Dr Daniel Nour, the 2022 Young Australian of the Year, credits his family for the passion he feels for providing medical care to the homeless.
John and Mona Nour and their sons Christopher and Daniel lived in Peakhurst before moving to Sylvania Waters around 15 years ago.
Daniel became a doctor and, while specializing in cardiology and global health at the Royal North Shore Hospital, he also founded Street Side Medics, a community medical service for the homeless, staffed by volunteer GPs and other health professionals.
Dr. Nour, who still lives in the county, spoke to the Chief after he and other Australia Day award recipients were recognized at last week’s meeting of the Sutherland Shire Council.
“My family is truly my foundation and has undoubtedly been my greatest personal and professional motivation and support,” Dr. Nour said.
“My parents are migrants from Egypt and they showed me the importance of hard work and discipline.
“They were a beacon for me and I tried to emulate their character. If I could achieve 10% of what they have I would be very proud.”
Dr Nour said his award has given Street Side Medics “a national platform where they can not only advocate for the clients we are trying to treat, but can also garner national support.”
“It allows us to grow our service across NSW and interstate and get more volunteers, more supporters and more awareness.
“For me personally it has meant more of a commitment of my time, but it has also been one of the most fulfilling things I have been involved in and very humbling.”
Dr Nour thinks homelessness is often viewed in terms of “where do they sleep and what do they eat”?
“We often neglect their health care and don’t think about how they feel physically and mentally as much as we should,” he said.
Dr Nour said “how we react to homeless people on the streets is also something to think about, recognizing that this is a human being, perhaps trying to communicate with you, rather than trying to get money from you”.
The family are members of St Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Church in Arncliffe. Dr Nour attended St Joseph’s Primary School, Riverwood, St Mark’s Coptic School in Wattle Grove and Trinity Grammar.
“At school, I was quite cheeky and often got into trouble,” he revealed. “I never did anything too serious, but I could be described as the clown of the class and I didn’t really apply myself academically as well as I could have. But, with the right kind of support and d encouragement, I had potential and I think there are a lot of people like that.”