Surgeon profile: Mr David Chong
Children First Foundation is extremely fortunate to have the support of world-class hospitals, and exceptional surgeons, doctors and allied health professionals. One such brilliant and very generous surgeon is Mr David Chong, who has partnered with the Foundation for over 12 years.
Mr Chong’s passion is correcting facial and skull deformities in children, and he is particularly known for his work in cleft lip and palate. He holds a public appointment at The Royal Children’s Hospital, and private appointments at Northpark Private Hospital and St Vincent’s Private Hospital Kew.
Having moved from Malaysia to Perth when he was just five years old, even as a child, Mr Chong always knew that he wanted to make a difference. It is no surprise that medicine was the path he chose.
“I decided early on in my career that I wanted to look after children born with facial differences. After completing my training programme, I undertook further subspecialty training in Dallas and Toronto to learn how to look after these children in the best way possible.”
Mr Chong is deeply rooted in humanitarian work. As well as working on Children First Foundation cases on a pro bono basis, he volunteers three to four times a year to operate and teach in developing countries with charity organisations, Operation Smile and Mercy Ships.
“I was first introduced to Children First Foundation in 2008, when I was part of the team that cared for the conjoined twins, Trishna and Krishna. The twins arrived at the hospital as I literally walked into work on my first day at The Royal Children’s Hospital. It was a privilege to be part of the incredible team that was assembled to care for two girls that faced a very challenging situation,” recalls Mr Chong.
“At this time, I was already volunteering internationally. However, I was also looking to work with a local organisation that helps disadvantaged children from overseas benefit from our wonderful health system here in Australia.”
Mr Chong discovered that Children First Foundation was a perfect match, and it was the beginning of a long-standing partnership. “I find that Children First Foundation is always willing to help and advocate for children living with difficulties and challenges overseas that can’t be solved in their own country”, he explains.
“To me the Children First Foundation epitomises the wonderful culture that I have come to love about Australia and what makes me proud to be Australian. The ‘fair-go’ attitude – the ‘never say die’ resilience. The simple heart and compassion to do the right thing. We have so much. We can give a bit back. I am so happy to be part of that.”
Most recently, Mr Chong operated on Robinson and Kyziah, two of our children who are now both back at home with a brighter future ahead of them.
Mr Chong graduated from The University of Western Australia 1995. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, American Cleft Lip and Palate Association (ACPA), American Society of Maxillofacial Surgery (ASMS) and Australasian Cleft Lip and Palate Society.