YOU could say doctor Geoff Mutton is something of a reluctant recipient after being awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia today.
Unlike many recipients who can’t wait to be announced, he says he thought long and hard about accepting the award.
“Actually I find it embarrassing and when I was first approached I really had to think about accepting it because I just thought why would I deserve this,” he said.
“I did decide to accept however for my parents who are both deceased, because I think they would be very proud,” he said.
Dr Mutton said he is part of a medical fraternity that he believes is equally deserving of an award, working long hours to save lives and improve the quality of life for rural patients.
When he first came to Orange to practise more than 40 years ago, Dr Mutton was the first orthopaedic surgeon in the city, working on a seven day roster to provide emergency surgery in addition to his scheduled surgery.
“Things did get a little easier when a second surgeon came along - David Meachin,” he said.
There has been no let up in the commitment of Dr Mutton to his patients and his profession, as he maintains a full surgical list at Orange hospital.
“I did operate four days this week,” he said.
“But the way I work is no different to the way my colleagues all work,” he said.
“Everyone in medicine I know works very hard.
Dr Mutton said one of the major differences he has observed in his working life since coming to Orange as a surgeon is support services.
“There is now a huge difference in the number of resources we have to work with,” he said.