Mr CHESTER (Gippsland) (13:44): I rise to recognise the contribution Dr Margaret Hollands of Orbost has made to the health services of East Gippsland over several decades. At the age of 83, Margaret is now retired but, along with her husband, David, she practised for 40 years in this remote part of the state. The pair performed surgeries and obstetrics and maintained a busy rural general practice while dealing with medical emergencies, including timber mill injuries and motor vehicle accidents. Between them, they provided extraordinary medical support while raising three children and contributing enormously to the East Gippsland community. This was at a time when few women were practising medicine anywhere in Australia, let alone in one of the more rural and remote areas of far East Gippsland. Margaret was actually the first female doctor to practice in Orbost, and subsequently provided additional women’s health services, reducing the need to travel to Bairnsdale, almost 100 kilometres away. Along with her professional services, Margaret worked tirelessly for the community by volunteering with the Red Cross and local school councils, and became an active member on the Orbost Regional Health board. In later years, Margaret went on to document the history of the Orbost Hospital and the doctors who have worked in the region. Sadly, Margaret isn’t enjoying good health, and is being cared for by her husband, David, and family members. I want to commend Margaret for her tireless endeavours in the community and thank her for her work over so many decades. I know that her contributions far exceed those which could be expected of any person, and as a consequence she has become a respected and much loved member of the Orbost community. She was a pioneer in her field and is an inspiration to women everywhere.
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