Avant Interplast competition winner announced

Aug 23, 2013

The winner of Avant’s 2013 Interplast Australia & New Zealand (Interplast) competition, Dinuksha De Silva, is humbled by the opportunity to give back to a community in need.

University of NSW medical student, Dinuksha De Silva, will travel with Interplast to an Asia-Pacific destination after winning Avant’s 2013 Interplast competition.

The prize includes return airfares, up to four nights’ accommodation, all meals, ground transfers and travel insurance. Dinuksha will observe as a team of volunteer plastic surgeons, anaesthetists and nurses provide free reconstructive surgery to patients who would otherwise not be able to afford it and free training for local medical personnel

Dinuksha says that he is most looking forward to getting the chance to work with communities who would not otherwise have access to the life-changing surgery that Interplast provides.

“This trip will give me a taste of what it’s like to work in a community outreach program, which is something I feel strongly about and hope to pursue in my career,” he says.

“I’ll have access to medical and surgical experiences far beyond what I would normally be exposed to as a medical student. I’m truly grateful to Avant for this opportunity,” said Dinuksha.

This is the second year Avant has held its Interplast competition and this year the number of entries increased from 78 to 208. Head of Marketing Kerry Ryan says that Avant is pleased to be able to raise awareness of Interplast’s great work.

“Avant is proud that, through our partnership with Interplast, we’re able to support medical students in their future careers by providing an opportunity to gain invaluable experience in the field,” she said.

Dinuksha will observe technical surgical procedures, attend ward rounds, interact with the patients and families and learn from experienced surgeons, anaesthetists and nurses as they provide training opportunities to local medical teams.

Avant launched the 2013 Interplast competition at the Australian Medical Student Association (AMSA) convention on the Gold Coast on Sunday 7 July where they also hosted a charity breakfast with Interplast. Entrants were asked to explain why they wanted to be part of the Interplast program, why they thought they deserved to win and what they’d do to promote Interplast following the trip.

“Dinuksha’s passion for making a difference in the countries in which Interplast works and his obvious interest and enthusiasm for cultivating a long-term collaboration with Interplast helped Dinuksha’s entry stand out,” said Interplast CEO Prue Ingram.

“Dinuksha’s intentions in terms of future medical volunteering and comprehensive promotion of his experiences upon his return highlighted his suitability for this observer position. We look forward to welcoming him to the team next year!" she said.

Avant has been a key supporter of Interplast since 2009. Interplast provides surgical and allied health services in developing countries in the Asia Pacific region by providing free medical treatment and training.

You can watch a video featuring the winner of last year’s Interplast competition here or read about it here.



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