The Gold Coast Titans Physical Disability and Intellectual Disability Rugby League (PD/IDRL) Teams Doctor, Dr Dinesh Palipana was announced as the Queensland Australian of the Year for 2021.
Dr Dinesh Palipana was awarded the honour for his advocacy for doctors with disabilities, his work as the first quadriplegic doctor in Queensland and his admirable volunteer work within the community.
Dr Palipana has worked with the Gold Coast Titans as the team doctor for the PD and IDRL teams since early 2019.
Club Chairman Dennis Watt said the Titans are proud of Dr Dinesh and his achievements.
“He has been a wonderful advocate for the team, the club and the game,” Watt said.
“He is an extraordinary Australian and we are just so proud of him.
“Dr Dinesh is a very deserving winner and an extraordinary man and it’s clear that his drive is about helping others.
Speaking at the Titans NAIDOC event last week, Dr Dinesh said he is thrilled about the award.
“I am so thrilled, I actually don’t know how to feel, it’s an incredible feeling,” Dr Dinesh said.
Dr Dinesh has been the PDRL team doctor for the last 18 months, working closely with the team players at games and training sessions.
“I love this organisation, it’s more than just a sports club,” Dr Dinesh said.
“It is such a special community and I just love it.
“The first time that I met the PDRL and IDRL teams and seeing everyone was so special.
“Meeting everyone and seeing all the players for the first time was super cool.
“I really love what the Titans do, and I love that they are such an inclusive organisation, not just in sport but in the community too.
“I think that’s what we are all about as Australian’s and that is exactly what the Titans do,” he said.
Dr Dinesh will join his fellow award recipients from fellow states and territories on the 25 January next year for the national awards.