On Anzac Day 2017 Dr Nigel Chamberlain, a General Practitioner in Alstonville for over 30 years, died as a result of complications from a devastating cycling accident in September 2014.
Nigel, aged 62, was well known and highly regarded by his patients, community and colleagues in the Northern Rivers.
Nigel was born in 1956 in Nottingham, UK. When he was five years old his family immigrated to Australia, settling in Sydney. When 14 years of age, Nigel’s parents went to the Philippines as missionaries. Nigel lived with them in remote villages on the island of Palawan, when not at school in Manila. He returned to Australia for the last years of high school, while his parents continued their work overseas.
He studied medicine at the University of NSW, graduating in 1979. During that year he also married Sue, a nurse, having met at church. His intern year was spent in Canberra, and then in New Zealand for three years, where Nigel did his obstetric and paediatric training.
His first experience of General Practice was in Tumut, as part of the Family Medicine Programme, then in 1984 the Chamberlain family, which by now included two children, arrived in Alstonville.
As a young GP living and practicing in the growing village of Alstonville, Nigel was able to pursue his interests in paediatrics and obstetrics, and was for 10 years regularly delivering babies at Lismore Base Hospital. Later on, Nigel developed an interest and expertise in managing skin cancer; while very much remaining a true General Practitioner - being ready to listen, to problem solve, and do his best for the full variety of his patients’ conditions.
Alongside his busy practice, Nigel was a devoted family man who prioritised time with Sue and their four children, especially around sport - athletics, surfing, kayaking, skiing, soccer, and cycling. He was a leader and friend to many in his local church community at Alstonville Baptist.
His active mind pursued a wide variety of other interests; among them a love of trees, travel and photography; to designing and building his own house. Of late, the arrival of grandchildren had given Nigel and Sue an extra joy in life.
His contribution to the wellbeing of our community is recognised; and his kind, easy going nature, his intelligent observations of life, his authentic Christian faith, his humour, and wisdom are sadly missed by his family, friends, colleagues and patients.