Dr Mark de Souza

Chair, Sustainable Healthcare Committee (Top End Region)

2024 NT Local Hero Nominee

A specialist emergency physician at Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH), Dr Mark de Souza has dedicated personal funds, time and effort to green the RDH campus for the benefit of both people and wildlife. 

It began five years ago. Mark realised that climate change was taking a noticeable toll on locals – and that RDH, a concrete building, could feel uncomfortable and unwelcoming. So, he bought some trees and grabbed a shovel.  

Mark’s guerilla gardening inspired the RDH executive and a sizable army of volunteers. Local Larrakia Indigenous elders and knowledge holders were asked to choose plants of significance. And the RDH Greening Project was officially born.  

Today, the project has planted over 980 native plants and created cooling, restorative spaces for staff, patients and visitors – including native animals and birds.  

Mark also initiated and chairs the Sustainable Healthcare Committee (Top End Region), which advises NT Health on opportunities for sustainability in healthcare.