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On the day after the announcement of our election a couple of weeks ago, a patient and I had a discussion (whinge) about the state of politics in Australia. It was prophetic because I had been struggling to find the word (in my head when listening to the numerous shows I watch…the ABC news, 7.30 Report, Q & A) to describe what was missing in many areas of life these days, but particularly in politics- and as we were talking, the word I had been struggling to find, popped out of this patient’s mouth…Authenticity. I suppose the swinging door of Prime Ministers over the last 9 years, could have contributed to our cynicism with our politicians and their very apparent lack of authenticity. But in many walks of life there can be a superficiality, a lack of depth and understanding of others situation in life, a lack of empathy.
Take for example the NDIS. Often audience members in shows like Q &A (often older, white men) ask a question of a politician saying “With our current fiscal position, how can we justify the money being spent on the NDIS?” Now he obviously doesn’t understand that the NDIS could be something that HE HIMSELF may need in the future, if he had the misfortune of having a terrible accident that caused a head injury and subsequent neurological impairment and a loss of his ability to work. A perfect example of a complete lack of empathy for those in a less fortunate situation. As though providing assistance and funding for disability in the community is a luxury that our financially strapped nation can’t afford?! He hasn’t obviously heard of the saying….there but for the grace of God!
The definition of authentic is to be real or genuine, not copied or false; true and accurate; made to be or look just like an original.
Below is a photo of some very authentic women.
Hannah Judith and patient
Prof Judith Goh AO, Harriet and Dr Hannah Krause AO
The real reason for this post on authenticity is to let you know that Dr Hannah Krause has just been made an OFFICER (AO) IN THE GENERAL DIVISION OF THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA in The Queen’s Birthday 2016 Honours List for distinguished service to medicine in the field of urology and gynaecology, particularly through surgical assistance to women in developing countries throughout Asia and Africa.
Now Hannah (and Professor Judith Goh) are a rare breed.
They work tirelessly all year to help women in Australia – here in Queensland- to achieve continence, to manage their prolapse and help with their pelvic and bladder pain and then…… when they go on holidays, to Africa, they do …….more operations- helping the desperate women of Africa who suffer the burden of a fistula. (You can see a list of the different camps and hospitals that they visit in Hannah’s list of volunteer work at the bottom of this blog) I have written about the work they do in numerous blogs, but it is so wonderful to see the public recognition of Hannah’s work with an AO!
A big congratulations Hannah. 
In case you feel like making their job a little easier- I will include a link to HADA, the organisation where you can donate directly to their work. Just make sure you nominate Medical Training in Africa. You may remember that six months ago (yes it is half way through this year already!!!) I announced as one of my New Years Resolutions, I was asking that the only presents I received this year were donations to HADA- as I had everything I needed and I am desperate to not get any more trinkets. Well it is going very well, particularly as I have also decided to give presents of donations as well to my family and staff. Now everyone who has received the gift of a donation to HADA so far, has been very gracious and said how nice (and I think they genuinely mean it) and I would encourage everyone to contemplate the thought of giving a donation, even as well as a smaller gift to someone, if you don’t want to make it the total gift.
Now let’s keep our chins up- there’s only 3 more weeks to go, in the longest election campaign of all time.
Let’s watch and see if our politicians can improve on their authenticity.

Hannah’s achievements 
Service includes: Urogynaecologist, Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Hospital, since 2006.
Visiting Urogynaecologist, Greenslopes Private Hospital.
Committee Member, Queensland Branch, Continence Foundation Australia, current; Past Vice-President.
Volunteer Specialist, Fistula Camp, Kagando Mission Hospital, Uganda, since 2010;
Actively involved with training programs for local medical staff and volunteers.
Volunteer Specialist, Pelvic Floor Workshop, Cambodia, 2015.
Volunteer Specialist, Fistula and Pelvic Floor IUGA Workshop, Mankessim, Ghana, 2014.
Volunteer Specialist, Fistula Outreach, Mercy Ships, Conakry, Guinea, 2010;
Aberdeen Fistula Centre, Freetown, Sierra Leone, 2007;
Anastasis Fistula Outreach, Monrovia, Liberia, 2005.
Volunteer Specialist, Fistula Camp, HEAL Africa, Goma Democratic Republic of Congo, 2008-2011.
Volunteer Specialist, Bahir Dar Hamlin Fistula Centre, Ethiopia, 2007.
Volunteer Specialist, FistulaUnit, Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Bangladesh, 2003-2004.
Volunteer Doctor, Fistula Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethoipia, 2009, 1997 and 1995.
Volunteer Doctor, Soddo Hospital, Southern Ethiopia, 1995.
(Makes my volunteering at tuckshop look a little ordinary).