Monday, 22 February 2021
Statements by Members
Bowie, Dr James OAM
I rise today to recognise an extraordinary man, Dr James Bowie, who's dedicated most of his professional life to keeping people in Australia's south-west healthy and happy.
In this age of multi-GP medical centres, Dr Bowie's small practice was for decades the face of family practice in and around Manjimup. While practising in the north-west of Australia in 1967, Dr Bowie travelled south, to Perth, with the Royal Flying Doctor Service. As thousands of tourists do today, he hired a car for a trip down south. He fell in love with Bridgetown, buying his first property there the following year. He also fell in love with a Bridgetown girl, Elizabeth Goyder, whom he married in 1970. In 1975 he established the Warren District Family Medical Practice in Manjimup, 30 kilometres to the south.
Being a farmer and a doctor, Dr Bowie had a great rapport with his patients, many of whom he had delivered in the local hospital. For his service to medicine, Dr Bowie, now 87, was one of 34 Western Australians recognised in this year's Australia Day Awards. As Dr Bowie himself points out, he appears to be the only WA farmer on the honours list. Dr Bowie epitomises the type of GP we need to see more of in regional Australia—those who are prepared to live in the regions, find love in the regions and dedicate their service to our regional communities.