The conversations of life

‘Merry medic’ turns retirement village hero


Do you remember Dr James Wright? The celebrity doctor, whose real name is Dr John Knight, has been a familiar face on Australian television screen since the 70’s.

Appearing regularly on the Mike Walsh Show, later Midday with Ray Martin, and he also hosted his own radio show on 2GB for nearly 20 years.

But did you know that since retiring from medicine in 2003 and even before, he has devoted much of his time to providing affordable housing for the elderly?

Affordable accommodation for all

In 1973, the general practitioner, his wife Noreen, a registered nurse, and brother Lyn established the Medi Aid Centre Foundation to provide accommodation for the elderly, particularly people with financial, health, disability and other issues. His father, the chaplain of a large hospital, had raised the issue of the struggles faced by the elderly, and suggested his sons do something about it.

His portfolio now includes around 1,000 properties that he rents out to the vulnerable older people, discounted by 40 to 50 per cent of the usual rate. These include retirement villages and units across Sydney as well as hundreds of waterfront apartments in Surfers Paradise on Queensland’s Gold Coast, housing nearly 800 people with the number growing.

Adventures of a Merry Medic

Meanwhile, he still lives in the same unrenovated house where he and his wife raised their children and has just released his 31st book ‘Adventures Of A Merry Medic’ which details his life from his childhood to his media career and battle with cancer.

All the royalties from his books including this one are donated to the Medi-Aid Gift Fund. It’s available now from New Holland Publishers.

What a legend.

Find out more at

Merry medic hero

With a background in nursing, Annie has spent over 20 years working in the health industry, including the coordination of medical support for international TV productions and major stadium events, plus education campaigns with a number of national health organisations. In recent years, she has also taken time out of the workforce to be a full-time carer, giving her first-hand experience of the challenges and rewards of this role.

Leave A Reply