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Richard Larkins, Kathryn North lead list of medical honorees

Cate Swannell
Med J Aust || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50014
Published online: 26 January 2019

DECADES of hard work, dedication and innovation have been rewarded with a large number of health professionals on the receiving end of Australia Day Honours.

Chief among them are Emeritus Professor Richard Larkins AO (2002), and Professor Kathryn North AM (2012), who were named as Companions (AC) in the General Division of the Order of Australia.

Emeritus Professor Larkins is the current Chancellor of LaTrobe University in Melbourne, following a glittering career as Vice-Chancellor and President of Monash University (2003-2009) and Dean of the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Medicine (1998-2003). He has also been President of the National Stroke Foundation (2009-2015), and Chair of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (2009-2016).

His AC citation reads: “For eminent service to medicine and medical research, to education through academic leadership, to public health care, and to the community.”

“I am very grateful,” Professor Larkins tells the MJA. “I have been very fortunate in both my medical and university careers to have been surrounded by wonderful people.

“Nobody deserves more credit that my family, of course, and no one more than my wife Caroline. They have put up with a lot of nonsense from me over the years, and they have made sacrifices.”

Professor Larkins says the biggest challenge facing Australian universities in the future is to make governments and the public understand how important universities are to the nation’s future.

“At the moment universities are seen as a target for cost-saving, and we’re seen as provocateurs,” he says. “We’re actually doing the research that allows the innovation that takes the country forward, and we’re educating the next generation of leaders.

“Universities should be thought of as the greatest resource Australia has.”

Professor North is the current Executive Director of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. She is a Founding Fellow and Member of Council of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, and is the Lead Investigator of the Australian Genomics Health Alliance.

Professor North tells the MJA that she is “thrilled” to receive the AC.

Her citation reads: “For eminent service to genomic medicine nationally and internationally, to medical research in the fields of genetics, neurology and child health, and as a mentor and role model.”

“My proudest moments come when I can bring together a group of people, from around the country, or around the world, working together for a common end,” Professor North says.

“My goal for the MCRI in the next 5 to 10 years is to start transforming healthcare towards precision child health.

“At the moment we wait for diseases to occur and then we treat them. That is the least effective method.

“We want to take the latest technologies and try and combat things like obesity, depression, cardiovascular disease by identifying risk factors and preventing them from occurring.”

Other prominent honorees include Dr Sanchia Aranda (AM), the CEO of Cancer Council Australia; Professor Helen Christensen (AO), Director and Chief Scientist of the Black Dog Institute; Professor Sharon Lewin (AO), Director of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity; Professor John McNeil (AO), Head of the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University; and, Emeritus Professor John Murtagh (AO), author of five top-selling medical textbooks, including Murtagh’s General Practice.

The full list of health professional recipients is:

Companion (AC) in the General Division of the Order of Australia

Emeritus Professor Richard Larkins AO: For eminent service to medicine and medical research, to education through academic leadership, to public health care, and to the community. 

Professor Kathryn North AM: For eminent service to genomic medicine nationally and internationally, to medical research in the fields of genetics, neurology and child health, and as a mentor and role model.

Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia

Dr Sanchia Aranda: For significant service to community health, particularly to cancer control and nursing.

Dr Robert Augusteyn: For significant service to vision science and eye health research.

Dr Bronte Ayres: For significant service to children's charities, and to medicine as a cardiologist.

Dr Richard Barnett: For significant service to medicine through plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Professor John Beltrame: For significant service to cardiovascular medicine, and to medical research and education.

Dr Penelope Briscoe: For significant service to medicine and medical education, particularly to chronic pain management.

Dr Andrew Brooks: For significant service to medicine, and to medical education, in the fields of urology and oncology.

Dr Andrew Browning: For significant service to the international community through the provision of obstetric care to women in Africa.

Dr David Burke: For significant service to medicine, particularly to brain injury rehabilitation, and to professional medical bodies.

Professor Anne Chang: For significant service to paediatric respiratory medicine as a clinician and researcher.

Dr Nathan Cherny: For significant service to medicine, and to education, in the fields of palliative care and medical oncology.

Dr Milton Cohen: For significant service to medical education in the field of pain management.

Dr Rodney Cooter: For significant service to medicine, to plastic and reconstructive surgery, and to professional medical bodies.

Dr Michael Davies: For significant service to medicine in the field of anaesthesia, and to professional medical bodies.

Dr Ian Dickinson: For significant service to orthopaedic medicine, and to professional medical organisations.

Dr Craig Donaldson: For significant service to medicine in the field of ophthalmology, and to professional eye health bodies.

Dr Katharine Drummond: For significant service to medicine in the field of neuro-oncology, and to community health.

Dr Judith Dwyer: For significant service to education in the field of health care management, and to medical administration.

Dr David Forbes: For significant service to medicine in the field of paediatric gastroenterology.

Dr Graham Forward: For significant service to the international community through medical initiatives in Africa.

Dr Paul Garrahy: For significant service to medicine in the field of cardiology as a clinician, mentor, advocate and researcher.

Professor Afaf Girgis: For significant service to medicine, and to medical education, in the field of cancer control and psycho-oncology.

Professor Ronald Grunstein: For significant service to medical education and research in the field of sleep disorders.

Professor Paul Haber: For significant service to medical education and research, particularly in the field of addiction medicine.

Professor Jeffrey Hamdorf: For significant service to medical education, and to medicine, in the field of bariatric surgery.

Professor David Harris: For significant service to medicine, and to medical education, in the field of nephrology, and to professional societies.

Dr Margaret Hellard: For significant service to medicine as an infectious diseases and public health physician and research scientist.

Dr Adrian Hibberd: For significant service to medicine, and to medical research, in the field of renal transplantation.

Professor Jennifer Hoy: For significant service to medicine, and to medical education, in the field of infectious diseases.

Dr Harvey Hunt: For significant service to emergency medicine, to medical administration, and to the community of Queensland.

Dr William Johnson: For significant service to medicine in the field endocrinology, as an educator and mentor, and to surf lifesaving.

Professor Maria Kavallaris: For significant service to medicine, and to medical research, in the field of childhood and adult cancers.

Professor Matthew Kiernan: For significant service to medicine, and to medical education, in the field of neurology.

Dr Paul Lancaster: For significant service to community health, particularly to perinatal and paediatric medicine.

Dr Donald McTaggart: For significant service to medicine as a cardiologist, and to the community of Launceston.

Dr Andrew Miller: For significant service to medicine as a dermatologist, and to professional organisations.

Professor Paul Pavli: For significant service to medicine, to patient care, and as a researcher and mentor.

Professor Matthew Peters: For significant service to thoracic medicine, to medical education, and to professional organisations.

Mr Randall Sach: For significant service to medicine as a plastic surgeon, to international relations, and to professional organisations.

Professor Nicholas Smith: For significant service to science as a parasitologist and immunologist, and to higher education.

Professor Neil Spike: For significant service to medical education, particularly to general practitioner standards and training.

Professor Sarah Strasser: For significant service to medical education, particularly to rural general practice.

Dr Bryan Walpole: For significant service to emergency medicine, to professional organisations, and to sailing.

Professor David Whiteman: For significant service to medical research in the field of cancer epidemiology.

Dr Roger Wilkinson: For significant service to medicine as a cardiovascular surgeon, and to the community.

Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia

Professor David Ball: For distinguished service to medicine in the field of radiation oncology, to medical education, and to professional bodies.

Professor Donald Chalmers: For distinguished service to education, particularly to health law and medical research ethics, and to legal reform.

Professor Helen Christensen: For distinguished service to medical research through the development of on-line mental health treatment programs.

Professor Olaf Drummer: For distinguished service to medicine in the field of forensic toxicology, to medical education, and to professional groups.

Professor Bruce Kemp: For distinguished service to biomedical research, particularly to the study of protein phosphorylation.

Dr Bronwyn King: For distinguished service to community health, particularly through advocacy for institutional investment strategies.

Professor Sharon Lewin: For distinguished service to medical research, and to education, in the field of infectious diseases, particularly HIV/AIDS.

Professor Catriona McLean: For distinguished service to medicine in the field of academic and clinical neuropathology, and as a role model and mentor.

Professor John McNeil AM: For distinguished service to medicine in the fields of clinical epidemiology and cardiovascular research, and to public health.

Professor Kate Moore: For distinguished service to medicine, and to medical research, in the field of urogynaecology, and to professional groups.

