Dr Don Bowley

Rural doctor

QLD State recipient Local Hero 2011

For the last 14 years Dr Don Bowley has been working as a doctor with the Mount Isa Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), caring for people in an area larger than the country of England. This part of Australia includes remote townships, rural stations and Indigenous communities, and Don’s support of its people is legendary. To Don, being a doctor is not just a job, it’s a way of life. The dedication, friendship and ongoing care that he offers all his patients has earned him their respect and love. Living in an isolated area and facing accidents and illness generates a great deal of anxiety. Even with the RFDS, help can be two hours away, but Don is always on the end of the phone, calmly offering advice, understanding and reassurance. Don believes it is a great privilege and honour to get to know people’s stories and look after them in good times and bad. He is always trying every avenue possible to gain funding to improve the infrastructure of health clinics in the area, often donating his own money when there is a need. He has a well-deserved reputation for being ‘the best in the west’.