Kempsey GP Named Rural Doctor of the Year

The Rural Doctors Association of Australia has named a ‘highly dedicated’ Kempsey GP as Rural Doctor of the Year for 2017.

Dr Colin Farquharson has given 30 years of service to the people of the Macleay Valley. He’s also been a valued teacher to med students and young doctors, while finding time to advocate on behalf of the rural medical profession and for Kempsey Hospital.

At the awards ceremony, RDAA President Dr Ewen McPhee said Dr Farquharson was a very deserving recipient of the award.

“After moving to Australia from the UK and then graduating from Medicine at the University of Sydney at the relatively late age of 32, Colin took up posts at Wollongong Hospital; the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children in Camperdown, Sydney; and Katherine Hospital before working as a GP Obstetrician at Kempsey for an initial 10 years.

“He then worked as an Obstetrics Registrar at John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle for a short period before returning to Kempsey in 1998 to work as a rural GP with Visiting Medical Officer (VMO) responsibilities in Obstetrics, Paediatrics and Rehabilitation Medicine at Kempsey Hospital.” He has been in that role ever since.

“Along the way, his practice has broadened to include the local Aboriginal Medical Service and working as a doctor at the local Mid North Coast Correctional Centre.”

Dr McPhee said Colin exemplified the quiet but dedicated style of many rural doctors.

“While he is an unassuming man and not one to grandstand, he remains passionate about Rural Medicine, his peers, his patients and his community, and he quietly but regularly lobbies politicians about the profession and in support of local health services. In all his work, Colin has relied on the wonderful support of his wife, Margot.”

Dr Farquharson said while there were challenges to living and working as a doctor in the same small community, what was rewarding was the wonderful interaction with patients.

“I have the cards and small gifts that people who cannot afford much give you. Or the chokos, jam, cake or that gift you cannot buy, which is worth its weight in gold; that is what, on reflection, I find rewarding.

“And of course when it comes to rural obstetrics, there are highlights every year that keep me here, though they are often associated with challenging events like having to deal with the delivery of twins at 24 and 28 weeks’ gestation or having a complicated vaginal breech delivery in 2016.”

Outside of medicine he enjoys walking his border collie, listening to music, reading history and gardening.

“My specialty is bindii cultivation,” he said.

NCPHN congratulates Dr Farquharson on a long and distinguished career of service.

Update provided 21 April 2022.

As you know, Lismore Skin Clinic in Molesworth Street was destroyed in the recent floods, and we are trying to rebuild the site as soon as we can.

In the meantime we will be moving to St Vincent’s Hospital Specialist Medical Centre – Level 4, Suite 12 – 20 Dalley Street Lismore.

We hope to be up and running in the next two weeks (by early to mid May 2022) and our receptionists will soon begin calling our patients to rebook their appointments and catch up with their needs.

Once we have a firm opening date we will update this notification.

Our email address – [email protected] and our phone number – 02 6621 3500 will remain the same as in the past. Only the address changes for a while.

We look forward to seeing you soon in our new premises.

Many thanks for your patience and understanding in these heartbreaking times – stay safe.

Dr Gudmundsen and the Team from Lismore Skin Clinic


Contact our Education Team

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Nigel Cronin
Senior Manager, Education
[email protected]
0437 169 786
02 6627 3390
Based on Bundjalung Country in Lismore

Bronwyn Thirkell
Centre for Healthcare Knowledge & Innovation and Education and Events Coordinator NNSW
[email protected]
0437 027 751
02 6618 5445
Based on Bundjalung Country in Ballina

Krissi Devlin
Education and Events Coordinator MNC
[email protected]
0447 407 473
02 6659 1808
Working days: Monday Thursday.
Based on Gumbaynggirr Country in Coffs Harbour

Mental Health Practitioner Directory

Frequently Asked Questions

Any AHPRA or AASW registered mental health practitioner providing services in the Mid North Coast and/or Northern NSW.

Social workers, psychotherapists and counsellors are ineligible to list in the directory.

By listing, you will let GPs, other referrers and consumers know that you are practising in Mid North Coast and/or Northern NSW. You can provide information such as where you are located, the services you provide, the population groups you support and your clinical interests.

No, the directory is a free service provided by Healthy North Coast.

This directory enables you to provide real-time information about your availability to accept referrals, as well as how long people may have to wait for an appointment. You can update this information as your availability changes. This will help GPs and other referrers ensure they only refer clients to practitioners who have the capacity to see them.

It also has a range of advanced search options and supports printing and bookmarking of search results.

You can choose to display your email address and your phone number so that people can contact you directly. You may prefer not to display these, in which case people can contact you by completing an enquiry form located in the Directory. Your choices can be updated anytime.

You can indicate wait times for an appointment for a new client or that you are currently unable to accept new referrals. You can also choose whether to display or hide your contact details. You can update your choices at any time.

Yes, you can update your listing or remove it at any time by clicking the “update practitioner details” button on your listing. You will receive a secure website link to your nominated admin email that will enable you to make changes, delete or put your listing on hold. You can also show when you are taking extended leave or are not available for a specific period, rather than completely removing your listing.

We will also send you an email every three months (90 days) prompting you to check that your information is up to date.

You will be responsible for managing the information in your listing and ensuring that it is up to date. You will also be asked to check the information before it is published in the directory.

We will also send you an email every three months (90 days) prompting you to check that your information is up to date so that the directory displays accurate information.

You can read the full Terms of Use by clicking here.