Congratulations Richard "Harry" Harris

ANZCA fellow Dr Richard "Harry" Harris has been named a joint winner of the 2019 Australian of the Year award and several other fellows recognised.
Dr Harris won the award with his good friend and diving buddy, retired vet Dr Craig Challen, from Perth, received the award for their role in saving 12 boys from a flooded cave in Thailand. It is the first time the Australia Day Council has bestowed the honour on two state or territory finalists at once.

Other ANZCA and FPM fellows recognised in the Australia Day honours list were:
  • Former president Professor Michael Davies was appointed a Member (AM) in the General Division for his significant service to medicine in the field of anaesthesia, and to professional medical bodies. 
  • Former FPM Dean, Dr Penny Briscoe, was appointed a Member (AM) in the General Division  for significant service to medicine and medical education, particularly to chronic pain management.
  • Former FPM Dean Professor Milton Cohen was appointed a Member (AM) in the General Division for significant service to medical education in the field of pain management.
  • Dr Christopher Peter Dodds, NSW, was awarded a Medal (OAM) in the General Division for his service to medicine as an anaesthetist.
  • Dr Christopher John Lowry, NSW, was awarded a Medal (OAM) in the General Division for his service to medicine as an anaesthetist.

Dr Harris and Dr Challen made headlines around the world for their role in rescuing a group of boys and their soccer coach from the flooded cave in Chiang Rai, where they had been trapped for more than two weeks.

An experienced cave diver, Dr Harris swam into the cave with a Thai medical team to triage the boys and determine their fitness to make the four kilometre journey through the flooded cave complex to safety. He was one of a group of 19 Australians who helped rescue the children as part of an international team.

Dr Harris administered a sedative to each of the boys before they left the ledge where they sheltered inside the mountain cave to calm them. British divers had requested Dr Harris help with the rescue mission. He left the cave only when the last boy was rescued each day.
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