MELBOURNE: When Dr Yvonne Ho moved to Australia from Malaysia with her parents 37 years ago as a young student, she never dreamt that one day she would become an internationally acclaimed specialist in radiology and nuclear medicine.
In recognition of her brilliant career and vast achievements, Dr Ho was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Australia Day Honours List for her "significant services to radiology and nuclear medicine, as a practitioner and educator, and through professional organisations."
"The award is a great honour and I will cherish it," Dr Ho told Bernama from her home in the suburb of Hawthorn East.
She will go to Canberra at a later date to be conferred by Australia's Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove.
Dr Ho comes from a family with a strong medical background as her father Ho Fook Cheong was a prominent doctor and her Penang-born great great uncle Dr Wu Lien-teh, was a Queen's Scholar and the first Chinese student to study medicine in Cambridge.
It was his successful fight which helped terminate the Chinese pneumonic plague of 1910 that brought him international fame.
Dr Ho studied medicine at the University of Melbourne after completing school at the Methodist Girls' School in Ipoh and the Presbyterian Ladies' College, Melbourne.
As one of their youngest graduates, she went on to sub-specialise in nuclear medicine and positron emission tomography (PET), to become the first Australian woman of Asian heritage and the first Victorian woman to be double qualified in Radiology and Nuclear Medicine.
She also holds a musculoskeletal fellowship from Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.
She has led various research teams, is a National Medical Research Council grant holder, a prolific writer with more than 25 peer-reviewed publications internationally and was also pivotal in introducing PET-CT imaging to Singapore.
Noted for her interesting lectures, she has been an invited speaker in countries such as Italy, Japan, Indonesia, South Africa, Singapore and Australia while she has also presented in countries including USA, Austria, Poland, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
In March 2013, she became an inductee of the Victorian Honour Roll of Women which celebrates and publicly recognises the achievement of inspirational women of the Australian state of Victoria.
An accomplished pianist, vocalist and drummer, Dr Ho obtained her music qualifications while she was still at school, and has a parallel career in music.
She is the director of Charteris Music School which offers instrumental music programmes to students from age three to adults and beyond.
"All children ought to be taught music I enjoy," Ho said. "Music is very important in their development." - Bernama