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Breaking Barriers with Dr Samantha Pillay
Episode 321st August 2023 • Women On The Move • Behind Closed Doors
00:00:00 00:25:13

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Samantha is no stranger to overcoming adversity. A late diagnosis of congenital hip dysplasia led to multiple corrective surgeries as a child. After starting school in a wheelchair, she finished school at age 16, completed medical and surgical training, and became the first female Urological Surgeon in South Australia. 

With a vision to deliver specialised incontinence treatments to the women of South Australia, she became the first urologist in Australia to exclusively specialise in female and functional urology, establishing Continence Matters in 2002, subsequently building her single surgeon practice into a Centre of Excellence. She is a passionate businesswoman and entrepreneur.

Dr Pillay has served on numerous National and State boards and committees, including the Female Urology Special Advisory Group Chair for the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand from 2007 to 2013. She was the first female to represent South Australia on the Board of Urology from 2003 to 2006, the first female scientific convenor for their Annual Scientific Meeting in 2007, and the first female chair of the South Australian Urology section in 2017.

Samantha, a single mother, has devoted her career as a surgeon to treating incontinence, reducing the stigma, and educating doctors, health professionals and the community. She has developed an online Continence Course to educate health professionals in an often-neglected area in medical education.


She challenges career gender stereotypes and breaks the glass ceiling for women. Samanthaadvocates for healthy living to reduce preventable chronic disease and resilience to overcome whatever life throws you. As a woman of colour born to migrant parents of a mixed marriage, she advocates for diversity, inclusion, and anti-discrimination. 

She is a three-time International Amazon No1 Best Selling author of:

The No Recipe Cookbook – a cookbook for people who don’t cook, When I’m a Surgeon – The first in the Inspirational Careers for Kids picture book and activity book series, and 

Book Three; When I’m an Astronaut, following Book Two; When I’m an Entrepreneur.

Samantha was one of four finalist nominees for SA Australian of the Year 2022, and a SA Finalist in the Telstra Best of Business Awards 2023 in two categories, Championing Health and Accelerating Women.