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‘Brilliant person’: Kialla Lakes surgeon remembered

Remembrance: More than 50 family, friends and community members walked the same path Dr Michael Kamenjarin took countless times around Lake Kialla before he died in 2021. Photo by Anna McGuinness

Dr Michael Kamenjarin was remembered by family, friends and community members recently with a memorial walk around Kialla Lakes.

Dr Kamenjarin was a surgeon at Goulburn Valley Health from 2006 to 2015 before he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

He died of cancer in April 2021, aged 59.

Dr Trudy Madsen studied at Adelaide University with Dr Kamenjarin and later worked with him.

“He was a very well-liked and popular man; gentle and thoughtful,” she said.

“He was interested in all sorts of things: windsurfing, camping, going on interesting trips, music and obviously medicine.

“He was a good friend; always laughing and smiling.”

Some of Dr Kamenjarin’s friends at the walk met through their shared experience of having MS.

Close friend Joanne Nicholson said the people at the walk were all special to him.

“We used to walk around the lake all the time,” she said.

“It’s beautiful having so many people here for him.”

Marli Kelly said Dr Kamenjarin did many laps of the lake with golden retriever Bella – popular with everyone around the lake.

“A year sort of goes quickly but doesn’t, I can’t believe we’re here a year later, so that’s bittersweet, but it’s lovely all these people have come out to celebrate his life,” she said.

Arlene Austin said he was a “brilliant person”.

“He had such a beautiful family and contributed through his career to the community,” she said.

“Even with the difficulties MS brought he still continued to reach out and connect to people and I think today is evidence of that.”