by Michael Gracey
ISBN 978-0-85905-649-6, (New 2016), A4, Illustrated, 103 pages, 300 grams
Michael Gracey AO is a paediatrician who has worked in many countries, particularly with socially disadvantaged populations where childhood malnutrition and infections are rife. After medical training in Australia, Papua New Guinea and Britain, he was a consultant at Princess Margaret Children’s Hospital in Perth for many years and worked as a doctor among Aboriginal communities around WA, especially in the Kimberley, for decades.
He became Principal Medical Adviser on Aboriginal Health to the Health Department of WA and in 1997 was appointed Australia’s first Professor of Aboriginal Health. His commitment to improving child health in socially deprived groups led to his election as President of the International Paediatric Association. That role took him to dozens of countries, many of them among the world’s poorest. This book takes us through the author’s childhood in the 1940s and 50s, through Medical School, and into the day to day lives of children growing up in vastly different places. We see insights into challenges and problems that are usually glimpsed only through the media, including the continuing struggle to improve Aboriginal Health. This journey will explain the complex background to these issues and allow the reader to understand them much more clearly.