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MJA editor-in-chief Prof Nick Talley wins top honour

Cate Swannell
Med J Aust
Published online: 26 January 2018

Professor Nick Talley, editor-in-chief of the MJA, is one of six medical practitioners to win the country’s highest honour, Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia

LAUREATE Professor Nicholas Talley, University of Newcastle, NSW, and editor-in-chief of the Medical Journal of Australia, has been named a Companion (AC) in the General Division of the Order of Australia, announced today.

Professor Talley’s citation reads: “For eminent service to medical research, and to education in the field of gastroenterology and epidemiology, as an academic, author and administrator at the national and international level, and to health and scientific associations.”

Currently Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global Research) at the University of Newcastle, and a senior staff specialist in gastroenterology at John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle, Professor Talley said he was “surprised and deeply honoured” by the award.

“Any achievements have been usually a team effort and I feel there are many who should share the award not me alone,” he said. “I’ve had outstanding support from the people I work with and also my family – both of those things have been incredibly important and without whose love and support I could not have succeeded.”

Professor Talley’s involvement in higher education includes senior leadership positions at the University of Newcastle since 2010; professorial research appointments at Mayo Clinic in the US in medicine and epidemiology; and an adjunct research appointments at the University of North Carolina in the US, and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, since 2010; he was the Foundation Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney, from 1993 to 2002, and was a Visiting Professor from 2003 to 2010. His training in Australia and international experience has enabled Professor Talley to develop and build world leading research and educational activities in Australia.

“Higher education matters, it changes our world and usually for the better,” he said. “I was lucky enough to go to University when there were no tuition fees and graduate without debt, allowing me to pursue a research career without worrying about student debt. In my view we must prioritise the ongoing funding of our universities, so Australia can continue to produce world-class graduates and research leaders. The return on investment of such initiatives is huge.”

Professor Talley has an impressive record of guiding and shaping a number of professional medical institutions. From 2014 to 2016 he was President of the prestigious Royal Australasian College of Physicians. In 2015 he was elected Chair of the Council Presidents of Medical Colleges, where he continued the important work of shaping the future of the medical profession with a focus on ensuring the health interests of the community were the first priority. He is currently a board member of the Sax Institute, and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London and Edinburgh, the American College of Physicians, the American College of Gastroenterology, and the American Gastroenterological Association. He was a founding Fellow of the Academy of Health and Medical Sciences in Australia.

“We face many challenges although we have an excellent health system and our health professionals are among the world’s best. The challenge is to have the best outcomes in the world, and at the same time minimise waste and reduce costs.  We can easily become complacent about health but that would be wrong, because we can be better.

“We know, for example, that there is a social and economic disjoint in Indigenous health. It’s not just about addressing burning issues such as blindness, deafness, foetal alcohol syndrome and rheumatic fever. It’s also about strengthening education opportunities and addressing socioeconomic disparities that would make a major difference.”

Professor Talley is a household name to many doctors in Australia today. His medical textbooks, along with co-author Dr Simon O’Connor, are used in nearly every medical school across Australia and many internationally. They are responsible for guiding doctors through the challenges of making an accurate clinical diagnosis, and serve to educate a multitude of graduating specialists every year.

Professor Talley has been instrumental over many years in guiding peer-reviewed medical publications. Apart from having more than 1000 pieces of his own peer-reviewed research published, he was editor of the American Journal of Gastroenterology from 2004 to 2009; editor of Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics from 2009 to 2015; and has been editor-in-chief of the MJA since 2015.

“I am passionate about keeping our academic journals strong and independent,” he said.

“Australia produces research of a standard that rivals any I have seen anywhere in the world. We need to attract the attention of those overseas to the high-quality research that we do, and provide top-notch avenues for our researchers to publish their work. Over the next 10 years, I envision the continued rise of the MJA as it assumes an even more important place in Australasia.”

Professor Talley, who has been a Chief Investigator with the National Health and Medical Research Council since 1997 and has been a member of its Research Committee since 2015, said he could not have accepted so many “extra-curricular” roles without the help of the University of Newcastle (UoN).

“I have to thank UoN for their fantastic support,” he said. “Without that I would not have been able to take on so many diverse, challenging and stimulating roles. The UoN deserves significant credit for its forward-thinking approach to academic excellence and innovation.”

Five other medical luminaries were awarded Companions of the Order of Australia:

Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, AO: For eminent service to medical governance, administration, and technology, and to medicine, through leadership roles with a range of organisations, to education and the not-for-profit sector, and to the community of western Melbourne.

Professor David Kissane: For eminent service to psychiatry, particularly psycho-oncology and palliative medicine, as an educator, researcher, author and clinician, and through executive roles with a range of national and international professional medical bodies.

Professor Jennifer Martin: For eminent service to science, and to scientific research, particularly in the field of biochemistry and protein crystallography applied to drug-resistant bacteria, as a role model, and as an advocate for gender equality in science.

Professor Jeffrey Rosenfeld, AM: For eminent service to medicine, particularly to the discipline of neurosurgery, as an academic and clinician, to medical research and professional organisations, and to the health and welfare of current and former defence force members.

Professor Maree Teesson: For eminent service to medicine, particularly to the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders, as a researcher and author, to innovative mental health policy development, to education, and as a role model for young researchers.

Officers in the General Division (AO):

Emeritus Professor David Ames: For distinguished service to psychiatry, particularly in the area of dementia and the mental health of older persons, as an academic, author and practitioner, and as an adviser to professional bodies.

Dr Peggy Brown: For distinguished service to medical administration in the area of mental health through leadership roles at the state and national level, to the discipline of psychiatry, to education, and to health care standards.

Professor Creswell Eastman, AM: For distinguished service to medicine, particularly to the discipline of pathology, through leadership roles, to medical education, and as a contributor to international public health projects.

Professor Caroline Finch: For distinguished service to sports medicine, particularly in the area of injury prevention, as an educator, researcher and author, and to the promotion of improved health in athletes and those who exercise.

Professor Suzanne Garland: For distinguished service to medicine in the field of clinical microbiology, particularly to infectious diseases in reproductive and neonatal health as a physician, administrator, researcher and author, and to professional medical organisations.

Professor David Handelsman: For distinguished service to medicine, particularly to reproductive endocrinology and andrology, as a clinician, author and researcher, to the science of doping in sport, and to medical education.

Professor Anthony Holmes: For distinguished service to medicine, particularly to reconstructive and craniofacial surgery, as a leader, clinician and educator, and to professional medical associations.

Professor Jonathan Kalman: For distinguished service to medicine, particularly to cardiac electrophysiology as a clinician and academic, and through roles with a range of national and international heart rhythm societies.

Associate Professor Neville King: For distinguished service to medicine and medical education, particularly in the field of cognitive and behaviour therapy, as an academic, researcher and author, and to professional associations.

Dr Roger Mee: For distinguished service to medicine as a cardiothoracic surgeon, through innovations in establishing new techniques in paediatric surgery, and as a leader and clinician.

Professor Ronald Mitchell: For distinguished service to ophthalmology as a clinician, particularly in the management of age-related macular degeneration, through research into public health and ophthalmic epidemiology, and as an educator.

Dr Diana O'Halloran: For distinguished service to medicine in the field of general practice through policy development, health system reform and the establishment of new models of service and care.

Dr David Sinclair: For distinguished service to medical research into the biology of ageing and lifespan extension, as a geneticist and academic, to biosecurity initiatives, and as an advocate for the study of science.

Dr Helen Somerville: For distinguished service to medicine, particularly developmental paediatrics, as a clinician, and through advocacy roles for the care and treatment of people with intellectual disabilities.

Professor John Turnidge: For distinguished service to medicine as an infectious disease physician and microbiologist, particularly to the advancement of health policy in the area of antimicrobial resistance, and to professional medical organisations.

Members of the General Division (AM):

Dr Michael Bellemore: For significant service to medicine in the field of paediatric orthopaedics as a surgeon, to medical education, and to professional medical societies.

Professor Fiona Blyth: For significant service to medical research and education in the field of public health, pain management and ageing, and to health policy reform.

Professor George Braitberg: For significant service to medical administration and emergency medicine, to education and health system design, and to the community.

Dr Colin Chilvers: For significant service to medicine in the field of anaesthesia as a clinician, to medical education in Tasmania, and to professional societies.

Professor Susan Elliott: For significant service to education as an academic administrator, as a clinician in the field of gastroenterology, and to educational institutions in the Asia-Pacific.

Mr Peter Gill: For significant service to aged welfare, to the provision of pioneering palliative care programs, to medical education, and to the community.

Emeritus Professor John Grant-Thomson, RFD: For significant service to biomedical engineering, and to education, as an academic and researcher, to medical equipment design, and as a mentor.

Associate Professor Peter Haertsch, OAM: For significant service to medicine in the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery as a clinician and administrator, and to medical education.

Professor Ian Hammond: For significant service to medicine in the field of gynaecological oncology as a clinician, to cancer support and palliative care, and to professional groups.

