Alfred surgeon receives Australia Day honour

23/02/2009

Alfred Visiting Medical Officer (VMO) Mr Alexander Cato was acknowledged in the recent Australia Day Honours List after receiving a Member of the Order of Australia - Military Division.

Alex received his award "for exceptional service to the Royal Australian Air Force Specialist Reserve as the Director of Air Force Health Reserves - Personnel and Senior General Surgeon - Deployable surgical elements within the Australian Defence Force."

He has been a VMO at The Alfred for more than 20 years, working within the urology unit, as well as assisting with trauma cases.

In addition to his duties as director of Air Force Health Reserves - Personnel, he has also completed numerous deployments as a surgeon to Malaysia, Bougainville, East Timor and the Solomon Islands with the Australian Defence Force. In addition, he has taken part in deployments with mobile hospitals for defence exercises in the north of Australia.

He also visits the Solomon Islands as a volunteer with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

Alex has been a member of the RAAF Reserves for 27 years as a medical officer and surgeon. He was an Air Force cadet during his school days when he won a flying scholarship. He continues to fly regularly to Mildura visiting patients within the region.

"I was delighted to receive this award which recognises the value and service that the medical reservists provide to the Australian Defence Force but I believe it's also a reflection on the families that support the reservists," Alex said.

Alex celebrated his award with family and friends on Australia Day.