MEMBERS STATEMENT | AUSTRALIAN LEBANESE MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

Mr Melhem (Western Metropolitan): Last Saturday night I attended the Australian Lebanese Medical Association annual ball at Luxor reception centre in Taylors Lakes, which is in my electorate, along with Ms Crozier. ALMA was established in 2012. It is a not-for-profit organisation that seeks to represent Australian-Lebanese health professionals practising in Australia. Its membership is incredibly diverse, including general practitioners, physiotherapists, chiropractors, dentists, pharmacists, medical researchers and nurses. ALMA provides an important forum for professional and social engagement for its members while also educating Lebanese Australians about medical issues, particularly around heart conditions and drug and alcohol awareness. ALMA does some amazing charitable work for the community, both in Lebanon and here in Victoria. Some of its work over the years has included donating 11 ultrasound machines to medical centres and hospitals in Lebanon as well as donating 13 defibrillators to Lebanese religious centres in Victoria. The promotion and fostering of strong links between our medical institutions and those overseas is vital. In 2016 ALMA launched the first-ever interhospital Lebanese Australian relationship between Monash Health and St George Hospital in Beirut. One Lebanese doctor has already finished their placement at Monash Health and returned to Beirut while another two doctors are set to begin this year. I want to take this opportunity to congratulate and commend the leadership of its national president, Dr Walid Ahmar, and the state president, Dr Sue Hosn, for the great work they do for our community. I congratulate all the organisation’s members on their good work as well.