Edenhope nurse Arun Thomas is Young Achiever of the Year

When Arun Thomas moved from India to Australia to study nursing, through financial hardships, he found himself living in his car for three months.

"That was my make or break point," Arun said.

"I decided to reach out for help, and in a way, I was grateful to have so much adversity in my young life. It has made me want to also help people, to help them find their potential.

"Experiences like that, you can't buy it. You just have to live through it."

Fast forward to 2019, May 10, the Flemington Racecourse. The Seven News Young Achiever Awards Victoria Gala Dinner Presentation is on, recognising the exceptional work of many of the state's leading business and community leaders.

Arun Thomas, now a Registered Nurse at Lakes Hostel - Edenhope & District Memorial Hospital, is called onto the stage four times.

He has won the People's Choice Award, the Royal Flying Doctor Service Victoria Regional and Rural Health Achiever Award, and is crowned the Victorian Young Achiever of the Year.

It's the culmination of a meteoric rise for the former University of South Australia student.

Once he found stability in his personal life, Arun ran for and won the position of President of the Student Association, and was also one of the youngest board members on a learning and curriculum council. Due to his services, Arun remains an honourary life member of the student association.

In the workforce, Arun's life work is in aged care. He worked in Adelaide for a brief period of time before moving to Horsham in 2016, where his dedication to residents was noticed not only by the staff, but also the families who entrusted their loved ones in his care.

He was nominated by a resident's family to the the Horsham Florist's Unsung Hero of the Month, and he also joined the Wimmera Health Care Group. Chris Scott, the former CEO of the Wimmera Health Care Group, would go on to be Arun's nominee for the slew of awards he picked up at the Young Achiever Awards.

In 2018 he began working at the Lakes Hostel, where he continued his exceptional services in aged care, and in particular, palliative care.

That same year, he received the Celebrating Aged Care Leadership Award. He also became, once again, one of the youngest board members of an organisation, this time on the hospital board.

Arun has also set up a scholarship for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, the Arun Thomas ATSI Leadership Scholarship at UniSA.