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Medical maverick

Ray Avery's memoir is an honest-to-goodness tale about how with the right attitude, a worthy goal and good friends, you can make a real difference.
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[Books]

Rebel with a Cause

(Random House, 2010) $40 By Ray Avery with Paul Little

Meet Ray Avery. Unlike you and I, rainy days and Mondays are the last things to get him down. Not when you have to worry about surviving violent parents, a failing welfare system and living under a bridge.

Yes, Avery had a miserable childhood. But given a second chance in his early teens by a gruff but kind teacher, he made the most of his natural smarts—working his way into Wye College and forging a career managing laboratories and a number of successful businesses. He eventually made his way to New Zealand, finding his true calling in Auckland: helping sick people and setting up Medicine Mondiale.

This year, Avery was named New Zealander of the Year for his inventions that will save people's lives in developing nations (instead of profiting from the consumerist thirst in first-world countries). Actually, I lie. Avery has always been an entrepreneur first and scientist second and has somehow managed to achieve both. His tips? Sexy sells, and document everything.

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Rebel with a Cause is an honest-to-goodness tale about how with the right attitude, a worthy goal and good friends, you can make a real difference in someone's world without sacrificing bottom lines.

Su Yin Khoo is a designer at Tangible Media