Dr Stephen Duckett has made an exceptional contribution to health services research and health care delivery in Australia. He has held senior health care leadership positions in Australia and Canada, with a reputation for creativity, evidence-based innovation and reform in areas as diverse as hospital funding (introduction of activity-based funding for hospitals) and quality (new systems of measurement and accountability for safety of hospital care). Dr Duckett was responsible for the design and implementation of the first application of activity based funding of hospitals in Australia, in Victoria in 1993. Activity based funding as adopted nationally in 2010. This Victorian work provided the basis fo his international reputation.