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2018 Australian of the Year for the Northern Territory
As a junior doctor working in remote communities, Dr Bo Reményi filled out too many death certificates for children dying of preventable heart disease. Today, she is an internationally renowned paediatric cardiologist working to reduce the Northern Territory’s rate of rheumatic heart disease, currently the highest in the world.
The Open Heart Story painting
For Bo, access to adequate health care is a social justice issue and she is determined to make a difference to the communities she serves.
Bo recently received this painting from a patient’s grateful mother. It celebrates a strong, healthy heart.
A warm welcome
'I experienced disadvantage as a child living in a communist Eastern Bloc country. When we arrived in Australia from Hungary, I was welcomed. The transition was smooth. I was given opportunities and support at school and in the community.'
An eye-opening experience
'When I first went into remote Indigenous communities as a junior doctor, I saw disadvantage again. I couldn’t believe that I, a foreigner, had been welcomed and given access to health and education, when Indigenous Australians were suffering terribly from preventable diseases.'
Hearts and minds
'Life often isn’t fair. Obstacles can make it hard but you need to find ways around, or over, them. If I can make life better for people through my knowledge, skills and advocacy then I will do my best. I also want people to open their hearts and minds to disadvantaged Australians.'
This exhibition was developed by the National Museum of Australia in collaboration with the National Australia Day Council. Portrait images courtesy National Australia Day Council.