Dr Andrew Browning has been awarded the Member (AM) In the General Division Of The Order Of Australia for significant service to the international community through the provision of obstetric care to women in Africa.
The purpose of the Order of Australia is to recognise, by national honour, those who have made outstanding contributions that benefit their communities, and ultimately our country.
Andrew has undoubtedly met and surpassed these rigorous benchmarks and he continues to work tirelessly in his chosen field to significantly improve the maternal health outcomes for underprivileged women in sub-Saharan Africa for little personal gain or recognition.
“I am very honoured to receive this award. It makes me realise that many people in Australia are concerned about underprivileged women on the other side of the world they will probably never meet. At times the task ahead to help these women can seem overwhelming, but knowing that the work we are doing is respected gives me great encouragement,’ said Dr Browning.
This award for Andrew today also reflects the support and inspiration he has received for his work from his immediate and wider family. Following in his father’s footsteps, Dr David Browning, a well-known local doctor, Andrew became an Obstetrician/ Gynaecologist. As a young doctor, he journeyed to the harshest and most remote region of Ethiopia to visit his aunt, Valerie Browning AM, where he saw first-hand the appalling lack of maternal help or services available to women. Many were dying in childbirth or suffering terrible injuries from prolonged labour. Inspired by his aunt’s dedication and motivated by his Christian convictions, he felt called to make it his life’s mission to help the disadvantaged women of Africa. He went to work for Valerie’s great friend, Catherine Hamlin AC and learned many of his obstetric fistula repair skills at her side.
Andrew was supported in his decision by his wife Stephanie. Together they built a rich life in Africa bringing up their two boys William and Christopher. Stephanie opened a primary school in Arusha, Tanzania, which has become very successful.
Wishing to create a wider maternal healthcare model that prevented death and injury in childbirth, and repair fistula injuries, in 2009 Andrew, his father David and uncle, Bishop George Browning, founded the Barbara May Foundation so named after Andrew’s grandmother who felt no woman in a modern world should die or be gravely injured in childbirth. All the services provided by BMF-funded programmes in Africa are provided free-of-charge to the patients.
Andrew’s achievements during his 17 years in Africa are remarkable. He would be the first to say that he could not have done what he has done without the support of many talented and equally dedicated doctors, midwives, volunteers, friends, mentors, advisors and countless financial supporters throughout the world.
For further information: Joanne Crowley – 0412 446 969