The recipients of the 2023 Australia Day Honours were announced on 26 January and a number of Northern Sydney Local Health District staff have been recognised for the top honours.
NSLHD Interim Chief Executive Lee Gregory said being awarded an Australia Day Honour is a real tribute to hard work, dedication and commitment to making a real difference in our community.
“The awards recognise outstanding service and contribution to the community,” he said.
“A huge congratulations to all of the recipients who we are proud to say have had a major positive impact on the district.”
Professor Sue Kurrle AO
Professor Susan Kurrle has been appointed an AO (an Officer of the Order of Australia) for distinguished service to medicine as a geriatrician, and to research into dementia and cognitive decline.
She is an eminent geriatrician for NSLHD, specialising in the areas of dementia, frailty, successful ageing, and intergenerational care. Sue is the expert geriatrician leading the work on the internationally award-winning ABC TV documentary series ‘Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds’.
In 2022, Sue received the Sidney Sax medal for outstanding contributions to the development and improvement of Australia’s healthcare system.
Professor Gemma Figtree AM
Royal North Shore Hospital interventional cardiologist and Kolling Institute researcher Professor Gemma Figtree has been appointed an AM (Member of the Order of Australia) for her significant service to medicine.
As one of Australia’s most high-profile women in cardiology, Gemma is a Professor in Medicine at the University of Sydney, chair of the Federal Government’s 10-year Mission for Cardiovascular Health and co-leader of the Cardiovascular Theme for Sydney Health Partners.
Gemma has dedicated her career to identifying the key mechanisms driving heart attack susceptibility. She combines her clinical work as an interventional cardiologist with lab research, involving large studies and clinical trials.
Deb Willcox AM
Former NSLHD Chief Executive Deb Willcox has been appointed an AM for her significant service to health administration, and to the community.
As NSLHD Chief Executive from 2017-2022, Deb had a huge impact on areas including diversity and inclusion, research, partnerships, sustainability and planetary health, as well as leading the district through the COVID-19 pandemic.
She was the former Director of Executive and Ministerial Services, NSW Health from 2007-2011, General Manager at Royal Price Alfred Hospital from 2013-2015, and Director of Operations at Sydney Local Health District from 2015-2017. She is a Board Member at the NORTH Foundation, Kolling Institute and HealthShare NSW, and a member of the Advisory Board, Australian Institute of Health Service Management.
Deb took on the role of Deputy Secretary, Health System Strategy and Planning at the NSW Ministry of Health last year.
Dr Peter Roberts OAM
Ryde Hospital Emergency Department Staff Specialist Dr Peter Roberts has been awarded an OAM (Medal of the Order of Australia) for his service to emergency medicine. Peter is the Director of the Acute and Critical Care Network at NSLHD and has been the Director of Emergency Medicine at Ryde Hospital since 2007. Peter is also the Co-Chair of the Deteriorating Patient Committee and Ryde Clinical Council.
Peter is the founder of Peripheral Hospitals Emergency Medicine Conference (PHEMC) and has been the chair since 2002. He was the former president of the Australasian Society for Emergency Medicine (ASEM) and was a member of the Australian medical team following the Boxing Day Tsunami in Southeast Asia in 2004.
Dr Raymond Cook OAM
Dr Raymond Cook has been awarded an OAM for his service to medicine as a neurosurgeon. Raymond has made significant contributions to neurosurgery at Royal North Shore Hospital where he has served as head of the department from 1994-1996 and 2006-2012.
Raymond is a cofounder and current Chairman of Sydney Neuro-Oncology Group (SNOG) charity which funds research into brain tumours, education and enhanced nursing care of patients suffering from a brain tumour.