Congratulations to Dr Phouc Vo
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July 2019 Dr Phouc Vo was awarded The Graham Turnidge Shield for Vocational Excellence for his outstanding service to Rotary and providing free direct health services and humanitarian aid to those in need, especially those in disadvantaged and remote areas in Vietnam.
The award honours the late Graham Turnidge, President of the Rotary Club of Carlingford in 1976/77 and our only District Governor to date in 1982/83. This year’s award was presented by our Honorary Member Elaine Turnidge.
Phuoc was born in Vietnam, where he completed his Medical Degree. After witnessing unjust policies at the hospital he was employed, he decided to flee the country and endured a frightening voyage to Malaysia. After time at a refugee camp, he was selected by Australian Immigration Officials and sent to Sydney. With little grasp of the language, penniless, alone with few clothes, he was denied registration as a medical practitioner and went to work at BHP shovelling coal.
A year later he wiggled his way into university medical course from whic he graduated in four years. Phuoc set up his own general practice in Cabramatta that he continues today. He has been actively involved in educating and supporting medical professionals in providing palliative care in ethnic communities.
In 2002 Dr Vo organized a medical mission with a small number of like-minded professionals to travel to Vietnam to provide free medical services in remote areas. He has led that team each year since then and has grown the number of volunteers and range of services provided.
In 2015, the AusViet Charity Foundation (AVCF) was formed with Dr Vo as its Chairman. Their vision is to bring together passionate and dedicated practitioners to work in collaboration with locals. A team of approximately 100, comprising GP’s, dentists, nurses, ophthalmologists, pharmacists, physiotherapists and civilians, including Rotarians, combined in one week to achieve the following amazing results: