Associate Professor Brad Murphy is a Kamilaroi man and rural generalist, who has had a long career in regional Queensland, after graduating from JCU in 2005. He currently lives and works in Bundaberg, on Taribelang country, in Queensland’s North Burnett region. Throughout his career, Doctor Murphy has won various accolades including the prestigious Rose-Hunt Medalin 2020 and in 2016 he was named Indigenous Doctor of the Year. Associate Professor Murphy trained as a medic with the Royal Australian Navy before working with the NSW Ambulance Service and Royal Flying Doctor Service at Uluru. He was one of the first Aboriginal medical students at JCU. His passion for rural medicine manifested in medical school as representative for the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland and the National Rural Health Network. ‘ Working in remote Queensland, I realised my inspiration was about the art of medicine and engagement with people and communities.’ He practiced as a GPiT in Theodore and Eidsvold before establishing his own practice, Ashfield Country Practice, in Bundaberg. His practice was the first private practice to be accredited as an Aboriginal health service by General Practice Australia in 2013. It was also recognised as the RACGP GP Practice of the Year in 2019.
‘I wanted to do Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health in my own way, in consultation with the community. As a Kamilaroi man, I am extremely honoured to be a GP and to represent my people, but also to represent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia.’ ‘Being a rural doctor does not limit opportunities, but rather gives rise to many more. With modern technology, communication is enhanced in rural areas, and the opportunity for me to be part of university education has allowed me to progress to appointment as Associate Professor in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health at Bond University.’
While busy with his general practice in Bundaberg, Associate Professor Murphy also worked to complete the FARGP and Rural Generalist qualification. ‘One of my greatest opportunities and proudest moments comes from founding what is now RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health. Ten years on and growing stronger each year! Being able to influence a National Key Strategic Stakeholder in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health from my little solo doctor rural town of Eidsvold in Queensland, especially as a Registrar in GP Training at the time, shows the opportunities are there for those keen to take the plunge.’ His aspirations for his people extends to his work complimentary to working as a GP by supporting a range of community projects aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the Nation. These projects include being a founding member of the Jimmy Little Foundation. ‘Uncle Jimmy was a proud man focused on the health of our mob and was one of many of my mentors in life and medicine. My life is certainly enriched and strengthened by my time with Uncle Jim, and the benefits of this project resonates widely across the nation.’