Family of doctor who took own vow to keep fighting
THE family of Dr Chloe Abbott, w ho committed suicide because of "brutal" working conditions, have vowed to never stop fighting for change.
Chloe, 29, worked as a junior doctor at St Vincent's Hospital and took her own life last year on January 9- one of four junior physicians to take their lives in as many months.
Chloe's family believe the "brutal" expectations of her job, which she juggled while studying 40-hours a week for medical exams, contributed to her death.
Her mother Leonie Eagles and sisters Jessica and Micaela threw their support behind a parliamentary inquiry into the suicide of NSW junior doctors. Their advocacy won new laws to support those who seek mental health treatment.
Junior doctors in NSW now have access to treatment from a specialist group of GPs to improve their physical and mental health and stop self-medication.
"I think Chloe would be really proud of us for doing this, I think she'd understand how hard it is but at the same time, she'd really want us to keep going and make a difference," Jessica Abbott said.
"Generally when there is a story about suicide, it's so taboo, it's not spoken about or published. It's one of those topics people don't want to talk about," Micaela Abbott said.
The spate of suicides rocked the medical community, bringing attention to the pressures these young doctors are under.
Because of their efforts to raise awareness and cause change, Chloe Abbott's family have been awarded a Pride of Australia Award.
Today, Leonie Eagles and Jessica and Micaela Abbot will jointly be awarded a Pride of Australia medal for their outstanding campaign for change. They will be presented with their medals at the Sydney Opera House along with 12 others from across NSW.
They include ordinary Australians thrust into life-and-death situations, courageous police officers, selfless individuals dedicated to protecting animals and devastated families fighting for change and justice.
This is the 13th annual Pride of Australia awards, Inspired by the Liberty Medal established by the New York Post in the wake of the September 11 attacks.
Pride of Australia underpins the notion there is no greater measure of a society's strength than its ability to recognise, learn from and reward its true heroes.