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[Perspectives] Anne Chang: a champion of childhood lung health

At a health centre in Melbourne for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the late 1980s, medical student Anne Chang had her eyes opened to Indigenous disadvantage in Australia. “The patients there had diseases not seen in mainstream medicine”, she says. “Pus from the children’s ears and chronic cough with purulent nasal discharge were common.” It was one of many experiences of health inequities that helped drive her passion for improving the health of disadvantaged groups. “People who are worse off should be given the best care”, says Chang, now Professor and Head of the Child Health Division at Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin and Consultant Paediatric Respiratory Physician at Children’s Health Queensland Hospital in Brisbane.