Dr Ollapallil Jacob

World-renowned surgeon

NTNomineeSenior Australian of the Year2021

Dr Ollapallil Jacob has been a surgeon in Alice Springs for more than 20 years. He provides elective and emergency care – including neurosurgery, thoracic surgery and general surgery – for all Central Australia residents.

Ollapallil has led the understanding of surgical management in a range of areas, including acute pancreatitis – for which local survival rates are among the best in the world. His adaptive surgical style has also significantly reduced the number of amputations for Indigenous people.

He advocates for continual improvement in healthcare services. His community work has shone a spotlight on other public health issues and reduced rollover car-accidents and skin-infection rates. He is an inspiring educator and mentor for junior doctors and medical students at the Flinders University rural clinical school.

Ollapallil is passionate about the rights of patients and ensuring their voices are heard. He has received numerous local and national honours for his contribution, including the inaugural Royal College of Surgeons Indigenous Award in 2015.