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Burnet Institute researchers and associates have figured prominently in the 2019 Australia Day Honours, headed by Deputy Director Professor Margaret Hellard’s appointment as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).
The list includes Burnet board member Professor Sharon Lewin, and former board member Mr Ross Cooke, who were acknowledged for their outstanding service to the community and medical research.
Congratulations also to Burnet Associates:
Professor Hellard said she was honoured and delighted to receive her award ‘for significant service to medicine as an infectious diseases and public health physician and research scientist’.
“I regard this as an acknowledgement of the superb research and clinical medicine undertaken by the teams I have worked with at Burnet, The Alfred hospital and elsewhere over the past 20 years, in particular, in the areas of viral hepatitis elimination and efforts to end HIV and AIDS,” she said.
“I would also like to acknowledge my family, in particular John Symon, my husband, and my children Andrew, Ben, and Cait who have been very generous in their support of my work, and my parents who made many sacrifices to give me the opportunity to pursue such an interesting career in clinical medicine and medical research.”
Burnet Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC said Professor Hellard’s work brings top class medical, data and clinical sciences to address the health of vulnerable people, particularly in the field of hepatitis C where she is a major international figure.
“The results are both life-saving and dignifying, enriching all of society,” Professor Crabb said.
“On top of that, she has trained and mentored the next generation of clinician and field scientists who similarly mix scientific excellence with deep humanitarian compassion.
“Margaret embodies what the Burnet Institute is and hopes to be more of. She richly deserves this honour and all of Burnet is extremely proud to celebrate with Margaret, and to share in the moment.”
Image: Burnet Institute board member Professor Sharon Lewin AO
The inaugural Director of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Professor Lewin was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to medical research, and to education, in the field of infectious diseases, particularly HIV/AIDS.
“Sharon Lewin is one of Australia’s very top scientists and is also a major global health leader, internationally renowned for her work on finding a cure for HIV and for her leadership of the HIV field throughout the world,” Professor Crabb said.
“She has made a tremendous impact on the work of the Burnet Institute, previously as a staff member and now as a member of our governing Board.
“She now leads the PDI, one of Australia’s best research institutes in any discipline. We salute Sharon and celebrate this richly deserved honour with her and her team.”
Image: Former Burnet Institute board member Mr Ross Cooke OAM
Awarded an Order of Australia Medal for services to community health, Ross Cooke recently retired as a Burnet director after 20 years on the board, much of that time as Head of the Audit Committee.
“In this voluntary capacity, he has given his heart and soul, guiding the Institute through tougher times, always with wisdom, calmness and positivity,” Professor Crabb said.
“I have been the Director for more than 10 years and have worked closely with Ross for all of that period. I can say with certainty, the Burnet would not be in the position it is in without Ross.
“Financially strong and, by every measure, contributing more than ever before to improving the health of poor and vulnerable people everywhere. It is wonderful to see his efforts deservedly recognised in this way."
Mr Cooke is a former Director and President of Wintringham Aged Care and Wintringham Housing Limited.