Meet your new doctor
SHE is a long way from her home town of Kuala Lumpur but this young doctor is ready for a new challenge.
Afifah Abdul Rahim arrived in Gin Gin last week, saying she "needed a change”.
After studying and working in Adelaide for eight years, she spent the last three back in Malaysia - but a love for Australian life, and a desire to help others, brought her back.
"I became a doctor because I wanted to help people,” she said.
"And back in Malaysia I felt I just needed a change, and wanted a bit of a challenge.
"I could have gone back to Adelaide but I wanted to try somewhere different.”
She loved the relatively slow pace of Adelaide life and is excited to settle in to her new small town life in the Bundaberg region.
"Australians are very friendly and laid back,” Dr Rahim said.
"There's no stress or traffic of big cities like KL.
"The staff here in Gin Gin have been lovely and everyone in the cafes and shops has been welcoming.”
She knows she may get a few looks because she wears a hijab, but Dr Rahim is used to that.
"People look at you differently because you're different,” she said.
"If people ask me questions I'm more than happy to answer them.”
The modesty that goes with being a Muslim is one of the things she loves most about her religion.
She was born into a Muslim family but said she made a choice to follow her faith.
"Like any religion, you're not forced to do anything.
"I like the modesty - you have to be humble.
"And I don't have to worry about bad hair days,” she said with a laugh.
She said she was looking forward to not only treating people but educating them and empowering them to take charge of their own health.
"I just want to be able to connect with the people in Gin Gin and help them get proper care.”
Currajong Practice has always had at least one female GP until August 2015, when the last female GP sold the practice to an investor.
"Since then we have rigorously tried to fill that void and recruit a new female GP...and we have finally succeeded,” practice manager Ginia Morrison said.
"We are very excited and happy to welcome Dr Afifah.”