NSW AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR

05 November 2019

SENATOR THE HON KRISTINA KENEALLY
DEPUTY LABOR LEADER IN THE SENATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
 
NSW AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR
 
Deputy Labor Leader in the Senate and Senator for New South Wales Kristina Keneally congratulates the 2020 NSW Australian of the Year – Orthopaedic surgeon and human-rights advocate Professor Munjed Al Muderis.
 
In 1999, Professor Al Muderis fled from persecution in Iraq after he refused to surgically remove the ears of soldiers who had escaped from the army under Saddam Hussein's regime.
 
Professor Al Muderis arrived in Australia by boat before being granted refugee status and permanent residence by the Howard Government.
 
Since then, the orthopaedic surgeon has become a leader in the field of osseointegration which involves attaching prosthetic, robotic limbs to the bones of amputees. He originally became fascinated by the concept of cybernetic limbs at the age of 12 when he watched The Terminator.
 
“Professor Al Muderis’ bravery and commitment – to New South Wales, Australia and his fellow woman and man – is profound,” said Senator Keneally.
 
“From refusing the orders of Saddam Hussein’s totalitarian regime, to fleeing to Australia, to saving the limbs and lives of people in his new found home, Professor Al Muderis is the embodiment of someone who has not only had a go, but has given a go to so many other Australians.”
 
Ali France, Labor’s 2019 Candidate for the seat of Dickson, was Professor Munjed Al Muderis’ 26th osseointegration patient in Australia after a tragic accident saw her left leg amputated above the knee. Mr Al Muderis pioneered the ground breaking new osseointegration surgery in Australia.
 
“To see my surgeon honoured as the NSW Australian of the Year is especially moving for me because without him I would not walking,” said Ms France.
 
“Since arriving in Australia, he has devoted his life’s work to helping others and has improved the lives of hundreds of amputees like me. Not a day goes by that I am not grateful he is here.”
 
The Australian of the Year will be selected by the National Australia Day Council Board and awarded in Canberra on Australia Day Eve 2020.