David Lam

South Australia. Celebrating diversity and authenticity, all just a drive away.

Are you SA born and bred, or has it become home more recently? Tell us about why SA is home for you. 

I grew up in South Australia. This place is my home and a place of acceptance and opportunity. SA is where my grandfather learned to be a doctor after leaving a country devastated by war for a better life and where my mother boldly graduated as the only female engineer in her class.

Where do you spend your time? 

I spend part of each month on the Eyre Peninsula as rural doctor. I spend thhe other part of the month in Adelaide, lecturing at the University of Adelaide Medical School, DJing in the Adelaide CBD and playing footy for Adelaide University Rugby Union Football Club.

What do you do and why here? 

I’m a doctor in regional South Australia because good healthcare is for everyone, no matter the postcode, and there’s just nothing like being invited to go diving for fresh abalone with the West Coast locals after work. My brother, sister and I are also Lecturers at the University of Adelaide Medical School. Our health simulation centre is the most technological advanced in all of Australasia and it’s also pretty cool to be teaching the next generation of healthcare heroes at the same place where our grandfather learned his craft.

What are your favourite things to recommend to people new to South Australia? 

Eat at and discover the Central Market. It’s all there. Fresh produce, authentic dishes from Asia, Europe and the Americas and some colourful characters too. Make sure you visit the regions too. Fine wine and food are just an hour away in McLaren Vale and Barossa Valley. In 35 minutes on a plane, you can be in Port Lincoln, Eyre Peninsula and a 15-minute drive to the most beautiful secluded beaches in the country.

What is your tip for other locals? 

Try eating something you didn’t grow up with. It will blow your mind. Better yet, talk to the person who cooked it and find out their story. If you know the journey of how that delicious food travelled from country to country and era to era to be on your plate here in South Australia, then the food will taste all the more rich.

Describe SA in one sentence. 

South Australia. Celebrating diversity and authenticity, all just a drive away.

What’s the best thing about living here?

There’s a cool mix of cultures all just a quick drive away. In less than an hour, I can drive to my in-law’s farm and watch the sunset over McLaren Vale as we enjoy flamenco music and the best Andalusian Spanish paella in town, cooked by Mi Suegro (my father-in-law) in his giant 25-inch pan. In also less than an hour, I can drive to my parent’s place and be surrounded by the warm and lively sounds of Cantonese Chinese conversation and fragrances of fresh chilli, lime, ginger, soy and curry leaves as my mother prepares a Malaysian feast. It’s all here for us in SA. All you have to do is ask the locals.