Hamlin supporters rallied for iconic ‘Catherine Hamlin’ ferry

60for60



1 March , 2019

Only possibly thanks to you

The green and gold Sydney ferries are an iconic part of the maritime scene in Sydney harbour and surrounding waterways. In 2016, Sydneysiders were given the opportunity to suggest and vote for the names of six new ferries. Out of the 15,000 suggestions, one of Sydney’s newest ferries was named after Australian obstetrician and gynaecologist, Dr Catherine Hamlin AC.

This would not have been possible without the overwhelming support from Hamlin supporters, who rallied together and voted for the ‘Catherine Hamlin’.

Dr Catherine Hamlin, who was born in Sydney, has dedicated the past 60 years of her life to treating and preventing obstetric fistula in Ethiopia. At 95 years of age, she still lives on the grounds of Hamlin’s Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, continuing to inspire staff and patients. She has been nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize and was the NSW Senior Australian of the Year in 2018.

In great company

The Catherine Hamlin ferry came into service in 2017, alongside the five others ferries named after wonderful Australian icons, Fred Hollows, Victor Chang, Pemulwuy, Bungaree and May Gibbs. Catherine was thrilled upon the announcement of the ‘Catherine Hamlin’ ferry:

“I am so grateful. It really is lovely to know that so many people have tremendous love for our work and for our patients. I hope that this will help draw the attention of the world to this great need in Ethiopia for maternal healthcare. I want to help these women. I know you would all be touched if you could see them in their plight. Thank you for your support.” – Dr Catherine Hamlin AC

The ferry is special to Catherine, who grew up in Sydney and spent many weekends on the harbour when she was a girl. She remembers this time fondly:

“My father was mad on boats, and we always had a yacht or a motor boat moored somewhere on Sydney Harbour.”

Gracing our harbour for years to come

Since Catherine’s namesake ferry hit the waterways in January 2017, thousands of Sydney-siders and visitors have ridden the iconic ferry and many more will in years to come. The ferry is a celebration of Catherine, an Australian legend, and a reminder of her life’s work dedicated to women in Ethiopia.

Author: Felicity Duong, Intern at Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation  

If you’d like to read more about Catherine, click here.