From the volunteers - Kristy Tomlinson

With February fast approaching, speech pathologist, Kristy Tomlinson is preparing for the annual Equal Health expedition where she will join over 50 health professional volunteers in providing free multi-disciplinary medical health care to people in need in India.

Equal Health changes lives by bringing sight to the blind, relief from dental pain, freedom of movement and improved health through access to everyday health services that most Australians take for granted. Equal Health works with partner agencies in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu to provide free dental, optical, medical and allied health care through a combination of facility based and outreach programs in rural villages.

The volunteers are from a wide variety of fields and each donate their time, skills and resources to provide free health care to some of the world's most vulnerable people. Miss Tomlinson took part in the program for the first time earlier this year and will be participating again in February 2011. She says that the appointments make a lasting difference to people's lives.

"They are so happy and so grateful for anything you can do, it makes you just want to do more," Miss Tomlinson said. "It does cause you to question what is important in life."

"I guess when you are there you are just the most important people in the children's lives at that point and what we can achieve over there is so special. I loved every minute of it - it was magical - it is like a bug that has gotten under my skin and I just have to keep going back."

On her return, Miss Tomlinson received a letter from local State Member of Parliament for the seat of Bateman, Hon Christian Porter MLA, to congratulate her on her dedication in providing medical care to those in need. He offered her any assistance she may need in the future and recognised the lasting impact she would have made on the children she worked with as well as their community as a whole.

Kristy will be participating in Equal Health's two week camp again next year in February working with an allied health team in India's West Bengal region.