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Interview with Dr. Ayaz Chowdhury

Although the young, Bangladeshi community in Australia have many successful people working in numerous professions, and are highly regarded throughout the society, this section is dedicated to bring those successful people to the front of the community, who most of the times are unnoticed by others.

Many professionals are also involved in humanitarian and social activities, both in Australia and Bangladesh. In search for such a person for this edition, Sangbad team presents an interview with Dr Ayaz Chowdhury, one of the most senior practicing Medical Specialists in Australia from Bangladesh.

Can I start by asking your name?

My full name is Mosiuddin Ayaz Chowdhury but I am known as Dr Ayaz Chowdhury.

What do you do for living?

I have been working as a practicing Doctor in Australia for the past 26 years.

Where do you practice in Australia?

I have been practicing at the Specialist Medical Centre at Westmead Hospital as a Consultant Gastroenterologist and I am attached to both Public and Private Hospitals for the past 14 years.
Do you practice in Bangladesh too?
No, I don’t practice in Bangladesh, but I would like to in near future as volunteer Gastroenterologist.
How long have you been in Australia?
I have been living in Australia over 27 years since December 1985.

Would you mind telling us about your family here and in Bangladesh?

My wife Dr. Jessie Chowdhury is a General Practitioner at Winston Hills. She is also the President of Bangladesh Medical Society of NSW.

My son Andaleeb is a “special young man”. He is now 28 and has Autism with moderate to severe intellectual disability and goes to Norwest Disability Centre at Baulkham Hills. He loves Bowling and is really good at it!

My daughter Anika Chowdhury (Nikki) finished her HSC from Pymble Ladies College and has recently completed her Bachelor Degree in Industrial Design at UTS. She is interested in Fashion Marketing and has her own website called “City of Skirts”.

My sister Lala Roxar has been living in Australia since 1974. She recently retired after 25 years of service in the Ministry of Defence as a civilian employee.

My father Mr. Waheed uddin Chowdhury, is a retired Chief Engineer in Bangladesh and my mother Mrs. Sayema Chowdhury was a Teacher and a Poet and received a National Award. Both reside in Bangladesh.

My brother Saud Chowdhury completed his Masters in Architecture from University of Berkeley, California and resides in San Francisco for the past 30 years.

Dr.-Ayaz-with-Family
Dr. Ayaz with family. From left daughter Anika Chowdhury
wife Dr. Jessie Chowdhury, son Andaleeb Chowdhury

Are you affiliated with any political group or organisation here in Australia and in Bangladesh?

No, I am not affiliated with any political organization either in Australia or in Bangladesh.

We have learnt about your appeal on building the Cancer Hospital in Bangladesh, would you please tell us about this?

Dhaka Ahsania Mission is building a 500 bed “Ahsania Mission Cancer and General Hospital” at Sector 10, Uttara, Dhaka. It is a 54 Million Dollar project. It will run on a “no profit, no loss’ basis and 25% of the services will be made available to poor cancer patients free of cost. So far, the super-structure of a 13 story hospital building has been completed. All the internal facilities will need to be completed before the hospital starts functioning. The project is due to be completed by 2015.

In 2010, we the Bangladesh Forum for Community Engagement, took the initiative to support a few important facilities for this hospital, which was accepted as an international project of Rotary Australia World Community Service.

Our target is to raise $250,000 to complete the following units.

1. 12 bed recovery room
2. Upper and lower endoscopy suite
3. Minor operating theatre
4. 2 bed cabin

Would you like to work there once the hospital is completed?

Yes, I intend to work there as a volunteer once the Endoscopy Unit at the hospital is completed in 2 years’ time.

Do you fundraise by yourself or is there anyone else from the community involved in this? If yes, would you tell us a few of those names?

It wouldn’t be possible to fundraise all by myself. There are many people from the community involved in this project.

