Anne Malatt – A Celebration of Life
NAME: Anne Malatt
LOCATION: Bangalow NSW, Australia
Ophthalmologist, eye surgeon, eye specialist
I was born in India, but have lived 55 of my 56 years in Australia. My parents, who were both doctors, met while they were studying Medicine in Melbourne.
My father was Indian, and came out to Australia as part of a British Commonwealth programme, which trained bright young men and women from the colonies in western countries and then sent them back to the colonies to work. My mother is an Aussie, of Irish/Scottish descent – we had no love of the English growing up, especially when it came to cricket!
.I grew up in rural Australia, the eldest of 4 children. It was not always great, growing up the doctors’ daughter in a small country town, as every time I put a foot wrong, the whole town knew about it, and I made a name for myself as a bit of a rebel, but I had dear friends who were and still are an enormous support and source of joy
There was a (not so subtle) pressure on me to follow in the family footsteps, and out of a desire to please my parents and get away from small town life to the city, I did. I studied Medicine at the University of Melbourne, then trained at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, emerging a fully-fledged eye surgeon at the age of 30, then doing post-doctoral research with the Melbourne University Department of Ophthalmology, so I am a surgeon with a Master of Surgery degree, which sounds pretty cool.
Academic life in the city lost its appeal for me, so I left it behind for the joys of country practice. I had what I considered the perfect life, happily working three days a week in the country, and spending the rest of my time in the city exploring all the other aspects of life I had missed out on while studying to be a surgeon! I had had my share of problems during training, including a stoush with alcohol, which I won in the end, and losing a very dear friend to suicide. This spurred me further on my quest to find a deeper meaning and purpose in life.
This led me down many spiritual paths and eventually (as it does for many) to Byron Bay; I fell in love, first with the place and then with a person. In a very short time, I found myself pregnant, and having previously had no intention of having children, realised I wanted nothing more than to have this one. So I moved to Byron Bay with my partner, pregnant and full of the promise of new life.
We were never really suited to each other, but we managed to stay together long enough to have two beautiful children, then went our separate ways. I found myself on my own, with two small children, no support, running a solo country practice, and desperately unhappy. But nothing is for nothing, and this led me to the door of Serge Benhayon, the meeting which truly changed my life.
The last 15 years have not always been easy, (in fact they have been almost unbearably difficult at times!) but they have led me to a time and place where I love life, and I love me. I am now happily married to my gorgeous husband, and between us we have five children, with their partners and three grandchildren. We have three generations of family living in the house and our dining table is very large!
Where once I used to wake up reluctantly and drag myself out of bed with a groan and a feeling of “Oh no – I am still here – I have to do this all over again!”, I now love to wake early and enjoy the stillness of the early morning. I walk with my husband as the sun rises, delighting in the gorgeous area we live in and the feeling of the sun warming our backs one way and our hearts as we walk home!
My quirky but lovely rooms are in a small country town, where I get to spend the days with my gorgeous, kind and funny staff, and all the people who come to see me.
Once a week I operate on people’s eyes in the local hospital. I love that my work is delicate, intricate, and even slightly scary to some (although not to me, who finds eyes ever beautiful). I love the joy I see in people’s eyes after I have operated on them, and that I can do this very rewarding work while living a simple joyful life in the country, as one of the locals.
On the weekends, we go to the local markets, cook and share meals with family and friends, take care of the house and garden, and even have a rest sometimes. We are part of a large community of like-hearted people and our relationships are rich and very loving. We often attend gatherings together, where the wisdom of the ages is presented and great food is shared.
Life is grand and glorious, yet simple and everyday, all at the same time. My work is an integral part of my life, but it does not define me. I see myself as a human being first, then a woman, wife, mother and community member. My work is part of my community service, as well as a way of paying the bills and caring for myself and my family. I love what I do, because I love my whole life, and my work is part of that. I especially love teaching young doctors – and sharing the joy of what I know and do with them – and I love to help my patients to understand their own bodies and how to care for themselves more deeply.