Associate Professor Nerina Harley: For significant service to medicine in the fields of intensive care and nephrology, as an administrator, and to medical research and education.

Dr Mary Harris: For significant service to community health, specifically to workforce management and administration, to policy reform, and to medical education.

Dr Philip House: For significant service to medicine as an ophthalmologist, to eye surgery foundations, and to the international community of Timor Leste.

Dr Peshotan Katrak: For significant service to rehabilitation medicine as a practitioner, to medical education and professional organisations, and to the Zoroastrian community.

Adjunct Professor John Kelly: For significant service to medicine through the management and treatment of melanoma, as a clinician and administrator, and to education.

Professor Sharad Kumar: For significant service to medical research in the field of cancer and cell biology, as a scientist and author, to medical education, and as a mentor.

Dr Ross Littlewood: For significant service to medicine as an ophthalmologist, to professional medical organisations, and to the international community of Timor Leste.

Associate Professor Peter McNicol: For significant service to medicine, particularly in the fields of anaesthesiology, liver transplantation, and transfusion medicine.

Professor Frank Oberklaid, OAM: For significant service to medicine in the field of clinical paediatrics, child development, and public health policy, as a researcher and academic.

Dr John O'Donnell: For significant service to health administration through the leadership and development of research institutes and public and private hospitals.

Dr Vanita Parekh: For significant service to medicine as a specialist in the fields of sexual health and forensic medicine, as an educator and clinician, and to professional associations.

Dr Peter Pigott: For significant service to medicine in the prevention and treatment of HIV and tuberculosis as a clinician, researcher and mentor.

Associate Professor Morton Rawlin: For significant service to the medical profession particularly through governance in the areas of general practice and medical education.

Professor Norman Saunders: For significant service to medicine in the field of neuroscience through research into spinal cord injuries and mechanisms protecting the developing brain, and to sailing.

Dr Marcus Skinner: For significant service to medicine in the field of anaesthesiology and perioperative medicine as a clinician, and to professional societies.

Dr Michael Stanford: For significant service to the health sector through executive roles, to tertiary education, and to the community of Western Australia.

Associate Professor Jennifer Thomson: For significant service to medicine as a general practitioner, to medical education, to professional organisations, and to the community.

Professor Mark Umstad: For significant service to medicine in the field of obstetrics, particularly complex pregnancies, as a clinician, consultant and academic.

Professor Robert Vink: For significant service to medicine, particularly in the field of neurotrauma, as a researcher, author, educator and advocate, and to the community.

Professor Barbara Workman: For significant service to geriatric and rehabilitation medicine, as a clinician and academic, and to the provision of aged care services.

Dr Dennis Young: For significant service to community health in Queensland through alcohol and drug treatment support programs, and to the community.

Member (AM) in the Military Division

Air Commodore Michael Paterson, DSM: For exceptional performance of duty in military health capability and development for the Australian Defence Force.

Medals in the General Division (OAM):

Professor William Adam, PSM: For service to medical education, particularly to rural health.

Associate Professor Christopher Ashton: For service to medicine, and to medical education.

Adjunct Professor Agnes Bankier: For service to medicine as a geneticist, and to medical education.

Dr Neil Bartels: For service to medicine in rural and regional areas.

Dr Leonard Brenner: For service to medicine as a general practitioner.

Dr Raymond Chaseling: For service to medicine, particularly to paediatrics.

Dr Richard Cockington: For service to medicine as a paediatrician.

Dr Marjorie Cross: For service to medicine, particularly to doctors in rural areas.

Associate Professor Mark Davies: For service to medicine, particularly to neurosurgery.

Dr Ian Fraser: For service to medicine and to community health.

Dr David Green: For service to emergency medicine, and to professional organisations.

Dr Barry Hickey: For service to thoracic medicine.

Dr Andrew Luck: For service to medicine in the field of colorectal surgery.

Dr Fred Nasser: For service to medicine in the field of cardiology, and to the community.

Dr Ralph Peters: For service to medicine, and to the community of the Derwent Valley.

Associate Professor Julian Rait: For service to ophthalmology, and to the development of overseas aid.

Mr James Savundra: For service to medicine in the fields of plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Dr Katrina Watson: For service to medicine, particularly to gastroenterology.

Dr Anthony Weldon: For service to the community, and to paediatric medicine.

Honorary Medal (OAM) in the General Division:

Dr Friedbert Kohler: For service to rehabilitation medicine.

 

  • Cate Swannell

  • Medical Journal of Australia

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