Australia Day awards: City Beach doctor’s dedication wins him Medal of the Order of Australia


Dr Bob Tan will be awarded an Order of Australia Medal on Australia Day for his work with the Chinese Chung Wah Association. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.
Dr Bob Tan will be awarded an Order of Australia Medal on Australia Day for his work with the Chinese Chung Wah Association. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.

A CITY Beach doctor’s dedication to helping the local Chinese community has earned him one of Australia’s highest honours.

Chin Huat (Bob) Tan has been a member of the Chung Wah Association for nearly 40 years and a chairman of its council of elders since 1992.

He received life membership from the association in 2010 and is also a life member of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

Dr Tan was today awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to WA’s Chinese community.

“It’s a big honour for me but also a big honour for the Chinese community, without the Chinese community I wouldn’t be getting this,” he said.

He came to Australia from Malaysia in 1968 to study and liked it so much he decided to stay.

“It’s a wonderful place to come to,” he said.

“I’m a true blue Aussie. Malaysia is my second home.”

Dr Tan established his own medical practice in Glendalough more than 30 years ago.

“When I graduated I always wanted to be a GP,” he said.

“Every morning I look forward to work because I see a diverse group of people…I enjoy the interaction.”

His role with the Chung Wah Association included a stint as vice-president, organising the inaugural Chinese New Year ball and said a highlight was when the association bought land from the City of Stirling for a club house in Balcatta.

“(I enjoyed) the interaction, mixing with Chinese community, mixing with the young and old…the fact it gave me opportunity to mix with councillors at the City of Stirling and the opportunity to meet with political figures,” he said.

Dr Tan said he was excited to share news of his accolade with family and friends and when asked how he would celebrate Australia Day, told Community News: “I’m having a bloody barbecue”.