Respected cardiologist earns Australia Day honour
Dr Alan Soward, a much-respected cardiologist and passionate Docklands resident, has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Australia Day honours.
Dr Soward, who established the Mildura Cardiology in 1986 with his wife Bev, expressed his gratitude and humility for the award, which recognised his services to cardiology.
“It certainly was a big surprise and a nice cap to a career I wasn’t expecting,” he told Docklands News.
I’m very happy but I always think other people are more deserving.
Dr Soward and his wife have lived in Docklands for the past 17 years while alternating their time living in Mildura as they ran their practice, which involved Bev looking after reception and business duties.
“It began with just the two of us and the practice now employs more than 20 people.”
Now retired, the couple reside at the Banksia building in Docklands after moving in when it was built six years ago.
“Our commitment to Docklands is solid. We enjoy being here, we like the proximity to the city and the tram to the MCG, and the view – we’re behind Docklands,” he said, adding they looked forward to the redevelopment of Central Pier and the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel hopefully lighting up the skyline again.
As well as setting up a practice in Mildura, which continues to run today under new owners, Dr Soward’s impressive career included being a cardiology Fellow at The Thoraxcentre, Rotterdam in the Netherlands from 1984 to 1985.
He has also been an Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of Rural Health Mildura at Monash University since 2013.
Currently, Dr Soward is a Fellow with The Cardiac Society of Australasia and New Zealand and The European Society of Cardiology.
In other services, he was a visiting medical officer and cardiologist at the Mildura Base Public Hospital and Mildura Health Private Hospital for 34 years.
Speaking of his honour, he emphasised the real reward was the positive impact his work has on patients’ lives and their families.
“There is one thing we’re particularly proud of and that is 10 years ago when defibrillators were becoming more widely known and distributed, we donated, as a practice, 50 defibrillators to the local community [of Mildura] including sporting clubs and social groups around the area,” he said.
“To this date we know two people who have been saved by the presence of a defibrillator where they had a cardiac arrest. So that was a great source of pleasure to us.”
The Australia Day honours celebrate and acknowledge the exemplary individuals across various sectors to society. •
Caption: Dr Alan Soward with his wife Bev. Photo: Hanna Komissarova.