A LOCAL doctor and Wudinna’s centenary celebrations are among the Wudinna District Council’s Australia Day award winners for 2017.
Dr Scott Lewis was named as this year’s Citizen of the Year in recognition of his medical contributions to the community, including nine years of medical practice and overseeing the development of the Wudinna Health Centre, which integrates all health services in the community under one roof.
Dr Lewis, 37, said the news came as a shock.
“I’m certainly very proud, it’s not something I expected or thought would come my way,” he said.
“I am humbled to be nominated.”
Dr Lewis first came to Wudinna as a medical student in 1998, which cemented his desire to become a multi-skilled rural doctor.
After graduating he trained in Clare, Quorn and with the Royal Flying Doctor Service, experiences which fuelled his desire to bring quality medical care to country communities.
The Wudinna Medical Practice provides services to Wudinna, Lock and the surrounding communities, developing from a sole GP to now employing two doctors and a nurse.
It also trains future doctors, with frequent visits by medical students from Flinders University, and hosts a doctor in the GP Specialist training program.
“It’s a community which makes it easy to do what I do, it is friendly and welcoming and it has been a joy to look after for nine years,” he said.
“I thoroughly enjoy the environment I work in and that’s why I have been here as long as I have.”
Dr Lewis is a qualified pilot and has volunteered his time and aircraft as an Angel Flight pilot, transporting patients.
“It’s essential for people who live in rural communities as distances can be excessive and it’s nice to help people overcome that challenge.”
Recently, Dr Lewis helped facilitate the creation of the Men’s Shed in Wudinna and worked tirelessly with the committee, in particular president Craig Jericho, to acquire a suitable shed, and have it set-up and working to support all men in the community and their well-being.
The Community Event of the Year award goes to the 100 Year Celebrations, held at the Annual Wudinna Show in September, which was attended by more than 2000 people.
The Special Commendation goes to Kim and Janet Foster, who have made significant contributions for many years to a variety of groups within the district, particularly over the centenary weekend and historical work in general.
Their historical interest has seen them become unofficial curators of the council archives and they have spent many hours collating, filing and sorting the hundreds of documents in the building.