Dr David O’Rourke OAM

Obstetrician and co-founder of Mother Ignacia Hospital

2022 ACT Australian of the Year Nominee

After an overseas trip in 2009, Dr David O’Rourke had an idea for a charitable project that would change the lives of thousands of people in West Timor, Indonesia – a place with high mortality rates for mothers and infants.

David spent eight years fundraising to build a maternity hospital, contributing $1.2 million in patient fees earned at his private practice in Deakin, Canberra. On 11 June 2016, with the support of his wife Sue-Ann, David opened the Mother Ignacia Hospital in Soe, West Timor.

Since opening its doors, the hospital has treated more than 46,000 patients in the poverty-stricken town. The facility focuses on child and maternal health, but also accepts general admissions.

A father of four from Garran, David began his medical career as a general practitioner before specialising as an obstetrician. He’s delivered thousands of babies in hospitals across both the public and private sectors throughout his career.

David is highly regarded by Canberra locals for his generosity, professionalism and good humour.