Welcoming a new adventure

Since George and Noraidah Atkin married in 1977 they have lived in 5 countries and engaged with many more during their lives, and they couldn’t be happier to make the move to The Mornington
Retirement Village.

George is a former Australian Diplomat and Noraidah was a medical graduate in 1976. She has had an eclectic work experience in the medical and health sector both at home and overseas. More interesting than being a GP, where Noraidah’s first employment was as a doctor at the American Embassy clinic in Algiers (Algeria).

One memorable stint was meeting Dr Catherine Hamlin, who in Ethiopia is famous and world-renowned for her Obstetric Fistula work since the 50’s.

Through her guidance, Noraidah was able to ‘sow the seed’ of the Fistula project in Kenya. Australian Aid money, on the advice of Dr Catherine Hamlin, resulted in purchase Welcoming a new adventure of reliable and useful surgical instruments and training of local Kenyan surgical gynaecologists.

Obstetric Fistula is an internal injury caused by an obstructed labour during childbirth, and Dr Hamlin’s work has continued for more than 50 years.

“It was very interesting because compared to my time as GP, you don’t feel like you’re only referring people to specialists,” Noraidah said.

“You see the positive outcomes for young girls, some as young as 13, who were ostracised in their community get their health back and be welcomed back into their community.”

In Kenya, Noraidah was involved with the Kenyan Paraplegic Orgnisation and established a Counselling Unit at the National Spinal Injury Hospital.

“Another new experience was involvement with Childhood Cancer in Saudi Arabia posting, and the privilege of attendance at highly specialised conferences with experts from the UK and USA.”

She trained local counselors to assist with physical and mental wellbeing of patients, and said it was ‘‘very satisfying indeed’’

With four children and postings in Nauru, Malaysia, Algeria, Indonesia, PNG (twice), Saudi Arabia and Kenya, George said it was hard to say which one was the favourite.

“They were all at very different stages in our lives and they all gave us different experiences,” George said.

“What I enjoyed about my work was the stimulus of new environments that would change constantly over 36 years,”

“Moving to Victoria has been great for us, we know a lot about moving and we’re glad we made this move.”

They moved in just over a month ago, after the couple did extensive research into different options in Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula.

“It’s just so peaceful and there’s so much space and greenery…and that was a big reason why we chose The Mornington,” Noraidah said.

“And the Community Bus and local health system on site is very helpful, as we know our needs will change as we get older.”

“I’ve worked in many fields of health so that was very important for me and I’m happy with what’s on offer.