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Sydney ferry named after Australian doctor

AAP logoAAP 14/11/2016

Sydneysiders have cast their votes in favour of naming the city's first new ferry after world-renowned Australian doctor and humanitarian Catherine Hamlin.

The 92-year-old obstetrician-gynaecologist, who has spent 60 years helping women post-childbirth in Ethiopia, will be the first of six prominent Australians to lend their name to Sydney's new fleet, the NSW government has announced.

Dr Hamlin has stayed on Ethiopia, along with her late husband Dr Reg Hamlin, after meeting her first obstetric fistula patient, inspiring her to transform the country's maternal healthcare landscape.

"Our first fistula patient (was) a beautiful young woman in urine-soaked ragged clothes, sitting alone in our outpatients department. She had been through a long labour of five days with only the village women to help," Dr Hamlin said of her work.

The pioneer has worked tirelessly to eradicate obstetric fistula - a preventable childbirth injury that leaves the mother with internal damage.

She thanked Sydneysiders for their votes and hoped the ferry's naming would draw greater attention to the work of the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital and the Hamlin College of Midwives.

"I am so grateful. It really is lovely to know that so many people have tremendous love for our work and for our patients," she said in a statement on Tuesday.

More than 60,000 votes were cast by the public on the final list of ferry names.

The Catherine Hamlin, along with another five new vessels, with be launched in Sydney Harbour in January.

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