ambassador.
Prashanth Shanmugan is recognised as one of Australia's most inspirational leaders in humanitarian law and human rights. He is the founding president of the United Nations Society and is on the council of the Australian Institute of International Affairs.
Since completing high school in 1999, Prashanth has received the Ministers Award for Excellence in Education and Student Achievement, and in the same year was awarded the Human Rights Commission's Inaugural Human Rights Youth Medal for his promotion of unity in diversity and a unified national identity.
On Australia Day 2000 he was named Young Citizen of the Year, which recognised the contributions he has made to the Australian community through his leadership and advocacy as well as countless volunteer hours on a variety of causes and with many organisations including Australian Vision, 20/20, an organisation he founded to combat apathy and to engage in critical debate identifying and exploring emerging changes, challenges, and opportunities facing Australia.
He is actively involved with the Australian Red Cross as a community speaker and has travelled extensively across Australia disseminating the laws of war and the global role of the Red Cross.
In 2001 Prashanth was selected by the United Nations as a Global Ambassador for the United Nations Global Atlas of Human Rights. He is one of few people to have been given this honour.
He was a finalist in the Young Australian of the Year Awards in 2002, and in 2003 he was awarded the Centenary Medal by the Commonwealth of Australia for services in youth affairs and promoting international peace and co-operation.
In 2005 he was awarded the Humanitarian Award by the Altruism Foundation for his promotion of humanitarian values.
Prashanth is highly sought after for a number of speaking engagements and regularly addresses schools, universities, community groups and corporations on topics ranging from leadership to scenario planning and his views on global politics and public policy.
Prashanth produces and presents Perspectives on Eastside Radio, a weekly drive time current affairs program covering politics, identity and ideas.
Though a proud internationalist who consciously crosses cultural boundaries to influence social change, Prashanth is fiercely Australian and believes that in order to find our place in the world, Australians must be strong and united and have a true sense of national identity.
Prashanth has recently completed an honours thesis on the changing nature of warfare at the University of New South Wales where he researched the application of the Geneva Conventions on non-state actors in internal armed conflicts.