Meet Catherine Hamlin. She’s the 88-year-old Australian doctor who founded a hospital in Addis Ababa, Africa, 40 years ago. Dr Hamlin’s hospital, which she built with her husband, cares specifically for Ethiopian women who suffer debilitating injuries during childbirth. Even more extraordinarily, Dr Hamlin still works at the hospital everyday.

An extraordinary Australian

Dr Hamlin visited Australia this week to raise funds for the hospital that has treated approximatley 30,000 women free of charge, since it opened in 1959. Dr Hamlin told reporters the conditions they treat were largely eradicated worldwide at the start of the 20th century, but lack of access to caesarian section operations and care for birthing mothers has had a devastating impact on Ethiopian women. It’s hoped that a new midwifery school at Addis Ababa will be part of a long-term solution.

What or who has inspired you this week?

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48 comments

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    • Colin Campbell says:

      05:33am | 08/09/12

      Very inspiring. Go Catherine Go. The world needs more people like this.

    • Terry2 says:

      06:14am | 08/09/12

      The reason that Dr hamlin was in Australia this week was not so much on a fund raising trip but rather to confront the Australian arm of the Hamlin Foundation who have been witholding funds held by them. Evidently there is a dispute within the Foundation over a hardline internal Christian group flexing their muscles:
      http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2012/s3476188.htm

    • PhilD says:

      10:59am | 08/09/12

      It is unfortunate that there are two banners being flown in that part of the world. One is an extremely aggressive Islaam and the other is a waning Christianity and to get things done in certain regions you must fly one of those banners. Forty years ago these problems hadn’t developed and weren’t such an issue but now it is surrounded by a failed state Somalia to the East side, a tough nut Eritrea to the North, Sudan to the West and an increasing problematic Kenya to the South.
      The ABC link tells one story but there is insufficient detail about the board and about the other foreign donor sources to determine what is actually happening. Fly the right banner and signal the right intentions for the appropriate situation. Try flying a Christian banner and intentions in Northern Sudan, Eritrea or Somalia and see how long you last.

    • thatmosis says:

      07:40am | 08/09/12

      I didn’t watch a minute of the Olympics but have been watching true athletes perform at the Disabled Olympics and what a spectacle. True sportsmen and women at their best, no fancy fanfares or build ups but just people doing what they have trained for years to do and doing it with aplomb.
        They certainly have made those who participated in the Olympics look very ordinary in their attitudes and performances. Here we have true athletes doing their best with pride and enthusiasm not seen in those pumped up wanna be’s who got most of the money but hardly any of the glory.

    • pa_kelvin says:

      10:45am | 08/09/12

      thatmosis…...... Have to agree…..Have you seen the wheelchair rugby? Those guys are so fit ,Batt has been clocked doing 30kmh.

    • Louie the Fly says:

      10:56am | 08/09/12

      YEs _ I totally agree tm.
      I wrote a lovely long post - which got lost??? and I can’t remember it all to redo it.

      Briefly though - my comment about the inspirational paralympians that not only do they bust their guts training and competing, but also (many of them) bust a gut just trying to get through every day, with pain and daily living with disabilities.
      To be able to inflict further pain upon themselves with training, recovery and competing at their level is phenomenal.
      And their ATTITUDES - WOW that’s what sponsors and advertisers should be lining up to pay them to inspire us with!

    • pa_kelvin says:

      03:57pm | 08/09/12

      Even some of the crowds seem bigger than that attending the Olympics..

    • Mouse says:

      10:36am | 08/09/12

      Well, it’s a bit of a sad day for me today. Last night I buried a homeless cat. “Good riddance” I hear some of you say. That may well be but it pains me that there are so many dumped animals.

