Roderic and Barbara Sutherland honoured with Natimuk Nursing Home wing dedication

FORMER Natimuk doctor Roderic Sutherland and his wife Barbara will be forever remembered at the place they now call home.

West Wimmera Health Service this week dedicated a wing at Natimuk Nursing Home to the Sutherlands.

The Sutherland Wing recognises the couple’s contributions to the community since Dr Sutherland bought Natimuk’s medical practice in 1959. He was the sole practitioner at Natimuk Bush Nursing Hospital from 1959 until 1988.

The couple now resides at Natimuk Nursing Home, where Dr Sutherland is a life member.

Health service acting chief executive Ritchie Dodds said it was a privilege for the organisation to name the Sutherland Wing. He said the family’s contribution to Natimuk was immeasurable.

“Doctors play a vital and unique role in our relatively small and remote communities, and the dedication of Dr Sutherland’s service for close to 30 years as doctor is a magnificent accomplishment,” he said.

“He and Barbara have helped to shape the community that we know and love today.

“Our board, staff and the community are thrilled to be part of the unveiling of the Sutherland Wing, to help recognise the influence and lasting legacy of the Sutherland family.”

Dr Sutherland completed his medical studies in 1952, and worked at hospitals including Melbourne’s Royal Women’s Hospital and the Royal Children’s Hospital, where he met his future wife.

The couple spent time in England before returning to Australia with their young family, and settling in the Wimmera.

Dr Sutherland founded the Horsham branch of the Bird Observers Club of Australia, now BirdLife Australia.

He has also been involved with Horsham Rotary Club, Mt Arapiles-Tooan State Park Advisory Committee, Natimuk Field and Game Club, Natimuk Tennis Club, Natimuk Golf Club and Natimuk Book Club.

His contributions to the community led to him being named a Member of the Order of Australia last year.