Bo Remenyi

Image of Bo RemenyiFrom a Hungarian refugee to a world renowned leader in paediatric cardiology, Dr Bo Remenyi has certainly succeeded in the face of adversity.  

Growing up in Hungary, Bo had a happy childhood. She had access to education and healthcare, although does remember not always having access to food and her family sometimes having to miss out on dinner. At 12 years old, Bo's family, due to political unrest and lack of freedom of speech living under a communist regime, decided to secretly leave the country. They ended up in an Austrian refugee camp before being offered a place through the Australian Humanitarian Program.

When Bo found out she was going to live in Australia with her family, she thought it would be a great adventure, however, she didn't really understand what Australian life would be like. 

Bo remembers arriving in Adelaide on the Queen's Birthday long weekend in 1988.

"It was an amazing experience, it far surpassed expectations that I had of the country and there was a very warm welcome. We arrived to a two bedroom unit, which was amazing because we always slept in a tiny little bed sit in Hungary. And most importantly, our fridge was full of fruit and vegetables. I just remember opening the fridge and I'd never seen a fridge like that before, all this goodness in it," she said. 

"Over the next six months, it was just amazing how much effort was put in to ensure that people like myself, with no English, were integrated into Australian society. The language centre, the sporting centre and the social workers ensured that we'd get use to this new country as soon as possible. Everyone's passion, love and kindness, and also understanding—people understood where we came from without any words." 

Being an avid chess player in Hungary, Bo continued her passion in Adelaide, where a recreational officer went out of their way to ensure that she was able to join a club where she could continue her passion. Bo went on to win the Australian girls and women championship. 

Bo grew up in a family of teachers and never had any ambition to become a doctor until she moved to Townsville, where at high school she was advised that with her academic record she should pursue a career in medicine.

"I am so grateful what my guidance councillor did for me when I was a high school student and she's the reason I got into medicine."

Once Bo became a paediatric cardiologist, she felt a duty to help young people in remote and regional Australia. 

"I felt that it was almost like my duty to try to make sure that people had access to services, just like I did when I arrived in Australia."

"I really enjoy giving back, I find that personally that's really important and gratifying as well. I hope that the kids I help are given opportunities like I was through good medical care and I also try to inspire young people that anything is possible."

Bo is now a leader in her field and was one of Australia's first female paediatric cardiologists. Bo was named the Northern Territory Australian of the Year in 2017 and is an internationally recognised expert in cardiology.

In her career, Bo often travels the world, but she loves coming home. 

"I love clean air, the beaches, it's so amazing and the Australian people and the way they are.

"There are a lot of opportunities in our country as long as you choose to engage with those opportunities that are available."