SOUTH Perth resident James Mohan Savundra was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to medicine in the fields of plastic and reconstructive surgery.
For the tenth year, Mr Savundra will this week be volunteering in Laos with Interplast, a non-profit organisation that sends health professionals to provide life-changing surgery and medical training across the Asia-Pacific region.
Since 2006, he has also been a volunteer surgeon with Rafiki Surgical Missions.
Mr Savundra said he volunteered abroad about two to three times a year and found it incredibly rewarding knowing he was providing a service that was not usually available.
“The places we go, corrective surgery doesn’t make a mention in their health care systems and in all my trips, about 70 per cent of patients are children under 15 years, with a lot of the work congenital deformities like cleft palates or acquired injuries such as burns,” he said.
“I went to Africa recently and I took some video of a man, who couldn’t walk and was carried to the clinic in his family’s arms on his first visit, kicking a soccer ball which was a big achievement.”
Along with his international work, Mr Savundra works as a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon at Fremantle and Princess Margaret hospitals.
Other local winners:
Geoffrey Arnold Churack, South Perth
Appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the community through philanthropic support for medical research, education and sporting groups, and to the retail automotive sector.
Pauline Frances Iles, South Perth
Awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to aged care.