      This one, I don’t know how old he was, has been around my place since I moved in 9 years ago. He was a tom, not a nasty one, but he was not a sociable cat, he was just there. I never fed him or tried to befriend him,  he got on OK with my cats so I just let him be. Well about 4 mmonths ago he got hit by a car and it ripped the skin off the back of his head. I found him in the back patio and didn’t think he was going to make it. I made sure the wound was clean and let him stay there. I did bring food and water so he could get the nourishment to heal. He recovered very slowly and became a little more game, to the point he wouldn’t run away when I came near. I never tried to touch him and he would now stay and listen when I talked to him.
      Yesterday afternoon, I went out the back and he was laying on the path. He didn’t move when I walked over to him,  just gave a little hiss when I got too close. He looked ok but I knew he wasn’t well. Later, when I went outside to feed the tribe, he was laying in the garden next to the chair I sit on when I go outside. He had passed away and gone there to die. I dug a grave for him at the bottom of the garden, wrapped him in a soft towel and, at last, hugged and patted him. I told him how I had enjoyed his company and was going to miss his wonderful yellow eyes that always watched me cautiously. I carefully laid him in his grave and filled it in. He was never my cat, but he was a presence that I was going to miss. 
      When I turned around to go back inside, my 5 cats, and the dog,  were all sitting there watching. They knew what had happened and they had all come to say goodbye. 
      It just makes me sad to think that there are so many animals that live like this, dumped by uncaring people. Two of mine were dumped , it was a mum and 3 kittens, and it just makes me angry how some people treat living things.  I suppose Boof (I called him that because he had the toms boof head!) was one of the luckier ones because, in the end he did have someone who cared.    :o|

    • pa_kelvin says:

      12:14pm | 08/09/12

      Mouse…......I’m not a cat person (allergies),but sorry to hear about Boof. At least he had someone that cared enough to treat him so wellin his old age. smile

    • Chris L says:

      12:15pm | 08/09/12

      It’s quite telling that he chose that place to die. However he voiced his objections when you appoached, you obviously made him feel safe.

      Many people seem to think of animals as objects. They’ll buy one that looks cute, and then toss it out when it becomes inconvenient, or less cute. After spending 16 years getting to know my dog, sadly passed a long time ago, I know for certain they have personality, feelings and often greater intelligence and understanding than people give them credit for.

    • pa_kelvin says:

      12:25pm | 08/09/12

      Mouse…...Hers some more smiley faces to help cheer you up. smile smile smile

    • nihonin says:

      12:49pm | 08/09/12

      Riposa in pace

      Vale Boof.

    • Louie the Fly says:

      01:27pm | 08/09/12

      Mousey,
      Tears!!!!
      I can imagine how gut wrenching that was for you!
      5/8 of the Louie Pets are rescues as well.
      We cannot understand dumping of animals of any persuasion.

      Your pets’ reaction was amazing - a combination of empathy for your emotions and respect for the passing of Boof.
      I get choked up here in Townsville when those IDIOT little peace doves build nests in palm fronds during CYCLONE season, then I have to watch the babies precariously cling on to life in fast lane.  There’s always a casualty, which is horrible.  And AB - one of the Dodgy Brothers (Chihauhaus) always brings the tiny body inside to show us all and mourn it’s passing.  Then, a 40 kg 12 year old Golden Retriever, 2 chihuahuas and a 17 year old blind Bichon Frise, a galah, a king pigeon and an indian ringneck, and 2 humans observe the little tacker quietly then bury it under the palm it was born in.

    • Mouse says:

      01:51pm | 08/09/12

      Thanks guys, he will RIP, no more pain.
      Thanks for the smilies pa_kelvin, they did make me smile :o)
      PS happy birthday for last week!!  :o)

      Thanks ChrisL. I will miss him though. My little dog is 14yo and starting to go a bit deaf (conveniently at times methinks! :o)) and I will be a mess when she goes. Animals certainly do have a personality peculiar to themselves. Oh, the stories I could tell of my tribe, you would laugh so hard!  Actually, I prefer animals to a lot of people, at least you know where you stand with them! lol But, enough of the sads, the sun is shining and it’s the weekend, life is pretty good.  ;o)

      nihonin, thanks for that. 
      I am finding some stuff out about the Futura, seems it can be done. Thinking carbie, compression, electrics.  Do you do the work?  Will get back to you about it anyway.  :o)

    • Inky says:

      02:00pm | 08/09/12

      My friends’ cat also passed away today. :/

    • Carolyn says:

      04:01pm | 08/09/12

      @ Mouse - am so sorry to read about the loss of Boof. No doubt he felt comforted by your presence, and in some way knew you would treat him with respect when he passed away. My dad tells the story of when we had to have our extremely ill stud bull put to sleep by the vet. As the bull was being loaded into the float, each of the cows made their way to the side of the road and just stood silently at fence, like a guard of honour. These cows stared at our bulk without moving. My grandpa who managed cattle properties since he was in his teens, said he had never seen anything like it, and that it gave he and dad ‘chills’ up their spines. It was if all the cows were saying “goodbye”.  Having had pet dogs and horses, I complete agree with Chris, that animals have their own personalities. Our dogs in particular exhibited preferences for a particular toy or person over another. They would display emotion and reasoning. It was astounding that several non pet owners tried to convince me that animals did not feel pain, love, joy, fear, or did not exhibit sympathy or compassion. They said “animals have least behaviour and instinct and nothing else”. My bible bashing neighbour promised me animals have no soul”. If I see my neighbour in the afterlife and not my pet dogs and horses, then I know I’ve gone to hell!

