August 2023 newsletter

A message from our President

Our flagship event of the year, the Academy’s Annual Meeting is only a couple of short months away. We hope you will be joining us in Brisbane on 12-13 October 2023 for our stimulating programme of keynote lectures, panel discussions and new Fellow presentations. The meeting provides a wonderful networking opportunity to meet with Academy Fellows, exchange ideas and consider the latest research findings. This year’s theme is Driving health equity – an ongoing priority for the Academy. We will be hearing from leaders in the field, including keynotes from Professor Tom Calma AO FAA FASSA (Chancellor, University of Canberra) and Professor Sir Michael Marmot (Professor of Epidemiology, University College London; Director, UCL Institute of Health Equity; Past President of the World Medical Association). They will be joined some of the Academy’s own health equity experts, including Professor Fran Baum AO FAHMS (Professor of Health Equity, University of Adelaide Stretton Institute) and Professor Sharon Friel FASSA FAHMS (Professor of Health Equity, Australian National University). There will also be sessions exploring breakthroughs in Australian health and medical sciences and, of course, an opportunity to hear from some of our impressive new Fellows. The meeting is open to all, and I encourage you to spread the word among your teams and networks. Purchase your tickets now via the website, or contact [email protected] for more information.

Later this week, I will have the pleasure of hosting our 8th annual Victorian Life as a Clinician-Scientist symposium, held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on 19 August. This popular symposium features an excitingly diverse range of speakers who will inspire the next generation of students and junior doctors to consider the incredible career of a clinician-scientist. For the first time in Melbourne, we are emulating our Queensland and New South Wales colleagues by providing an opportunity for in-person attendees to take part in spot mentoring sessions with our expert speakers. Many attendees have described these symposia as “life-changing”, and they often learn about these events through word of mouth: please do share details of the symposium widely. We are fortunate to have sponsorship from our universities and many of our medical research institutes. Find more information on our website.

Finally, I wish to highlight the extraordinary journey of one of our Fellows. Many of us know of Professor Richard Scolyer AO FAHMS due to his outstanding scientific career and work as Co-Medical Director of Melanoma Institute Australia. Professor Scolyer has recently been diagnosed with glioblastoma. Supported by his colleagues, including Professor Georgina Long AO FAHMS, Professor Scolyer has chosen to share his novel treatment journey to inspire others and contribute to brain cancer research. You can read more about his choice and treatment path on the Melanoma Institute Australia’s website, or on his Facebook or Twitter page. We offer Richard our strongest support as he shares his heroic journey and send our warmest wishes to him and his family.

With very best wishes,


Professor Ingrid Scheffer AO FRS FAA

Interim President

Sector news and opportunities

The June 2023 issue of the Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of NSW is now available online. This issue of the Journal focuses on the proceedings of the 2022 Royal Society of New South Wales and Learned Academies Forum, Reshaping Australia — Communities in Action. There are 25 contributions, including introductions and summaries, including some from AAHMS Fellows.

Policy news

The Academy was pleased to contribute the following consultation responses in the past month. Our thanks to the Fellows and Associate Members who kindly contributed to these:

      We were also delighted to host our second Health Horizons Forum roundtable on the topic of prevention last month – a report will follow. Thanks to those who joined and especially the meeting chair, Professor Don Nutbeam FAHMS.


Fellows Professor Wendy Erber and Professor Andrew Whitehouse were finalists in the WA Premier Science Awards.

Fellows in the News

Professor Richard Scolyer has been documenting his treatment journey with glioblastoma to raise awareness around research. He has done interviews with several outlets, including A Current Affair

An editorial in The Lancet Public Health on health inequities highlighted the Academy’s support of the Voice to Parliament.

Professor Fran Baum co-authored a piece about the Voice and health inequities for the BMJ.

The Academy’s report, Research and innovation as core functions in transforming the health system: A vision for the future of health in Australia was referenced in an article about regional and rural healthcare, published in MJA.

Several Fellows spoke to The Age on a series about MRFF and MREA funding.

Professor Ian Hickie spoke to ABC radio about the links between unemployment and suicide. He was also quoted across Fairfax publications, including The Age.

Professor Hickie also co-authored a piece in InSight about mental health reform.

Professor Kristine Macartney spoke to Fairfax about the influenza season.

Professor Sandra Eades’ study Defying the Odds was highlighted in an article discussing the Voice and Close the Gap initiatives. Read Close the Gap focus ignores positives in The Western Australian.

Professor Sharon Lewin’s work to eliminate HIV was discussed in many national and international publications, including the Australian Financial Review, and France24.

Professor Andrew Whitehouse wrote for The Conversation on the NDIS and children with developmental concerns.

Professor Anna Nowak took part in a podcast about women in research, launched by UWA. Listen to Research on Record here. 

Professor Helena Teede spoke to The Medical Republic about gender equality in healthcare leadership.

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