Today, 10 June 2013, the Australian Queens Birthday “Honours List” includes my former colleague Dr Brian Bowring, a past Chair of the Rural Health Education Foundation and a rural general practitioner in northern Tasmania. Dr Bowring received an “AM” – a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia, for “significant service to medicine in rural and regional areas, and as a general practitioner”.
Dr Brian Bowring lives in George Town, Tasmania, a small industrial rural community located about one hour north of Launceston. He was born in Hobart and graduated in medicine from the University of Tasmania. Aside from his role with the Rural Health Education Foundation, Dr Bowring has been the Chair and Treasurer of the Board of General Practice Training Tasmania, Chair of Rural Workforce Tasmania and Deputy Chair of what is now Rural Health Workforce Australia.
I worked closely with Dr Bowring for more than eight years, reporting directly to him for the majority of my time when I was the CEO of the Rural Health Education Foundation from January 2003 through August 2011. (He took the role of Chair of the Foundation in October 2002 and left that position in December 2010.)
He is a highly skilled medical educator and has been a generous and tireless campaigner for and practitioner of rural health, making an important impact both within his home state of Tasmania as well as nationally. I have seen him “in action” doing everything from chairing meetings to staffing exhibition conference tables in places as diverse as Perth and Launceston. His ability to “connect” with rural and remote health practitioners is unparalleled. I am proud of the eight-plus years that I worked closely with him and very pleased that his life and work has been honoured in this way.
A photo of Dr Brian Bowring appears below: