Dr Kirby White

Founder of Gowns for Doctors

VIC State recipient Local Hero 2021

When Bendigo GP Dr Kirby White’s supply of disposable gowns ran out in the third week of the COVID-19 outbreak, she and colleague Dr Nicole Townsend decided to act. Together, they developed a gown that could be laundered and re-used, allowing them to keep seeing patients.

From their own need, Gowns for Doctors was born. To fund the initiative, Kirby raised more than $40,000 through a GoFundMe page, and by lobbying local, state and federal organisations and governments. She then engaged local volunteers and commercial textile companies – even her own wedding dress supplier – to make the gowns.

Kirby has now produced well over 5,200 gowns, supplying more than 750 regional Victorian GP clinics with these essential garments. She has also built up a stockpile of surplus gowns, which are ready to go out to other clinics when needed.

A dedicated and passionate GP, Kirby often checks up on patients late in the evening. She has gone above and beyond for her community and regional Victoria.