A photograph of Ingrid and ian.

The Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS) has become Australia’s fifth and newest Learned Academy, confirming its critical role in advocating for the nation’s health.

Academy President Professor Ingrid Scheffer said AAHMS was founded in 2014, and recently established as a Learned Academy under the Higher Education Support Act.

The Academy’s work was also highlighted in a Medical Journal of Australia article released today (21 June), titled “The Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences: an authoritative, independent voice in the Australian landscape”.

“This announcement recognises the Academy as a valuable national resource and is only possible thanks to the tremendous contribution of Fellows and Associate Members to our work,” Professor Scheffer said.

“The status of a Learned Academy will ensure we are able to serve the nation in bringing scientific evidence from health and medical research to bear on pressing national issues, and help grow and inspire the next generation of Australian research and innovation leaders. 

“The Learned Academies (the Australian Academy of Science, Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, Australian Academy of the Humanities and Academy of Social Sciences in Australia) play a crucial role in the research and innovation landscape.”

AAHMS is now also a full member of the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA), after joining as an associate member in 2020.

“We greatly look forward to further developing and formalising this relationship and to continuing to work together to support ACOLA’s valuable work,” Professor Scheffer said. 

“The Academy is most grateful to our Fellows and Associate Members for their ongoing contributions to our activities, and especially to those who have served on Council and the Executive since the Academy was established in 2014.

“I would particularly like to thank Professor Ian Frazer, who was our inaugural President, for his vision and work in establishing the Academy.”

Professor Frazer said the AAHMS was founded to create an independent, expert body of Fellows to guide health and medical science in Australia, advocating for better research and healthcare outcomes.

“The Academy mentors the next generation of clinician researchers, champions evidence-based best practice, and provides vital advice to government,” he said.

Professor Scheffer noted that “Our recent work has been pivotal in guiding the nation’s pandemic response through our COVID-19 Expert Committee, as well as providing evidence on health impacts to the Senate bushfire inquiry, and supporting early and mid-career researchers.”

“I want to thank the Fellows and Associate Members for their hard work and efforts in helping the Academy reach Learned Academy status.”

Photo credit: Professor Scheffer photographed by Paul Burston, courtesy University of Melbourne. Professor Frazer photographed by Justine Walpole, courtesy AAHMS.

Media: AAHMS Communication Manager Katie Rowney, [email protected] or 0419 797 511.

High-res images of Academy Fellows available on request.