Dr Nouria Salehi OAM
Physicist and humanitarian
VICState RecipientSenior Australian of the Year2012
Dr Nouria Salehi is a highly respected nuclear physicist and biophysicist whose vital medical research including the use of radioactive isotopes to detect and treat various forms of cancer benefits many Australians. Born in Afghanistan, Nouria completed her post-graduate studies and worked in France before moving to Australia in 1981. For 30 years, she has combined this demanding career with volunteer activities in both Australia and Afghanistan. Demonstrating her commitment to her country of birth, Nouria has established an organisation to support projects giving Afghanis essential skills and opportunities. These include vocational training and literacy programs for women and young people in Kabul and nearby villages as well as accredited formal training programs for science teachers. Every 6 months Nouria travels to Afghanistan to support and monitor these projects. Back in Australia, she works with Afghan migrants helping them adapt to their new country and a new life through educational opportunities. A charter member of the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Nouria has received a number of awards, including the Bringing Communities Together Award and the Award of Excellence from the Afghan Ministry of Education.