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Rural Medical Service Award

Each year the Rural Medical Service Award acknowledges rural doctors who have achieved long-standing medical service to remote, rural and regional communities in NSW.

The service can be cumulative or consecutive and GPs who are currently practising or have been working for 35 or more years in rural NSW (MMM2-7) are eligible.


Nominations are now closed

Nominations for the 2019 Rural Medical Service Award have now closed. Thank you to all who nominated themselves or a fellow long-standing doctor. Recipients will be announced shortly.

This prestigious group of doctors will be celebrated by their families and colleagues at a special dinner during our Rural GPs Conference on Saturday 30 November 2019.


2018 recipients of the Rural Medical Service Award

In 2018, 14 GPs received the prestigious Rural Medical Service Award, with eight recipients accepting their award at the annual Rural GPs Conference Dinner in Coogee. 

L-R: Dr Ian Falson from Ballina, Dr Mark Rikard-Bell from Muswellbrook, Dr Delma Mullins from Muswellbrook, Dr Neroli Lawrence from South Grafton, Dr Richard Abbott from Scone, Dr Peter Lee from Singleton, Dr Anil Thakur from Maclean and Dr Chris McKenzie from Ballina. 


Dr Anil Thakur, 2018 recipient of the Rural Medical Service Award


Award recipient Dr Anil Thakur has achieved 35 years of medical service for the communities of Maclean, Grafton and Rylstone-Kandos. Dr Thakur studied medicine in India, England, Scotland and Australia before establishing Clarence Medical Centre in Maclean in 1985. In the past, Dr Thakur was a VMO general surgeon at Maclean District Hospital, and has extensive experience in general surgery, thoracic surgery, vascular surgery, endoscopy, urology, orthopaedics and hand surgery.


Dr Thakur has worked for the Royal Flying Doctor Service conducting retrievals to remote locations and in Alice Springs in the area of anaesthetics.

Dr Thakur has educated the future rural workforce as a senior lecturer and examiner of clinical medicine at the University of Wollongong and has mentored John Flynn Placement Program scholars and medical students at many Australian universities for decades.


Dr Neroli Lawrence, 2018 recipient of the Rural Medical Service Award


Award recipient Dr Neroli Lawrence has achieved 37 years of medical service for the communities of South Grafton, Scone and Muswellbrook.

Dr Lawrence practised in Muswellbrook from 1981 to 1983, Scone between 1984 and 2009, and has practised at South Grafton Medical Centre ever since.

Dr Lawrence has enjoyed mentoring medical students throughout her career, finding it both humbling and inspiring, and in her time as a rural GP says she has enjoyed being an advocate for country people, especially rural women.


Find out more

To find out more email enquiries@nswrdn.com.au or call 02 4924 8000.