A message from our President
2022 is proving to be as, if not more, challenging than the last two years. On the world stage, the Russian military operation towards Ukraine is deeply distressing. The Academy has joined with ACOLA and other Learned Academies to release a joint statement to add our voices to those in the international research community speaking out against this conflict and hoping for a resolution soon. Read the full statement online.
Closer to home, this month started on a sombre note, with wild storms and flooding on the east coast of Australia devastating communities. My thoughts are with all those affected by flooding in Queensland and New South Wales, including many of our colleagues, family, and friends who now face the mammoth task of cleaning up and rebuilding their lives.
Floods and fires are not new in Australia, but the increased frequency and severity of these natural disasters continues to affect the physical and mental health of many Australians. Over the past two years, one of the Academy’s major policy projects has been to explore the health impacts of climate change by bringing together Fellows and other experts as part of our Climate Change and Health Steering Committee.
On 7 April, to mark World Health Day the Academy will release our statement, Climate change: an urgent health priority. I hope that Fellows, Associate Members and colleagues will be able to join us for the online launch, featuring the committee chair, Professor Warwick Anderson FAHA FASSA FAHMS, in conversation with contributors including Professor Peter Doherty AC FRS FAA FAHMS and Professor Fiona Stanley AC FASSA FAHMS (Hon).
There is still time to nominate for the Jian Zhou Medal, which is awarded annually to a rising star in Australian health and medical science. Nominations are welcome for individuals within 15 years of achieving their PhD or equivalent first research higher degree who have made a significant impact in translational medical science. Nominations close on 30 April – find out more on our Awards page.
Finally, it is with great sadness that I reflect on the news of the passing of two of our esteemed Fellows, Professor Pamela Russell AM FAHMS and Professor Chris Del Mar AM FAHMS. Many of you would be familiar with Pamela and Chris and their exceptional contributions to health and medical research. If you would like to learn more about their remarkable legacies, please visit the tributes published on our website – vale Professor Pamela Russell and Professor Chris Del Mar. The Academy extends our condolences to their friends, colleagues, and families.
Professor Ingrid Scheffer AO FRS FAA PresAHMS