Doc revels in sea change

Dr Kim Badcoe with great support from Danica and Holly at the Rainbow Beach practice loves her life in Rainbow Beach and the Cooloola Coast

Dr Kim Badcoe says she feels so lucky she and husband Ian made the decision to come to the Cooloola Coast in response to a call out by Cooloola Coast GP looking for doctors for the region.

Living in WA and practicing in the city, Kim said she and Ian wanted an adventure. The children had left home, they were living in inner city Perth, and they took the plunge and accepted the advertised position in 2020.

They had already done a two-year stint in Namibia, in southern Africa but were looking for something in Australia

Kim said they wanted to move to Queensland and with Ian having spent 20 years in Townsville he was keen to move there, but Kim said she doesn’t like sharks, stingers, or high humidity so that was a no from her.

“We saw the advertisement by Cooloola Coast GP seeking an experienced senior doctor to train graduates, supervise and decided to take on the responsibility.”

“We looked around but because it was during covid we couldn’t even come over and look around the region and just had to hope it was nice.

“It was much better than we could have imagined.

“Before we arrived, I had a mental image that country towns were very hard to break into without three generations. But here, with so many people from so many different places there is an openness I didn’t expect.

“People were inviting us around and it wasn’t an archetypal country town at all.

“People are from everywhere and have been to a lot of places, and all live in Rainbow now and you don’t get treated as special, you are welcome.

“I started by supervising one doctor, Dr Samer Sirri who already knew so much because he had been working as surgeon for many years and for Doctors Without Borders doing refugee work.

“He knew a lot of medicine, so I taught him the Australian system and about help available in Australia.

“I am so grateful to be here and well supported with up-to-date facilities and everything I have put a reasonable case for has been supported by the managers.

“It is far superior to most city practices and the staff are very kind and supportive. I feel they have enough faith in me and my contributions, so I feel valued and trusted and know they have my back.

“We moved into a territory that was under serviced and it was a new practice, but it counted as MM5. (Modified Monash Mode is used to define whether a location is a city, rural, remote, or very remote).

“So, it was classed as remote but unlike many practices, it has a lot of facilities close by and we have all our specialists close by at SCUH. We don’t have to use a royal flying doctor service to a hospital like most remote regions.”

Dr Kim said they were enjoying the area so much, with so much to do, all within easy driving distance and she works four days a week now: Monday and Wednesday at Rainbow Beach and Tuesday and Thursday at Cooloola Cove.

“We have a caravan now and we take trips to Bundaberg or Toowoomba for the flower festival and to look at the coastline of Hervey Bay and the Sunny Coast.

“It’s just the two of us and we meet up with people on the way.

“One of the fun things is that most people are on holidays and in a great mood and we get lots of little accidents like bites, fishhooks and sunburn etc but they are all in a good mood.

“I love the wildlife and the turtles, whales, dolphins and now as locals you can see them anytime. We used to go and see them every week and we went up in the helicopter and saw the dugongs.

“You look at resorts and think it would be a downgrade on my life.

“We have had a lot of friends and family visiting and suddenly when you move somewhere like here you have a lot of visitors.

“Being so close to Brisbane and only two hours from the Maroochydore airport it’s a quick drive to pick them up and sometimes we jump on the ferry from Noosa, drive them up the beach highway, grab a seafood platter from Lee’s seafood and they are very impressed.

“We sometimes take our camping chairs and after work take some prawns and bubbly down to the beach and watch the kids and dogs and just enjoy where we live.

“I do have a boogie board and sometimes go for a quick ride. It’s just as much fun as when I was a kid.

“Inskip Point has crystal clear water and white sand, with no waves and sometimes you are the only person on the beach.”

Kim said she would always be grateful that when they decided to make a chance in their life, they came upon this opportunity – it was a good choice.