Each year, Australian Doctor takes on a new editorial project, designed to explore stories that aren’t covered by the day to day reporting of GP news. Here, editor Jo Hartley explains the idea behind their latest project, Doctors of Australia.
As editor of Australian Doctor, I have the privilege of meeting and talking to many high-profile doctors, academics, politicians and policy wonks.
But, I have to admit, that one of the most interesting people I’ve met during my editorship is the doctor who looked after the cast of the ’90s TV show Gladiators.
Yes, I drank wine with the man who mopped the brows and strapped the ankles of those 19 over-muscled superhumans whose antics entertained the country every Saturday night.
He left me a little bit starstruck. It turned out his celebrity credentials hadn’t ended in 1996 when the first iteration of the show was axed but had flourished through his family, with one of his sons becoming a well-known actor on Home and Away and another moving to Los Angeles to work in the film industry.
By the time the Australian Doctor seminar’s drinks-do where we met had ended, I knew some of his life story and that of several other attendees with whom I’d chatted over the canapes.
I went home knowing there must be thousands of doctors out there with equally wonderful stories to tell. That’s when the idea for Doctors of Australia was born.
The project is simple — we want to celebrate the lives of all those who work on the frontline of healthcare; to showcase their passions and energy and prove the unspoken truth that there is no such thing as an average doctor.
To kick off the project, we approached a group of GPs — one from each state and territory — and asked them to tell us a story about themselves.
One came to Australia as a young refugee during the Vietnam War, another is a published author who reckons he’s going to revolutionise clean energy, and then there’s the GP who attempted the world’s highest busk.
We’ve created the Doctors of Australia website to share these stories — your stories — with the wider world. We’d love you to take part, so if you’re interested, send us an email with your contact details and we’ll give you a call.
And if you’re the former doctor for Gladiators, then please, please get in touch; this project won’t be complete without the original inspiration for it all.
If you would like to take part, please email: [email protected]