The late Dr Richard John Dunstan has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List receiving an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for his service to medicine as a paediatrician.
Mr Dunstan, formerly of Grasmere, who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of liver cancer passed away on January 18, 2022 – more than 1000 people attended the well-liked doctor’s funeral.
He is survived by his wife Donna of 44 years and four children.
Mrs Dunstan said her husband “left a legacy he never expected to leave…it’s going to go on a long time.”
She said in his long career he had delivered and treated 30,000 children.
He was a paediatrician in Campbelltown for 35 years. He also worked with rehabilitation at Sydney Children’s Hospital Randwick for 36 years and was instrumental in establishing The Kids of Macarthur Health Foundation, now in its 22nd year.
“The charity ensured that our children in Macarthur received the same treatment as children in other areas,” Mrs Dunstan said.
“Ric worked in Macarthur because he knew he could make a difference.He bulk- billed most people and made a conscious decision to make their life better.”
Mrs Dunstan said there is a Kids of Macarthur Medal named after her husband and a scholarship at Sydney Children’s Hospital also known as the Richard Dunstan scholarship.
She said her husband touched many lives and recounted the story of a young woman who studying medicine who recently received a scholarship named in her husband’s honour – she was delivered 28 weeks premature by Dr Dunstan.
Mrs Dunstan was unaware of who nominated her husband, but knows he would have been honoured in receiving the OAM.
“I think he knows; he said to me “I will always be around you”. He would have been very humbled. I am so proud of him and his family are so proud of him.”
Mrs Dunstan said along with his medical work he still found time to help in the community.
She said even when he was ill and undergoing treatment he still did telehealth consultations up until July of last year.
“He gave a good fight.”
She said the Kids of Macarthur Foundation will continue as Dr Dunstan would have wanted.