ESTEEMED Horsham surgeon Ian Campbell is now a recipient of the coveted Order of Australia Medal.
Mr Campbell was recognised on the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for his services to the medical field.
“I feel very honoured that someone in the Horsham community recommended me for this,” he said.
“Not many people get them, so it really is a humbling experience.”
Mr Campbell grew up in Melbourne, and lived in Brisbane and Cairns before settling in the Wimmera in the late 1980s.
“My wife – who is a nurse – and I wanted a rural surgery job and a bit of a tree change,” he said.
“A job came up in Horsham 31 years ago and we took it. It has been such a nice and safe environment to raise a family.
“I’m proud of what I’ve been able to contribute to the community through both my medical work and work with the schools.”
Mr Campbell currently works at Lister House Medical Clinic in Horsham.
“One of the best things about Horsham is that the travel time is zero, which is especially good when you’re always on call,” he said.
He said there were many challenges currently faced by the medical industry in rural and regional areas.
“There are ongoing workforce problems across every industry in Horsham, but it’s particularly apparent in the health sector,” he said.
“One of the challenges is building up and maintaining a certain level of service standard that people in metropolitan areas receive.
“You always want to provide quality care that people want and need, but it is hard when there is a lack of specialists and staff.”
He said Lister House Medical Clinic regularly had medical students visit from Melbourne and Geelong.
“We always hope that some will come back once they’ve finished their degrees,” he said.
“My daughter Nikki did; she lived in Horsham most of her life and now she’s also a surgeon in town.
“It’s always a great opportunity to go to a rural area when you start off.
“Your get exposure to a bigger spectrum of people and medical conditions, and you have to learn how to manage them with a whole lot of specialist services.”
Mr Campbell said another career highlight was his time spent on Horsham College’s Council between 2000 and 2010.