She came to the Banjos’ land as a refugee
She waited for her turn behind the bars
Her dignity aside, she watched her mates
Develop deep, proliferated mental scars

At times she felt like scum, unwanted like ballast
She went from door to door, in search of basic help
Who would have thought… in less than seven months
She’d claim the top of the ‘lucky nation’s’ social map

Bushfires. Perth is burning. Hard to breathe
The raging flames are taking homes mile by mile
Three days like one, with no rest or sleep
Her son’s brigade defends what’s been hostile

Mum also fights. She’s treating burns and pain
Masks, scalpels, gloves, supporting doctors’ squad
Once shamed and needy, helpless woman’s hands
They now have become The Hands of God


This poem is dedicated to and inspired by two extraordinary Australian immigrants: Dr Fiona Wood, and Dr Munjed Al Muderis. Dr Wood is a Perth based plastic and reconstructive surgeon and world’s leading burns specialist.

She came to Australia from the UK and has pioneered research and technology development in burns medicine. Dr Wood focused her research on improving established techniques of skin repair.

Her revolutionary spray-on skin repair technique involved taking a small patch of healthy skin from a burn victim and using it to grow new skin cells in a laboratory, and then splaying that liquid skin onto the burnt area of the patient’s body, saving millions of lives.

A Melbourne based Dr Munjed Al Muderis escaped war-torn Iraq, arriving to Australia’s Christmas Island detention Centre in an illegal refugee boat.

He spent months in one of WA’s detention centres, along with other escapees, many of whom had later become prominent Australians in their various fields of occupations.

Dr Al Muderis had later pioneered a technique where artificial limbs could be permanently attached to the human body, changing the lives of millions of people around the globe.