Bundaberg professor and doctor Brad Murphy has been awarded an Order of Australia Medal for his service to community health.
He was named in the Australia Day 2022 Honours List alongside fellow Bundaberg Region residents Evelyn Bury, Judy Peters and Patricia Russell.
The proud Kamilaroi man grew up in Gunnedah, NSW and worked in many parts of the nation before moving to the Bundaberg Region to operate his award-winning Ashfield Medical Practice.
Throughout his career, Doctor Murphy has won various accolades including the prestigious Rose-Hunt Medal in 2020 and in 2016 he was named Indigenous Doctor of the Year.
He said he was honoured to have received an OAM on Australia Day.
“It's an amazing honour to receive on a day that, for many of my mob, is not celebrated but referred to as Invasion Day,” he said.
“But it gives us a chance to reflect on historical events and have the opportunity to absolutely be responsible for our actions and make sure we don't repeat the mistakes of the past.”
Dr Murphy grew up in New South Wales with his family, joining the Navy and ambulance service before delving into the world of medicine.
“I come from a lower middle-class family,” he said.
“Dad was a house painter and also worked in the abattoir and Sulphide zinc and lead smelter of Newcastle and Mum was a registered nurse.
“I joined the Navy at 15.”
Before studying at James Cook University at the age of 35, Dr Murphy worked as an intensive care paramedic in locations such as Sydney's city centre and all the way out into the heart of Australia at Uluru.
He said it was a time in his life that had given him many rich experiences.
“When you take unconventional pathways it provides a rich tapestry of experience to draw upon when taking on the extraordinary jobs,” Dr Murphy said.
Throughout the years, Dr Murphy continued his passion for medicine while helping the Indigenous community with assistance from some of his mentors.
These included legends such as Uncle Jimmy Little who Dr Murphy shared a journey in founding the Jimmy Little Foundation alongside Graham “Buzz” Bidstrup (famed drummer for rock bands ”The Angels” and “GANGgajang”).
The foundation strives for excellence in healthcare and aims to improve the quality of life for Indigenous Australians.
“Working alongside such impressive, talented and enthusiastic people, you can't help but have some of this energy rub off,” he said.
Dr Murphy practiced as a GP Registrar in Theodore and Eidsvold before establishing his own practice in Bundaberg.
He said Ashfield Country Practice delivered health care for all in his community and had a special focus on supporting Veterans and First Nations people.
“If we do First Nations health well we can't help but improve the health care for ALL Australians and I'm proud to have a role in that,” Dr Murphy said.
These days Dr Brad Murphy is kept busy at Ashfield Country Practice while working towards his next goal, to be in the running for title of President of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).
The RACGP is Australia's largest professional general practice organisation and is responsible for maintaining standards for quality clinical practice, education and training, and research in Australian general practice.
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