Emeritus Professor Trefor Morgan: For distinguished service to medicine, and to medical research in the physiological sciences, particularly in relation to hypertension.

Emeritus Professor John Murtagh AM: For distinguished service to medicine, and to medical education, in the field of general practice, and to professional groups.

Associate Professor Beverley Rowbotham: For distinguished service to medicine through roles with professional associations, to pathology, and to medical education.

Professor Peter Schofield: For distinguished service to medical and scientific research in the field of neuroscience, and to professional institutes.

Professor Melanie Wakefield: For distinguished service to medical research in the fields of population health and cancer prevention, and as a mentor.

Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division

Dr Adrian Allen: For service to medicine, and to the community of Walcha.

Dr Ahmad Alrubaie: For service to the Iraqi community of Sydney.

Dr Venny Armanno: For service to medicine, particularly in the field of general practice.

Dr Michael Borten: For service to medicine as a proctologist.

Dr Michael Bourke: For service to medicine.

The late Dr Neil Bright: For service to medical education, and to the community of Albury Wodonga.

Dr Phillip Brownlie: For service to medicine as a general practitioner.

Dr Alexander Campbell: For service to medicine as an obstetrician and gynaecologist.

Dr Ross Cartmill: For service to medicine, and to the community of Queensland.

Dr Eleanor Chew: For service to medicine in the field of general practice.

Dr Christine Connors: For service to medicine through a range of roles.

Dr Steven Coverdale: For service to medicine on the Sunshine Coast.

Dr Peter Davidson: For service to medicine as a general practitioner.

Dr Christopher Dodds: For service to medicine as an anaesthetist.

Dr Stuart Dorney: For service to medicine as a paediatric gastroenterologist.

Dr Janet Duke: For service to medicine as an obstetrician and gynaecologist.

Professor Peter Dwyer: For service to medicine as an obstetrician and gynaecologist.

Professor Christabel Foster: For service to medical education and to community health.

Professor David Greenberg: For service to medicine in the field of mental health.

Dr Francis Harvey: For service to medicine as an orthopaedic surgeon.

Dr Craig Hassed: For service to medicine.

Dr Nigel Hocking: For service to medicine as a paediatrician.

Dr Donald Hossack OBE PSM: For service to medicine, and to the arts.

Dr Stephen Howle: For service to medicine.

Dr Bernard Jenner: For service to the community of the Barwon region.

Dr Robert Likeman CSM: For service to medicine.

Dr Christopher Lowry: For service to medicine as an anaesthetist.

Dr Jennifer McArthur (Chambers): For service to medicine as a vascular surgeon.

Dr Peter Marendy: For service to medicine, and to the community.

Dr Robert Marr: For service to medicine through a range of roles.

Dr Lindsay Marsh: For service to medicine as a general practitioner.

Dr Stanley Menzies: For service to the communities of South West Victoria.

Dr Wendy Nightingale: For service to the community through charitable initiatives.

Dr Holly Northam: For service to medicine through a range of roles.

Dr Dinesh Palipana: For service to medicine.

Dr Sujon Purkayastha: For service to medicine as an obstetrician and gynaecologist.

Dr Howard Ralph: For service to conservation and the environment.

Dr Jaswinder Samra: For service to medicine as a pancreatic specialist.

Dr Subbaram Sundaram: For service to the community through a range of roles.

Dr Maharaj Tandon: For service to the community through a range of roles.

Dr Gregory Thompson: For service to sport through a range of organisations.

Dr Richard Tooth RFD: For service to medicine as an orthopaedic specialist.

Dr Robert Wright: For service to medicine through a range of roles.

Member (AM) in the Military Division of the Order of Australia

Captain Ian Young RAN: For exceptional service in the delivery of operational medical services to the Australian Defence Force on Operations RELEX, PADANG ASSIST, RENDER SAFE, OKRA and SLIPPER.

Colonel Andrew Williams: For exceptional service as the Senior Health Officer Special Operations Command, Director Future Health Capability, Commanding Officer 2nd General Health Battalion and Director Army Health.

Group Captain Gregory Hampson: For exceptional performance of duty in the development and sustainment of clinical aviation medical services in the Australian Defence Force.

  • Cate Swannell


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