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Thursday, 21 March 2013
Page: 2964

Ms O'DWYER (Higgins) (13:53): I was recently contacted by a number of my constituents who have advised me of the very sad passing of Professor Don Esmore AO who, like so many medical practitioners around the country, saved the lives of many thousands of Australians.

Professor Esmore is credited with starting up the heart and lung transplant program at the Alfred Hospital which is on the border of my electorate. This program is one of the most respected transplant programs in the world. Professor Esmore was also the first surgeon to implant the Australian designed and made VentrAssist device which is a device that replaces a patient's heart function without the need to remove the patient's heart.

Professor Esmore's story is simply even more remarkable, though. Despite being diagnosed with myeloma, an as yet incurable bone marrow cancer, in 2002, he continued to practice medicine selflessly to help save the lives of numerous Australians. What an outstanding example he is for all of us in his selflessness. Quite rightly he has been lauded for his remarkable achievements. Professor Esmore was awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia in 2001, the Centenary Medal in 2003 and was a state finalist for the Australian of the Year in 2008. I take the opportunity in the parliament today to pay tribute to Professor Esmore and the team at the Alfred hospital who continue to provide such an important service to people right around the country.