Sixteen medical practitioners across the South West have been acknowledge for their tireless effort and commitment in the industry at the annual West Australian Rural Health Long Service Awards. Held September 9, the awards recognise the critical role long-serving medical practitioners play in supporting the ongoing health, vitality and sustainability of rural communities. Of the South West recipients, eight hailed from Bunbury, with four from the Busselton-Dunsborough area, two in Margaret River and one in Manjimup. Rural Health West Chief Executive Officer Tim Shackleton congratulated the recipients for their contributions to ensuring the ongoing viability and vibrancy of country towns. “A long-standing local doctor who knows and understands the community and the families they care for makes a tremendous difference to the health and wellbeing of their patients,” he said. “These doctors have made enormous individual and collective contributions to the broader country community and we are honoured to celebrate their achievements through these awards.” This year saw Bunbury practitioner Dr Gary Mincham recognised for 50 years of service in the South West Community, having recently retired from the field. Dr John Taylor and Dr Patricia Wallace were also notable recipients with 40 years service to their names. WA Country Health Service Chief Executive Jeff Moffet commended all Long Service Award recipients for going “above and beyond” for the needs of the community. “These are significant milestones that not only show dedication to patient-centred care, but also a long-standing commitment to country communities.” “This is a well-deserved recognition of their devotion, and the fundamental role they have in improving regional healthcare. I congratulate all of the recipients on these achievements,” he said. Other recipients included Dr Carol Angeloni, Dr Simon Hemsley, Dr Scott Macliver and Dr Ian Johnston each for 30 years service, and Dr Johannes Burger, Dr Harvey Graham, Dr Peter Heyworth, Dr Stephen Hinton, Dr Martin Ibach, Dr Alasdair Jackson, Dr Kin Mun Lee, Dr Steve Mellett and Dr Thomas Wilson recognised for 20 years of work.