CDU awards Honorary Doctorates to Territory pioneers 


The outstanding contribution of two prominent Territory identities will be recognised with Honorary Doctorates during Charles Darwin University’s mid-year graduation this week (May 20 and 21).

Long-serving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Tom Calma and leading Territory medical practitioner Dr Sadhana Mahajani will be awarded a Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa and Doctor of Letters, Honoris Causa, respectively.

Dr Calma will be recognised for his outstanding commitment and contribution to the advancement of Indigenous and multicultural Australia, primarily in the areas of education, employment and training programs for Indigenous and remote communities.

An Aboriginal elder from the Kungarakan tribal group and a member of the Iwaidja tribal group, Dr Calma has been involved in Indigenous affairs at a local, community, state, national and international level and worked in the public sector for more than 35 years.

Dr Mahajani will be recognised for her outstanding contribution and long-term dedication to improving the health and wellbeing of Territorians.

She was first employed to provide medical checks to school children in the Darwin region and in 1974 helped to establish the first Community Health Centre in Peel Street.

Through the 1980s and 1990s while working with the Aged Care Assessment Team, she also devoted her time as a physician to a variety of public health services including drug rehabilitation services, palliative care, women's cancer prevention, breast screening and sexual assault services.

Dr Mahajani was instrumental in validating the Kimberly Indigenous Cognitive Assessment Tool across the Northern Territory. This tool assists professionals in diagnosing dementia in Indigenous patients.

In addition to the presentation of the Honorary Doctorates, the mid-year graduation ceremony will see more than 500 students receive formal recognition of the successful completion of their studies in the higher education and Vocational Education and Training sectors.