Mahendra Sukhdeo was born in Nadi, Fiji, a third generation Fiji Indian whose grandparents migrated from a remote village near the India-Nepal border in early 1900 as contracted labourers. Admitted to Elphinstone College, Bombay in 1960, he obtained his B.A. (Hons) and then completed his post-graduate degree in Education from Delhi University and M.A in Politics from University of Bombay. He briefly worked as a cadet reporter for the Times of India. On his return to Fiji in 1968, he was a Divisional Welfare Officer before being recruited by Suva City Council as a senior executive. In 1982, he was a Research Fellow at the University of the South Pacific conjoint with his lecturing portfolio on Social Policy.
Elected as the General Secretary of the National Union of Municipal Workers in 1983 and a founding Vice President of the newly formed Fiji Labour Party in 1985, he was voted in the first slate of Labour Councillors for Suva City Council. During the turbulent period of 1987/88, he was the Deputy Lord Mayor of the capital City. Along with his political role, he was the Secretary of the India-Fiji Friendship Society from 1974 to 1981, Board member of the Fiji Museum from 1978 to 1980, Board Member of the Hotel and Catering Wages Council (1989-1994), and President of Suva Society for the Intellectually Handicapped (1998-99).
In 1999, he migrated to New Zealand where he was the Manager of the Adult Education Centre and later as an Administrator for the Skycity Group in Auckland. He is married and has four children. He now lives in Australia
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