Treating the youngest patients with heart and care | Queen's Birthday Honours

Devoted to medicine: George Louie Williams, Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division for service to medicine in the field of paediatrics and developmental disability. Picture: John Veage
Devoted to medicine: George Louie Williams, Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division for service to medicine in the field of paediatrics and developmental disability. Picture: John Veage

Treating the smallest humans and protecting the rights of children have kept George Louie Williams a busy and passionate man within the medical field.

The Menai resident has been awarded a Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division for service to medicine in the field of paediatrics and developmental disability.

Dr Williams, 72, was the head of the paediatric department of St George Hospital from 2010-2015, and a paediatrician of the Children's Hospital, Westmead, for more than 30 years.

He has also been a private practitioner since 1988, and a fellow in the Paediatrics and Child Health Division, Royal Australasian College of Physicians since 1980.

"I feel very pleased and honoured," Dr Williams said of his honour.

His career began when he started training in South Africa. He arrived in Sydney in 1975. There he worked at Sydney Children's Hospital at Camperdown, and then received a scholarship to go to Canada, specialising in newborn health.

Dr Williams returned to Australia in 1980 and carried out insightful clinical work and research.

His other interests including lobbying against the circumcision of children, and getting legislation in place in Australia to protect children from the procedure.

"I wanted to be a vet but couldn't get in so I became a paediatrician," he said. "I wanted to get out of intensive care and trained in developmental paediatrics.

"It is true that children recover very quickly but they can be also very sick when born with serious problems."

A supporter since the early 1990s of CHARGE Syndrome Association of Australasia, he assisted in the development of the first Australian manual on CHARGE Syndrome in 1994.

He became an international expert working with children diagnosed with the rare and genetic condition.

"The principal problems are deafness, blindness and poor growth," the grandfather of eight said.

"A total of 33 per cent of babies die in the first year, it's a very serious condition.

"I was invited overseas to present my work, mainly in the US and I'm part of a research team in Michigan."

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