Aussie doctor lends her name to newest ferry

Published: 19 Nov 2016

World-renowned Australian doctor and humanitarian Dr Catherine Hamlin AC has lent her name to the first of Sydney’s new ferries.

The first new Sydney ferry will be called The Catherine Hamlin, as chosen by Sydneysiders in the Name Your Ferry competition.

Transport and Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance said Dr Hamlin had saved the lives of countless women in Ethiopia who suffered debilitating injuries after childbirth.

“We are honoured to name our first ferry after Dr Catherine Hamlin, a pioneer in Australian medicine. I hope we can all learn more about her amazing work as we travel across Sydney Harbour,” Mr Constance said.

Almost 60 years ago, Dr Hamlin and her husband, Dr Reg Hamlin, moved to Ethiopia to provide free obstetric fistula repair surgery to women who were ostracised after a difficult childbirth.

Dr Hamlin thanked Sydneysiders for the public support of her work. More than 60,000 votes were cast by the public on the final list of ferry names, and she is the first of six prominent Australians whose incredible lives and achievements will be celebrated on new ferries.

“It is really lovely to know that so many people have tremendous love for our work and for our patients. I hope that this will draw the attention of the world to this great need in Ethopia for maternal healthcare,” Dr Hamlin said.

“I want to help these women. I know you would all be touched if you could see them in their plight. Thank you for your support.”

Mr Constance said local customers and visitors alike would be able to learn about the lives of incredible Australians on their trip across the harbor.

“Dr Hamlin’s amazing life deserves wider recognition, and I am so glad we can help spread the word about the lifesaving work she does,” Mr Constance said.

In July people were asked to suggest names in one of three categories:

  • Science, Environment and Innovation
  • Arts and Culture
  • Sydney Harbour Connections

More than 15,000 suggestions in the Name Your Ferry competition went to a specially selected panel of Australian community leaders, which then selected 12 names from each of the three categories for the final public vote. The six most popular names inside the category with the highest number of votes were declared winners.

The remaining five winners will be revealed in January when The Catherine Hamlin is launched in Sydney Harbour.

Learn more about Dr Catherine Hamlin’s life and work

Learn more about Sydney's new ferry fleet

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