Take Action and Make A World of Difference - Dr Catherine Hamlin

After answering an advertisement in The Lancet in 1958, Dr. Catherine Hamlin could not stand idly by and allow the curse of obstetric fistula to ruin the lives of the young women of Ethiopia. Obstetric fistulas are holes which occur between the rectum and vagina because of extremely long labours (days and days) and birthing difficulties. It is a preventable birthing injury that does not exist in the western world. If left untreated, these injuries result in young girls having to live with a constant flow of urine and feces streaming down their legs and the girls then become outcasts from their families and communities.  The prevalence of this injury in Ethiopia is in part because it is a condition born of poverty. Such debilitating injuries leaves victims publicly humiliated every day of their lives.  So Catherine Hamlin and her husband, Reg, were drawn to that poorest of nations and began their life-long work in transforming the lives of these women. Working tirelessly, by 1974 they had established the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital specifically to treat obstetric fistula.  Dr. Reg Hamlin died in 1993 and Catherine Hamlin continued her humanitarian work into her 90s. At the time of her death in 2020 she had performed, or been involved in, more than 34,000 surgeries for this disease, an amazing legacy of action, wouldn’t you agree? Their legacy continues today with the Hospital and remote midwifery centres across Ethiopia.

It was with a single-minded focus on the task at hand, Catherine and Reg chose to live a life of paucity when one of plenty could easily have been theirs.  Catherine established a charity to receive donations necessary to fund the operations and a supply chain so the medical necessities could find their way to the hospital where this vital work is performed.  Regional centres are now available to assist women in remote communities and a midwifery school has been established to train local women and help prevent obstetric fistula occurring in the first place.  In a land where poverty, poor sanitation and malnutrition lead to a life expectancy around 50 years, Dr. Hamlin has overcome the obstacles to provide a safe haven for the young women with these debilitating injuries.  As a result, she received the Companion of the Order of Australia, and was nominated twice for Nobel Peace Prizes she was also named as a National Living Treasure prior to her death in 2020.

Catherine Hamlin’s ability to take massive action in the face of horrendous difficulties and use her deepest desires to advance the interests of her patients in a completely selfless manner are hallmarks of a woman taking action with a single-minded pursuit of her goal.  Her dedication and drive to live amongst the women she assisted and inner need to take action while others merely bore witness makes her a truly great Australian woman of action and provides us with an excellent model of how the 5 Success principles can be observed within the structure of her success. Remember the 5 Success principles were not invented in NLP rather they are a recipe that was consistently observed in people achieving success.

Learning this recipe means that we too can model this powerful approach to building our own successes.

Connect to Catherine Hamlin on Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/DrCatherineHamlin


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Joanne Clark

Joanne Clark is an Internationally accredited Master Trainer of NLP who has been delivering NLP training since 2011.  Being on her feet in front of training rooms is where Jo loves to be and her passion for inclusive and immersive training that delivers outstanding learning outcomes is apparent to everyone in her training rooms.  On average Jo delivers 140 days of training per year in addition to online webinars, guest speaker events and group coaching. 

“NLP is at the core of all my training and coaching, it is at the core of who I am, how I interact and connect with people.  I am absolutely passionate about spreading the NLP tools across the planet as I endeavour to support Robert Dilts’s vision of Creating a world to which people want to belong.” Joanne Clark

Certified Master Trainer of NLP; Master Practitioner NLP, Hypnotherapy & Matrix Therapies; Performance Coach; Cert IV Coaching; Advanced Practitioner in Coaching; Cert IV in Business; BA(Hons); Majors in Sociology and Psychology; Parent Education Leadership Training (PELT) Certificate; Mother of four children; Private Pilot (PPL); Diploma in Life Coaching