Professor Munjed Al Muderis

Orthopaedic surgeon and human-rights advocate

NSWState RecipientAustralian of the Year2020

After fleeing the tyranny of Saddam Hussein’s regime in a leaking boat, Professor Munjed Al Muderis was detained on Christmas Island, then in Curtin Detention Centre in Western Australia.

He overcame these extraordinary obstacles to become an orthopaedic surgeon, specialising in hip, knee and reconstructive surgery, and now advocates for the human rights of others.

A compassionate ambassador for multiple organisations, including the Red Cross, Munjed is a powerful advocate for humanitarian work supporting people seeking asylum and refugees.

Funded out of his own pocket, Munjed has taken a team to his former homeland of Iraq seven times, to help the victims of the conflict he fled, and has educated other orthopaedic surgeons in the osseointegration technique and in complex limb reconstruction.

His surgical innovations and breakthroughs are helping Australians and people throughout the world. Munjed exemplifies the valuable and positive contribution that refugees can make – leading by example what it means to be Australian.