Dr. Abdul Haq – The Vice President of Bangladesh Forum for Community Engagement is the driving force behind this initiative and then we have Mr. Rafiq Hasan who is the General Secretary and Tanvir Shaheed .One name I cannot miss out and his name is Jack Elliot and he is the Treasurer of Rotary Australia World Community Service, without who this would have possible.

Dr.-Ayaz-with-Jack-Elliot
With Jack Elliot the treasurer of Rotary Australia
on the left and Dr. Abdul Haq the Vice President of
Bangladesh Forum for Community Engagement on the right

Could you please tell us your approach on fund raising for this great cause?

We are holding some fundraising programs.

On October the 26th we had our first fundraising dinner at the Norwest Crowne Plaza Hotel. Professor Ian Olver the CEO of Cancer Council Australia and Lt General Masud uddin Chowdhury (High Commissioner of Bangladesh) were among the significant guests in the fundraising night.

We are also appealing to the general Bangladeshi Community through a video in bangla sydney website.

How much have you raised so far and how much more is needed?

We have raised about $65,000 from the fundraising events.

Are you planning to organise any more fundraising events in near future in here?

Yes we have to reach our target which is $250,000 and we are still far from reaching that target so we are planning to do a second fundraising dinner early next year and we hope that we will reach our target.

Let me ask you about your passion besides being a medical professional?

Passionate about humanity.

Involved very closely with the Bangladeshi Community in Sydney both as a Physician and as social worker.

Currently President of Bangladesh Forum for Community Engagement, which is raising Funds for the Ahsania Mission Cancer Hospital.

We also run a Talent Day Programme to recognize all HSC students and students going to selective schools from the community.

Also, Charing as benevolent Committee of Bangladesh Medical Society of NSW. Have been actively involved in teaching and providing assistance to the Bangladeshi Medical Graduates for the past 20 years to aid, in getting into the Australian Medical workforce.

I am also a founding Member of “Serving the Humanity”, a voluntary organisation run by the Mirzapur Ex Cadets in Bangladesh. I have my other two colleagues Rafiq Hasan and Naushad Shah who are also founding members of the organization and they are residing in Sydney.

The organization, under the dynamic passion of Mahfuzul Haq Zaglul has established 16 Pond Filter along the coastal villages of Khulna division who were affected by Cyclone Aila few years ago. It has also built 26 houses in Ostapara for a community who have lost their livelihood as the practice of circumcision has moved from HAAJAM to doctors.

It has also run a Health Clinic in Durmut, Mymensingh for the last two years treating an average of 900 patients/month for free.

Do you write? If so, what do you write? If not, would you like to write if you got a platform? What would you like to write about?

No I do not write in any formal media publication, but I try to participate in our group mails of “Serving the Humanity” members and among my batch mates from Mirzapur Cadet College and Dhaka Medical College.

What do you think about our initiative on publishing the first ever English newspaper from the Bangladeshi community in Australia? Do you think we can help to close the gap between us and our next generation growing up here and all other communities in Australia?

I highly commend your initiative as it will build the bridges between the first and second generation Bangladeshis, with the older generation and also with the mainstream Australian community. I think it is a perpetual struggle for us to communicate with our children ,who are born and brought up here. There will be a significant effect if we can bring our next generation to the table. I believe the English news and media entity as Sangbad Australia with a significant topic on local issues will at least break the first barrier of the communications and bridge the gap.

Do you think we can assist you with your fundraising program? If yes, how would you want us to assist you?

I believe the information through this interview will make people aware of the Fund raising activities. However, Sangbad Australia can take a unique role in supporting the appeal in the news media where we can provide the bank details for all to donate which is Fully Tax Deductible.
Many professionals are also involved in humanitarian and social activities, both in Australia and Bangladesh. In search for such a person for this edition, Sangbad team presents an interview with Dr Ayaz Chowdhury, one of the most senior practicing Medical Specialists in Australia from Bangladesh. [tooltip text="Can I start by asking your…

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