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John Andrew Pickering OAM, MB ChB, GradDipHA, FRACGP, FRACMA

Alan M Wolff
Med J Aust 2013; 199 (7): 511. || doi: 10.5694/mja13.10530
Published online: 7 October 2013

John Pickering was born on 16 April 1938 in Egypt and graduated in medicine from the University of Sheffield, England, in 1961.

In 1964, he came to Australia to work as a resident medical officer at Wimmera Base Hospital in Horsham, Victoria. The following year, he moved to nearby Dimboola, working in general practice with the revered Alister Hinchley.

John moved to New South Wales in 1970, working as the Medical Superintendent at Port Kembla Hospital, then as a community physician in the Western Metropolitan Health Region and subsequently in general practice in Sydney.

He returned to Dimboola in 1979 and, with his wife Annette, ran a general practice. John mentored numerous registrars and many have gone on to stellar careers in medicine.

John was a long-time Board of Management member of Dimboola District Hospital and Wimmera Health Care Group, and a Fellow, life member and examiner of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

In 2007, he received a Victorian Rural Doctors Award for outstanding contribution to rural communities, and in 2011, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his “service to medicine, particularly in rural and regional areas, and to the Indigenous community”.

John retired from full-time practice at Dimboola in 2010, after developing a rare form of bladder cancer, although he continued to do locums around Australia, particularly on Hamilton Island, which became his new home.

His interests included physical fitness — he completed his first marathon at age 65 — fine food and wine, playing cricket for the local team, and driving his many and varied sports cars around the area.

John was a true rural general practitioner — performing procedures, delivering babies and being available to his patients around the clock.

John was much loved and respected by the Dimboola community and was an extremely dedicated and caring general practitioner who provided exemplary care. He was always looking for ways to provide the best care and was an ideal role model for aspiring rural general practitioners.

John died on Hamilton Island on 27 August 2012.

Alan M Wolff

  • Alan M Wolff


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