Vale - Dr Yen-Yung Yap

09 September, 2020

The Hon. J.S. LEE (15:51): Today I rise with a heavy heart to convey my deepest condolences to the famil y of Dr Yen-Yung Yap. Dr Yap has sadly passed away unexpectedly at the young age of 43 years old, a great loss to his family and friends, the medical profession and the community he represented and cared for. Dr Yap was a high achiever and his mission has been to provide holistic health care for women and a comprehensive reproductive care plan for couples from fertility to family planning. He was a highly qualified obstetrician and gynaecologist.

Dr Yap has been known as a happy-go-lucky family man who was a kind and loving husband to Mei-Khing Loo and a wonderful father to his three beautiful young children, Joyce, Michelle and Edwin. I have known Dr Yap and his wife Mei-Khing through the Australian Chinese Medical Association and the Malaysia Club of South Australia.

It came as a total shock when, on 4 September, South Australia Police issued a missing person notice seeking help from the public to locate Yen-Yung Yap, who had last been seen on Thursday 3 September. This notice was circulated throughout social media and everyone was worried sick, all trying to search for Dr Yap.

The terrible news arrived on 5 September, when SAPOL published a subsequent notice that completely devastated everyone. It stated:

Sadly, the body of missing man Yung Yap was found late this morning...There are no suspicious circumstances and police will now prepare a report for the State Coroner.

This heartbreaking incident happened just before Father’s Day. His three young children were not given the opportunity to wish their dad a Happy Father’s Day on Sunday 6 September. It was really hard for anyone to imagine the anguish, despair, sorrow and pain experienced by the family during this difficult time. There were many heartfelt tributes posted on Facebook from Dr Yap's colleagues and friends, which were deeply appreciated by the family.

I reached out to his wife Mei-Khing to offer my heartfelt condolences and support and asked if there was anything I could do for the family during this tragic time. Mei-Khing said it would be most comforting to the family if friends could share stories or tributes about her husband and keep his memories and legacy alive. It is therefore my honour today to pay tribute to Dr Yap and provide a summary of his achievements and contributions to South Australia.

Dr Yen-Yung Yap was the founder and director of Yap Specialist, a holistic clinic in the area of women’s health. He was an exceptional scholar and high achiever and was granted a full scholarship to study Cambridge advanced levels and a full scholarship to study medicine at the University of Adelaide.

After obtaining his medical degree from the University of Adelaide in 2001, Dr Yap went on to do his postgraduate training at the Lyell McEwin health service, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the Women's and Children's Hospital. In 2011, he was awarded a prestigious Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists fellowship, after which he became a fully qualified specialist recognised by the Medical Board of Australia in the field of women's health and childbirth.

In 2013, he obtained a master's degree in reproductive medicine from the University of New South Wales and became one of the few gynaecologists in Australia holding a dual college-based fellowship and university-based master's degree. Dr Yap was the foundation member and honorary secretary of the Australian Health Reform Association. He was committed to advocating for better processes and improvements to the Australian medical system.

Dr Yap was also passionate about advocating for the interests of the Chinese community in Australia. He volunteered as a member of the national Chinese Australian Leaders Group, fighting for social justice and against racism. Today, the Chinese-Australian community mourns the loss of an outstanding medical professional who made valuable contributions to South Australia and Australia and displayed selfless devotion to his family, profession and community. It is very sad that someone of his calibre and talent has left this world too young, too soon.

Vale, Dr Yen-Yung Yap.

May his precious memories remain forever in the hearts and minds of his family and friends.