Who was Val Lishman?
On the last day of February 1965, in a Holden station wagon, Dr Val Lishman drove to Bunbury with his family on a blisteringly hot summer’s day. He had come from Liverpool in the UK and had heard about the beautiful “Wildflower State”. His impression on that first day was of a withered and dried up state.
He came to work in the Bunbury hospital but arrived to find that construction was a year behind schedule. Dr Lishman was the region’s first specialist surgeon and he dedicated his life to improving people’s health. His work also saw him travel to work on surgical teams in Vietnam, Malaysia, Nepal and the Antarctic. This variety of experience made him the surgeon you wanted on your side when things went “pear shaped”.
Anyone who was in Bunbury during Dr Lishman’s working life will have a story about how a procedure was not necessarily going to plan and so Dr Lishman was called and saved the day. He saw solutions not problems and would go to great lengths, always doing his absolute best for his patients.
It was in recognition of his service and contributions to medicine in the South West that, in 1997, a group of prominent citizens asked Dr Lishman’s permission to name a recently established health research foundation after him. The Val Lishman Health Research Foundation (now Lishman Health) was established in 1997 to honour the life and service of Dr Val Lishman by commissioning research to improve the health and lives of regional Australians.
“Every hospital or group of doctors should have research. Research directly benefits hospitals. Young doctors, registrars, and interns should be encouraged to work on projects. Advancement results from everyone looking at their work critically, following up ideas and sharing them with other people.”
Dr Val Lishman