Brian Kenneth Hobbs
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Early life and education
Born to Norman Theodore Hobbs, a market gardener, and Dorothy Ada (née Weedon), a schoolteacher, in Paradise, South Australia, a horticultural community on the outskirts of Adelaide, Brian Hobbs attended Campbelltown Primary School and Prince Alfred College, where he boarded after the family moved to Victor Harbor.
Following secondary education, Hobbs attended the University of Adelaide to study medicine and graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery.
After graduating from medical school, Hobbs worked and trained in surgery in London and Edinburgh. When he returned to Australia, he took up private practice at Colonel Light Gardens, spending 26 years as a family GP. Subsequently, he worked for Data Aid and the Aboriginal Health Organisation and as a remote area doctor in central Australia.
Community and development work
Hobbs worked for most of his adult life with Community Aid Abroad and its successor Oxfam Australia, serving as South Australian Chair, National Chair, and Chair of CAA Trading. He was instrumental in convincing then Foreign Minister Bill Hayden to withdraw aid to the Ethiopian government during their 'civil war' with Eritrea, and was a frequent guest on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's radio and television current affairs programmes, notably "PM" on Radio National and "Nationwide" on Channel 2. He was also interviewed many times for national and local Australian newspapers, especially "The Australian" and "The Advertiser", on foreign aid and development issues.
Hobbs was a co-founder of International Development Support Services, a consultancy subsidiary of Oxfam Australia, and is named as a "Visionary Leader" by the Community Aid Alliance. He was also a founding member and President of the Schuss Ski Club, which became the de facto representative body for snow skiers in South Australia.
- Susan Blackburn, Practical Visionaries: A Study of Community Aid Abroad, Melbourne Univ Press, (1994).
- H. H. Pitt and M. N. Wicks, The Pitt Family of Payneham (Adelaide, 1977)
- Oxfam News, May 2004 (Obituary)
- Australian Broadcasting Corporation Television Archives: Nationwide
- Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio National Archives: PM Program
- Australian Broadcasting Corporation Local Radio Archives: 891 5AN Adelaide Regional Radio Drive Program
- News Corporation Archives
- Community Aid Alliance
- "The health of young Aborigines: A report on the health of Aborigines aged 12 to 25 years", National Youth Affairs Research Scheme, Australian Government Department of Employment, Education and Training (Hobart: National Clearinghouse for Youth Studies, 1992) ISBN 1-875236-12-0