Top public health honour for adjunct professor

December 18, 2014

An Adjunct Professor from Murdoch University was awarded Australia’s top honour for public health for 2014.

Adjunct Professor Tarun Weeramanthri won the Sidney Sax Public Health Medal, which acknowledges a person who has provided a notable contribution to the protection and promotion of public health, solving public health problems, advancing community awareness of public health measures and advancing the ideals and practice of equity in the provision of health care.

Murdoch’s Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Development) Professor David Morrison congratulated Professor Weeramanthri on the well-deserved win.

“Professor Weeramanthri has made a very significant contribution to research into rare diseases being conducted at Murdoch University and other research institutions in Western Australia,” Professor Morrison said.

“His strategic approach to rare diseases has enabled Western Australia to work towards an integrated platform of collaborative research in rare diseases.  The State is now becoming recognised as the leader in this field for Australia.

“The work of Professor Weeramanthri has contributed to researchers in the Centre for Comparative Genomics at Murdoch University making ground-breaking discoveries into the origins of neurological disorders, and the diagnosis and treatment of these debilitating conditions.”

Professor Weeramanthri is among the longest-serving Chief Health Officers in Australia, with more than 10 years combined at the helm across the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

Michael Moore, the CEO of the Public Health Association of Australia, said Professor Weeramanthri was a highly-respected and accomplished individual and an exemplar of the 21st century Chief Health Officer: scholar, physician, and advocate for health.

“Professor Weeramanthri’s steadfast commitment to social justice, his dogged determination in championing preventive health and investment by governments, his capacity to embrace and lead change and his ability to infuse the same passion for – and commitment to – public health in others are exceptional,” said Mr Moore.

“Most remarkable is his unwavering commitment to public service, his faith and knowledge of what good can be achieved through working in government and his personal endeavours in making a difference to the lives and wellbeing of communities he has – and continues to – serve.”

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