2018 Australian of the Year, 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, which in 2018 was the highest in the world.
Bo's 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 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.