Pro bono work

His family's day to day living expenses came out of Desmond's Army Reserve salary and Lynette's earnings as a guidance officer with the Northern Territory's Education Department.

That combination of circumstances allowed Desmond to engage in a considerable amount of pro bono medical work in areas associated with indigenous health, particularly in remote communities. 

While he was generally available for appointments at GSMC on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, he worked with the local health service in Katherine in the afternoons and was free on Tuesdays and Thursdays if his professional services were required elsewhere.

If his services were not required elsewhere, he would take appointments on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but his activities away from GSMC by and large suited his co-practitioners, who picked up most of the centre's paying customers.

He was also available pro bono to returned servicemen, particularly those who had been deployed to East Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Those roles changed after he was endorsed as the Australian Labor Party's second candidate for the Australian Senate at the next Federal election, due in 2019.

Before the announcement at the end of 2017, Desmond had resigned from the Army Reserve, withdrawn from most private medical consultations and, while he maintained the pro bono work he was, to all intents and purposes, a full-time political candidate in the lead-up to the election.

© Ian Hughes 2017