Fond farewell as Northern Territory calls to Eden doctor Don Reed

Heading north: Drs Michael Pentin, Ajesh Shrestha and Janice Nelson will be saying goodbye to Dr Don Reed later this month.
Heading north: Drs Michael Pentin, Ajesh Shrestha and Janice Nelson will be saying goodbye to Dr Don Reed later this month.

The Curalo Medical Clinic will say goodbye to one of its most beloved doctors this month.

Dr Donald Reed, who has been working at the clinic since 2005, will leave to take up a position in Aboriginal health in the Northern Territory. His final day will be Friday, December 22, when he will “retire for a month” before beginning his new job in February.

Dr Reed is originally from South Africa, graduating from Stellenbosch University in 1982. He worked in South Africa for three years before moving to Newfoundland in Canada.

“I spent 20 years in Canada, then came out in 2005 with my two children and wife, and settled in Australia,” Dr Reed said. “People always ask me why Australia, and it’s one word: weather.”

Although Dr Reed is looking forward to the next phase of his career, he won’t be completely removed from the Far South Coast.

“I have a house at Pambula Beach, but I won’t be selling that,” he said. “I’ll still be a resident here when I’m not in Alice Springs.”

Dr Reed said the move was an extension on trips he has made in the past.

“I’ve been going up for the last six years, a number of weeks each year,” he said. “It’s the same thing, I’ll just be doing it more often.

“They’re very small communities. I’ll be based out of Alice Springs and work in the communities during the week.

“It’s something I feel very strongly about, and I feel I still have the ability to contribute in that field.”

Curalo practice manager Barbara Mann said Dr Reed’s impact on the community would not be forgotten.

“He’ll be sorely missed,” she said “He’s been a huge part of the community for such a long time, and he’s got a large patient load.

“He’ll be missed by both staff and his patients.”

The clinic has already lined up someone to replace Dr Reed, a young Finnish woman named Paula.

Ms Mann said she was expecting Paula to start early in the new year.

“She’s very passionate about women’s and children’s health, and she’s a young female which is a new dynamic for us,” she said.