    • pa_kelvin says:

      04:01pm | 08/09/12

      Inky…..Not having a good day all round…..Hope the smiley faces worked for you…... Thanks Mouse, Sydney Sucks and I’ve gotta go back Monday. :(

    • Reality Check says:

      05:03pm | 08/09/12

      Lucky he didn’t arrive by boat!

    • Gordon says:

      10:43am | 08/09/12

      The reports about Catherine Hamlin’s dispute with the Hamlin Foundation were all a bit coy and lacking in detail. Maybe it can be patched up and too much publicity would queer the chances of that, but I had the impression there was way more to this story than has come out.

    • Mik says:

      10:55am | 08/09/12

      There is a wonderful lady down the road who has looked after her bed ridden son for 60 years.  Both are joyful people, open about their trials and tribulations yet capable of turning every lemon into lemonade.

    • Inky says:

      02:02pm | 08/09/12

      “When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don’t want your damn lemons, what am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life’s manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am? I’m the man who’s gonna burn your house down! With the lemons! I’m gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!”
        ?Cave Johnson

    • Inky says:

      11:46am | 08/09/12

      My plans today are cancelled, so much for my seven layered rainbow birthday ice cream cake.

      Why is it a rule that my birthdays always have to leave me disappointed and depressed? Nothing but cancellations and lack of contact all week in my life :/

    • pa_kelvin says:

      01:10pm | 08/09/12

      Sounds like you at least have the day off Inky…Cheer up and post more…. Smiley faces for Mouse whos feeling down, and now smiley faces for Inky whos feeling down….. smile smile smile

    • Louie the Fly says:

      01:29pm | 08/09/12

      Inky - so next year we are planning a PUNCH birthday celebration for you instead.
      We won’t bail out on you.
      Now today, go splurge on yourself and stuff all the others!

    • Mouse says:

      02:15pm | 08/09/12

      No, no, no Inky, please don’t be sad! I am sorry to hear about your plans being cancelled though, life is a bitch sometimes, but there are people thinking of you on your day you know.  Every day is a new one, never despair, always new things coming, you never know what is around the corner, whatever hurts you just makes you stronger ...and all that stuff.  As for contact, we are here, we’ll keep your spirits up, give you heaps of back chat!  Hang there Inky, you are never alone.  :o)

    • Inky says:

      03:46pm | 08/09/12

      Hey now, the only one allowed to overreact here is me. I’m a little depressed, not suicidal :p

    • pa_kelvin says:

      04:08pm | 08/09/12

      Inky…. Do you still have the cake…..more for you,dont have to share. smile

    • Inky says:

      04:57pm | 08/09/12

      Nah, they were going to make it special for me and bring it.

    • pa_kelvin says:

      05:07pm | 08/09/12

      Hey Inky thats good to hear…I’ll sleep better tonight knowing your not suicidal. smile

    • Mouse says:

      05:23pm | 08/09/12

      I am imagining a 7 layered icecream cake… it would be 7 different colours, 7 different tastes, 7 inches high….OMG how do you get your mouth around that??? LMAO :oD
      PS   :op back atcha!  hehehehe

    • pa_kelvin says:

      12:21pm | 09/09/12

      Inky…..Hows the head today?? smile

    • Inky says:

      03:13pm | 09/09/12

      Mmrr… not too bad. But I stayed up until 3am finishing off a game. Didn’t have to get up until 10, but I don’t feel like I’ve slept enough.

      Oh well, I get off work in 8 hours :S

    • pa_kelvin says:

      04:19pm | 09/09/12

      GAMES???..........wouldn’t that cut into drinking time?? smile

    • Inky says:

      05:26pm | 09/09/12

      I spend a lot more time in my week gaming than I do drinking. But you can combine the two with varying results. Having to work on Sundays prevents me from being able to take part in Drunken Raids, which is a tragedy.

