From an early age, I have had a strong belief in giving back. I did at one time consider becoming a Missionary Doctor, however I am now involved in yearly charity visits where I go with a team to perform cataract surgery in remote areas.
Each year, I go to somewhere in or around China. Last year, we went to Inner Mongolia, the year before, Tibet. There is so much poverty in some of these areas, and they are often very remote and can take days to reach.
We organise the funding from here, which can take the better part of a year. One of the members of the team goes in advance, talks with the locals and get the co-operation of the health authorities. Then, we’ll set up in a local hospital, and perform as many procedures as we can.
It’s extremely rewarding – a lot of people who come to us don’t realise that we can completely restore their sight. It makes a huge difference to their lives, and their families lives too. Often, older people will need a family member to constantly look after them on a daily basis – to act as their ‘eyes’, so to speak. Giving them their sight back allows them to gain back independence.
I love cooking. My latest interest is ‘sous vide’, which involves cooking food that’s sealed in an airtight plastic bag, in a water bath. This cooks the food evenly and retains the juices. It’s a fantastic way of cooking.
The dish that’s been the biggest hit is duck confit. It’s fantastic because you don’t need extra duck fat to cook it properly.
I love experimenting. We recently had distant relatives visit from China and they taught us all about traditional Chinese cooking methods. Having learned about these centuries old techniques, I’m hoping to experiment to see if I can replicate some of them with the sous vide method.
Perhaps because of my love of cooking, I enjoy physical activity!
I cycle a lot. I belong to a group who, on the weekend, will cycle 50k in the morning, heading to areas such as Bobbin Head or West Head, Akuna Bay, Church Point or Gaulston Gorge. During the week, I tend to jog.
My family means everything to me. I have three wonderful children – a boy and two girls. We spend a lot of time together, my kids and my wife.
Video of China visit – to come.