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Parimala Srikanteshwara (she/her)
Disability, Vision loss, Chronic Illness & Trauma Survivor
Place of Birth: South India
Current location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Age: 40 years old
Language/s: English, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu
CALD: Yes - Indian/Hinduism
NDIS Participant: No
Diagnoses: Road traffic accident survivor (significant head and facia injuries), permanent Vision loss of left eye and vision disturbances in right eye, Deep vein thrombosis in Right hand, CRPS, PTSD, Lupus
Healthcare Access: Primary Health Care, Allied Health, Secondary care, Tertiary Care
Parimala is a trauma survivor who has become a passionate advocate for disability, chronic illness and multicultural health. Born in India, Pari came to Australia to pursue her PhD, but on a return holiday to India in 2017 she was in a huge road crash, where a truck collided with the car she was travelling in. Pari sustained significant injuries, most to her head and face, resulting in losing one of her eyes and vision. After spending just over 2 months in a coma and receiving multiple life-saving surgeries, being fed through a gastric tube and breathing through a tracheostomy, Pari learnt how to eat, drink, speak and mobilise again, and navigate life with a facial disfigurement, vision loss and ongoing disabilities.
Professionally, Pari has more than a decades experience in public health research, and qualifications in epidemiology and public health. While undergoing treatment for the complications arising from the road traffic accident, she has been advocating for herself and others with visual impairments. As she rediscovers her identity with a disability post trauma, she has done extensive research on ways to access affordable and quality care in Australia, and how to promote equity for women and culturally and linguistically diverse communities. With health qualifications and lived experience she feels confident in sharing, exploring and advocating for the needs of accident survivors and those with sudden acquired disabilities. Hailing from a South Asian country, her perspective of Culture and Health, Multiculturalism, Trauma and Mental Health, provides deep insights and a pragmatic outlook in the disability, trauma, mental well-being and resilience space.
Pari has the ambition and drive to advocate for the 'traumatic physically disabled', those who may be struggling to navigate across identity, acceptance and rehabilitation from an able-bodied life to suddenly becoming disabled. Not being rehabilitated in the initial phases of post trauma and the multiple surgeries, she tries to manage her pain by diverting her focus from individual pain and disability towards public health care delivery and its implementation. Pari wants to use her lived experience to create positive change across the health care system and society to promote equity and challenge perceptions.
Doctorate - thesis in public policy and complementary systems of
medicine/therapy - final PhD certificate due to be awarded in 2023
Editorial Board member of the journal of Knowex Public Health, The International Institute of Knowledge Management[TIIKM].
About a decades experience in Public health programmes, implementation research and writing manuscripts, advocacy, public health care delivery.
'Waking up with a Disability' - Parimala writes for WWDA
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