      But tbh, I don’t really drink often or heavily.

    • pa_kelvin says:

      12:32pm | 08/09/12

      Contraversy over Howzat, with Dennis Lillee and others saying it was a good series , but not a good representive of what actually took place…Should they have paid Lillee a consulting fee??.Me , I enjoyed watching it…..

    • stephen says:

      04:09pm | 08/09/12

      ‘cept the ‘77 Ford LTD shown didn’t come in baby-poo brown, though the vinyl roof did.

      The Packer character seemed accurate, but watching the show I kept thinking about John Cornell portrayed as a schemer, and his subsequent relationship to Paul Hogan.

      Now there’s got to be a movie there.
      Call it ‘Underbelly ... Been There.’

    • vox says:

      05:12pm | 08/09/12

      Sad to hear all of the sadness out there, it makes me feel guilty because my darling daughter was given news yesterday that the health pall hanging over her head for the last year has been lifted, and she is going to be okay.
      Perhaps from that some of you guys might be able to see better days a-coming. I hope so.
      I have just heard that our Prime Minister’s father has passed away.
      I should erase that last line because it wasn’t the P.M.‘s father, was it. It was Julia Gillard’s father. She has my family’s condolences, and the hope that she knows that most Australians thoughts are with her at this sad time.

    • Mouse says:

      07:18pm | 08/09/12

      vox, glad to hear of your daughter’s good news and that she is going to be OK. You must be over the moon. Send congrats to her please. :o)

      It doesn’t matter what you think of JG, everyone should feel sadness for her at the passing of her father. It is never an easy time and I hope she and her family are given some privacy to grieve for their loss. I am sure she has the condolences of the nation, as she has mine.

    • nihonin says:

      07:28am | 09/09/12

      Have to agree with you vox and Mouse, a person’s ideology counts for little when they have just lost a close family member.  Condolences to Julia Gillard and family on the loss of a father, husband and friend, John Gillard.

    • pa_kelvin says:

      12:18pm | 09/09/12

      vox….....Glad your daughter has been given good news re her health….. as some-one with cancer every specialist visit is not something I look forward to.Hope all go’s well for the future.

    • Rose says:

      05:40pm | 08/09/12

      Condolences to Julia Gillard and her family on the loss of her father. may he Rest in Peace and may her family find some comfort at this sad time.

    • stephen says:

      06:56pm | 08/09/12

      Yes, it is dreadful.
      But she likes Cairns, and perhaps a funeral there may get finally his place in the sun.

    • pa_kelvin says:

      07:32pm | 08/09/12

      Seems to be a bit more regular postings today… Thankyou Punch Team. smile

    • Babylon says:

      05:09pm | 09/09/12

      Its sad to watch the premature ending of the Mining Boom, the once in a generation boom that was the envy of the world.

      Following the carbon tax and the MRRT, we’ve seen the collapse of the Olympic Dam project, Klopper telling London investers Coal mining is hardly profitable in Australia and despite carbon tax protection monies, One Steel and Fortescue metals wrap up $50 mill projects and lay off 2000 workers. And theres more to come with BHP bringing in a team of consultants to Cut costs.

      This Mining boom would have been a great legacy for Aussie kids, but with the newly created hostile environment in which Mining has to operate, we’ll be lucky to get 2 more years.

      The Mining industries indirect contribution to the Australian economy is immense and we will suffer without it.

    • Inky says:

      05:40pm | 09/09/12

      Eh, they’ll be back.

      Not sure how great a legacy it would have been through, we as a people seem remarkable at pissing away everything on frivilous crap, and I don’t just mean our political parties and their vote buying excercises. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only person capable of actually managing and saving their money. (Which I know I’m not, but the people I find myself around it sure feels that way.

      Oh wait, did I forget to blame Juliar for everything? My bad.

    • Bailey says:

      05:51pm | 09/09/12

      I guess no one told you that mining companies don’t pay the MRRT unless they have super profits.

      Can you give us an update about whether Whyalla been wiped of the map yet?
      and if you are not lilly livered, perhaps you can respond to the comment in the article titled “Some sobering thoughts on how to tackle boozing” above. It exposes your nonsense and lies. I suspect you will just slink away, it’s what the conservatives usually do when they are caught lying.

 

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