Dr Beaton and his wife Margaret emigrated to Australia in 1978 from Scotland, and after almost a decade of working in metro hospitals and studying abroad, finally settled in Warrnambool in March 1985 with their twin boys. Dr Beaton joined Dr Ian Pettigrew in their practice at 310 Timor Street, and made the Warrnambool community his home, practising there and at SWH ever since.
“We chose Warrnambool as we had met friends when we were in Portland for a year and we wanted to live near the coast in a town that was able to support 2 O&G’s. The Warrnambool job came up as the hospital advertised for 2 obstetricians after Dr. Joe Brooks left. At that time there were 17 GP’s delivering babies in the district but over the years there has been an expansion of specialist services in all areas of the hospital,” says Dr Beaton.
“Warrnambool has allowed me to both enjoy my work and pursue my hobbies bushwalking fishing and sports, it’s a great place to live.”
Since settling in 1985, Dr Beaton has delivered what’s estimated to be thousands of babies into the world, as well as assisting the region’s women with gynae surgery and training a generation of up-and-coming obstetricians.
According to Dr Beaton; “I chose obstetrics as a career as I always loved the study of biology and obstetrics is very biological!”
“It is a great mix of surgery and medicine and it is still fascinating to watch a baby delivering from a watery environment and immediately adapt to air without much help.”
On Wednesday Dr Beaton delivered his last baby – a girl – to mum Jodie Young via C-section.
According to mum Jodie “You know you’re in good hands after such a long time doing the job. Chris delivered both our second and now our third children.”
“O&G has been a great career for me. Hard work at times but rewarding to help women deliver babies safely with the aid of the midwives and all the other professionals involved in their care,” says Dr Beaton.
“If you are a person who is prepared to work hard and help people, I highly recommend the health industry as a career. I have especially enjoyed teaching O&G trainees over the years and am pleased to see many of them progressing well in their careers in Australia, including in Warrnambool!”
Many colleagues have reflected on Dr Beaton’s love of the outdoors, and the fact that he devoted his career and life to being a part of the south-west community. And luckily for us, he isn’t going far.
“Retirement will feel a bit odd and I will miss the people I work with and the good fun, but I have lots to do – there is always a long list! We will be staying in Warrnambool so will still see everyone down the street.”