Well known GP Kingsley Pearson (pictured holding award certificate), formerly residing in the Northern Rivers, has been honoured as North Queensland GP of the Year.

The award was made by the North Queensland Primary Health Network at a ceremony held at Gurriny and attended by all staff, the Elders of the community and other community members, and the CEO and Chairperson of the Board of the PHN.

“I feel very lucky that I have been able to work in the arena of indigenous health for the past 11 years,” Kingsley told GP Speak.

“It has not only taken me to some remote and beautiful locations around Australia, but it has introduced me to a whole new group of people, strong in culture, and amazing in spirit, who have huge and complex health needs, that deserve our attention and involvement.”

Kingsley came to Nimbin as a GP in the early 1980s and was there for more than 12 year before setting up the Prema House general practice in Lismore.

In 2007 he started working for Katherine West Health Service at Lajamanu in the Northern Territory. He worked on Elcho Island for two years and then at Yarrabah near Cairns in 2010. This was interspersed with work in the Solomon Islands and the NT.

The University Centre for Rural Health North Coast wants more local GP practices to become involved with providing placements for long-term medical students attached to UCRH for this university year.

“We are looking for more practices and more commitment to undergraduate teaching,” education coordinator Dr Jane Barker said.

Placement programs of varying lengths are offered by three universities, Sydney, Western Sydney and Wollongong.

“A majority of medical students will become GPs and we want them to embrace general practice with enthusiasm as a specialty in itself,” Dr Barker said.

“Those who do not become GPs need a comprehensive and realistic understanding of the breadth of General Practice… which offers the student a wider, holistic perspective on health - continuity of care, of patient centred care, preventative care, care across ages, care across medical disciplines.”

The French Retreat from Moscow, 1812

As previously noted in these pages a Winter Strategy is a wise precaution for invaders of Russia and health bureaucrats alike.

2017 was the first year of a joint project between the Northern NSW Local Health District and the North Coast Primary Health Network aimed at reducing the number of admissions to hospital over the winter for patients with preventable disease, particularly with the complications of influenza infection.

The strategy involved improving flu vaccination rates in the elderly and improving communication with hospitals, both on admission and discharge. However, the main component of the project was resourcing general practices to take a more active role in managing their sicker patients.

Dr Andrew Binns

GPSpeak has now reached a milestone in the life of any publication – this issue marks the 25th year of our quarterly editions… a ton of magazines in every sense of the word.

In line with changing technologies we have gone from 8-page black and white versions to 32-page colour and online versions today. Publication dates have been timed in accordance with the seasons of the year. Cover designs have ranged from clinical images through infographics to portraits and stunning photos such as Stephen Moore’s picture of the Moon for this issue, and Frank Hurley’s extraordinary shot of Shackleton’s ice-bound vessel in the previous issue.

As the magazine’s unofficial archivist I have saved copies of every issue and occasionally delve into them to look up some historical event within our GP culture. A lot of clinical articles are mixed in with medical politics, opinion pieces and general interest stories.

St Vincent de Paul

The largest clothing recycling centre in regional NSW helps fund St Vincent de Paul’s social works programs.

Story: Robin Osborne Photos: Jacklyn Wagner

Every day around 10 tonnes of discarded clothing and piles of sundry household items are placed in, or less happily beside, Vinnies collections bins throughout the North Coast and other parts of NSW.

First dibs on this mountain of material goes to the Vinnies shop volunteers who sort through the donations and set aside clean, undamaged items for sale in one of the 27 shops between Tweed Heads in the north and Laurieton in the south.

“After some sprucing up these first-quality items go on sale in local Vinnies shops,” according to Angelo Grande, the Society’s Recycling & Waste Management Facilitator for the past 16 years.

“Thanks to the bargain prices they go quickly out the door.”

A small quantity of goods, soiled or damaged, must be sent to landfill, with the remainder being transported to the Vinnies recycling centre in the Lismore suburb of Goonellabah.