WORIMI Man Kelvin Kong has certainly made a huge difference to many in need, he is making inroads into providing excellence of care to regional and remote Indigenous communities.
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Most recently Kelvin Kong has been awarded the prestigious Menzies Medallion.
Kelvin graduated from NSW University in 1999 and pursued further training in Paediatric ENT surgery.
He is also Australia’s first Aboriginal surgeon.
Associate Professor Kong was presented with the Menzies Medallion in recognition of his leadership in Aboriginal health service delivery, advocacy, and research.
Kelvin Kong currently practices in Newcastle (Awabakal Country) as a board certified Surgeon specializing in Paediatric & Adult Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery (Ear, Nose & Throat Surgery).
He is an active member of RACS and ASOHNS, serving on the Indigenous Health and Fellowship Services Committee’s.
He is a board member of the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE).
Menzies Director Professor Alan Cass said he was delighted the award was presented to someone who has made such a contribution to improving hearing outcomes for Indigenous children.
“I am very pleased to see A/Prof Kong receive this year’s medallion. Kelvin brings passion, energy and expert skills as a surgeon and researcher to improve ear health in remote, rural and urban communities,” Prof Cass said.
“Kelvin has a strong and clear voice in advocacy to close the gap in educational and social disadvantage associated with the high prevalence of otitis media (OM) and hearing loss in Australian Indigenous children.
“In particular, Kelvin has been instrumental in raising awareness of ear health problems in the Australian community and bringing this issue to the attention of governments. His work has had a profound and measurable impact.”
A/Prof Kong is also joint chair of the Hearing for Learning Initiative; a community-based training initiative that focuses on prevention through early detection of ear issues in young children by a locally trained and community-based workforce.
The Menzies Medallion is the highest award offered by Menzies School of Health Research.
Dr Kong is working on a grant funded project which will explore telehealth for ENT presentations for indigenous children, with the aim of reducing wait times for children with early childhood ear and hearing health.
Kelvin Kong’s contribution is not just recognised here, it is also being recognised internationally with his efforts recently recognised in the International Medical Publication the Lancet this year.
“If you would like to help find solutions that prevent illness and allow people to have longer, healthier, happier lives make a donation to HMRI at https://hmri.org.au/donate “
By Marian SAMPSON