NACCHO congratulates Dr Catherine Engelke from the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Service Council,Kununurra, West Australia,who has won the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) General Practice Registrar of the Year Award 2012.
The RACGP General Practice Registrar of the Year Award recognises the strong commitment made by a GP registrar to learning, the general practice profession and provision of high quality patient care.
Presenting the award at the conclusion of GP12, the RACGP’s annual conference, RACGP President Dr Liz Marle congratulated Dr Engelke, noting her strong determination to realise her childhood dream of becoming a doctor.
“Dr Engelke trained as a nurse and midwife, becoming involved in providing nursing care to the remote communitie of East Kimberley. Dr Engelke subsequently settled in Kununurra where she became an educator for Aboriginal healthworkers and became involved in regional Aboriginal health planneing. It was during this time, her passion to study medicine was unearthed once more,” Dr Marles said.
“Since graduating from medicine in 2008, Dr Engelke has returned home to East Kimberley, where she proudly provides primary healthcare to the community of Kununurra and to the aboriginal communities of Warmun and Hall Creek, to whom she is related.
Dr Engelke is well known for her ability to build strong rapports with her patients and is recognised for her holistic approach to delivery of care.
“Dr Engelke’s many services to the community started even before completing her MBBS in 2008; her role in the development of the Kimberley Aboriginal Health Service Plan, in addition to her work undertaken in the Kimberley translation of the Edinburgh Post natal Depression Scale (EPDS) are just two examples of her passion to improve the health outcomes of women in the local area,” Dr Marles said.
Currently Dr Engelke is employed as a GP Registrar at both the Kununurra District Hospital and the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Service Council.
Dr Engelke said receiving the award was an honour and a testament to her long standing goal to practise medicine with and for her countrymen.
“I feel blessed to be able to fulfil my childhood dream of becoming a doctor. I lacked the confidence initially and cannot believe how much my life has changed for the better since I have realised my potential,” Dr Engelke said.
“I have been fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work with inspirational mentors and peers, and feel honoured that I can give back to my profession on such a personal level. To be recognised in this way, was totally unexpected and humbling,” Dr Engelke concluded.
For more information on the 2012 RACGP Award categories, visit