WELL DESERVED: Dr Judith McEniery, Dr Carmel Walker, Dr Mary Lawson and Mrs Judith Finan at the St Mary's College 5th Annual Gala Dinner.
WELL DESERVED: Dr Judith McEniery, Dr Carmel Walker, Dr Mary Lawson and Mrs Judith Finan at the St Mary's College 5th Annual Gala Dinner.

Honours for contribution to medicine

TWO Ipswich raised doctors have received this year's Mercy Medallion for their contribution to the field of medicine and their communities at the St Mary's College Annual Gala Dinner.

Dr Carmel Walker and Dr Judith McEniery are joint recipients of this year's medal, adding to the long list of successful alumni at St Mary's College, including Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and NASA scientist Jessie Christensen.

College principal Judith Finan said the medal recognised those who had demonstrated the values of the college.

"Both women were students at SMC graduating in 1961 and 1970 - nine years apart, yet they were to meet up again when they studied medicine at University of Queensland. Their medical passions took them in very different directions,” she said.

Dr Walker graduated from the college and went on to become a trained nurse and then a doctor.

She lived and worked in Cairns, Mt Isa, Cooroy and then 17 years later, moved onto the Aboriginal Community called Yapatjarra before moving to Bamaga Hospital in Cape York. She later moved to Ayr and is now at Longreach Hospital.

"The work in Bamaga was really the best. Bamaga was the main of five communities, some of the aboriginal, some of them Torres Strait Islander and some a combination,” she said.

"That group of communities and the work done there was probably the most challenging for me and the most rewarding.”

Dr Walker said the award took her by surprise, even more so when she heard who the second recipient was, a friend she graduated with at the University of Queensland, Dr McEniery.

Dr McEniery went on to study at the Royal College of Physicians.

When she returned to Australia she pursued a career in palliative care. She became a palliative care medical officer at Ipswich Hospital and Ipswich Hospice.

Dr McEniery had also taken up various other specialist positions in Queensland and New South Wales hospitals.

She said she was absolutely delighted and honoured to receive the award.