Dr. Maithri Goonetilleke is an Australian based medical doctor, NGO worker, singer and writer.
As the founder of the NGO Possible Dreams International (PDI), Maithri spent a large part of the last ten years working in rural parts of Swaziland, Southern Africa. The work of PDI involves delivering medical services and poverty alleviation programs to remote, HIV/AIDS affected areas of Swaziland.
In addition to his work in Southern Africa he has also run single doctor medical clinics with the Daasanach people of Northern Kenya and the Orma tribe of Eastern Kenya.
In Australia he has worked in a variety of roles including medical and emergency registrar positions in tertiary hospitals, running sole-doctor emergency departments in rural areas, working in indigenous communities and is currently the chief medical officer at Fulham Correctional Centre. As a medical educator, Maithri teaches and lectures in the Medical Faculty at Monash University.
The Possible Dreams International Choir, an empowerment program which emerged from Maithri’s deep connection with music and the role music plays in Swazi culture and healing, toured Australia in March 2013 and the United Kingdom in September 2014.
Maithri’s book “Vula Bevalile: Letters From a Young Doctor” is a collection of vignettes written from the field in Swaziland during his first seven years of medical practice. Maithri speaks regularly around Australia and internationally on issues related to HIV/AIDS, extreme poverty, global health advocacy and the work of Possible Dreams International. He has been featured on several national and international media programs and was a guest speaker at the 2013 Melbourne Writers Festival. He is a board member of the Australian based Health Anthropology network and was awarded the Carey medal in 2012 for outstanding and exceptional service to the wider community.
Maithri is currently engaged in a PhD project looking at the cycle of HIV/AIDS and poverty in Sub Saharan Africa.
Vula Bevalile: Letters From a Young Doctor – Maithri Goonetilleke
Singing to a Different Tune – Sydney Morning Herald, Feb 21, 2013
The Music is in the Medicine, the Medicine is in the Music – The Age, March 16, 2013
Swaziland finds it voice MJA