Syd Dudley is a proud rural health advocate and says he has no plans of slowing down soon.
The 78 year-old was honoured recently in Griffith with a Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) Board Award for Local Health Advisory Committee (LHAC) Member of the Year.
‘‘It’s humbling,’’ Mr Dudley said.
‘‘I look at some of my peers and contemporaries, and look at the work they’ve done. So to be acknowledge over-and-above them is pretty daunting.
‘‘I’ve received great support from the members over the time. Without them you wouldn’t get the legs that are needed to able to do the job.’’
Mr Dudley, who is Finley LHAC’s chairman, has been on the local committee for more than 25 years and has seen Finley’s health system experience highs and lows.
He said the demand for strong health representatives helps the progression of a small town such as Finley.
‘‘The thing that has always concerned me, and has always kept me going, is the need for health services in not only Finley but across the rural district.
‘‘Many rural regions are overlooked and have been for a long time. When I started, we needed to maintain health within the public arena.
‘‘Revamping the Finley Hospital to bring it into the 21st century is something I’m most proud of.
‘‘There’s always challenges but that does translate into rewards; I don’t shy away from that.
‘‘The ever growing expansion of Finley Regional Care also must get a mention; the new Alumuna site they’re building is important for Finley.’’
Mr Dudley said there has been positive changes made to the Finley hospital but there still room for improvement.
‘‘We would like to see more accommodating rehabilitation services. An example is people will have a hip operation, come back to Finley but then need to go to Albury for rehab.
‘‘Our former hospital manager Aschleigh Perring did a great job for the hospital during the short amount of time he was here.
‘‘He virtually supervised the revamp of the hospital and Finley LHAC is doing its best to ensure it stays like that.’’
Mr Dudley added Finley is often applauded for its health services setup.
‘‘I’ve been asked numerous times how does Finley do so well maintaining doctors and strength of medical centre.
‘‘Dr Alam Yoosuf is fantastic for the town and has been a beacon from the moment he start. He’s also been a great advocate for Finley.
‘‘He never misses an opportunity, embraces the right things and gives all the time towards his patients.’’