The Wholesome Doctor: Celebrating International Women’s Day with Dr Preeya Alexander

SAARI Collective invites you to join our International Women's Day series - every day, women of colour are blazing trails in their fields and leading their communities, but their achievements aren’t always recognised. Valuing their contributions and achievements is vital to advancing gender and racial equality and to showcasing the voices of women of colour all around.

We invite you to join us in recognising and celebrating their efforts, achievements and immense contributions - follow along as we profile some resilient and inspiring women of colour over the coming days. 

Today, we celebrate Dr Preeya Alexander

“To be a leader you need to use your voice, your privilege (whatever that might be – it could be education, excellent communication skills) to make a positive difference in areas that need it.” 

Dr Preeya Alexander  - also known as @thewholesomedoctor - sure wears many hats. She is a medical practitioner based in Melbourne who is passionate about preventative medicine and improving health literacy. She is also an outspoken health advocate who shared evidence-based medical insights on a range of topics including women's health, sexual health, and mental health, and reaches thousands through her blog, her social media platforms and a range of media engagements.

She is a presenter on 7’s Sunrise, ABC’s The Drum and a regular contributor to a number of online publications. In 2022, Dr Alexander also took on the role of Good Chef in Channel 10’s Good Chef Bad Chef to encourage healthier cooking in Australia. She says that as a doctor and mum, her drive comes from a commitment to improve the health literacy of everyday Australians. 

Her advocacy on improving health outcomes and education for problems surrounding women’s and sexual health that are often brushed over stems from her belief that leaders need to stand up consistently and loudly for what is right.

Dr Alexander believes South Asian women’s voices need to be heard more in the community, particularly “ in many areas where women are currently advocating for significant change such as family violence and sexual abuse, South Asian women (and women from other cultural backgrounds) need to be heard too because the context culturally is often very different. We need a diverse range of voices in all spaces but particularly these ones.” 

“You cannot be what you cannot see.” 

She believes it is crucial for girls to have strong role models, as “you cannot be what you cannot see. Seeing women thrive – of all cultural backgrounds and abilities – is critical for young girls. It’s empowering for young girls to see women being strong role models in a range of fields.” 

 

 

For Dr Alexander, International Women’s Day is about “gender equality. It’s about celebrating women and combatting discrimination and bias based on gender. To [her] it’s also about ensuring girls and women everywhere have access to education which then further empowers and enables women to combat the bias and discrimination we still see far too much of.”

When asked what message she would like to give to aspiring/emerging South Asian girls and women leaders across Australia, she responded, “be brave is my message. We need more diversity desperately and it takes courage to stand up and put yourself out there, but we need more girls and women from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds putting their hands up to be heard. The more noise the better. I truly believe only then diversity will truly occur.” 

 

To learn more about Dr Preeya Alexander, visit https://thewholesomedoctor.com.au/, or check out her Instagram.


Anmol Atreya is a Melbourne-based writer at the SAARI Collective.