Michael Kidd, Jane Gunn top GP honours list

7 minute read

The new AOs are among 30 GPs honoured this weekend.

Professor Michael Kidd, former president of the RACGP and Deputy Chief Medical Officer, has been awarded Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), the second highest of the King’s Birthday Honours. 

Professor Kidd is one of 30 GPs honoured today. His citation was for “distinguished service to medical administration, to community health, to primary care leadership and to tertiary education”. 

A senior academic at Flinders University and the Australian National University, Professor Kidd led the World Organization of Family Doctors between 2013 and 2016. He also led the RACGP between 2002 and 2006, steering the college through a financial crisis that was arguably its lowest ebb.  

After formative experiences during the AIDS epidemic in the late 1980s, Professor Kidd continued to volunteer for the front lines of a crisis when the covid pandemic began, taking the role of DCMO. 

Professor Michael Kidd AO

Also receiving an AO today was Professor Jane Gunn, who has been a GP since 1991 and is currently the Chief Public Health Advisor, and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne since 2021. Professor Gunn’s citation was for “distinguished service to medical administration in leadership roles, tertiary education and research, and to the community”. 

Professor Jane Gunn AO

Eight GPs were named Members of the Order of Australia (AM). 

Professor Danielle Mazza was honoured for “significant services to medicine and medical research”.  

She has authored 200 studies and the Women’s Health in General Practice textbook. She has led the Monash University department of general practice since 2011. She has also directed SPHERE, the Centre of Research Excellence in Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health in Primary Care, since 2019.  

Professor Mazza says the biggest change she has witnessed in women’s health is the status of abortion, which has been fully decriminalised in every state and territory, starting in WA in 1998 and finally in SA in 2022.  

Professor Simon Willcock, clinical director of primary care at Macquarie University since 2015, was awarded an AM for significant service to primary health care, and to tertiary education.  

“In 2023 I find myself working harder than ever before and witnessing an existential threat to general practice,” Professor Willcock told Australian Doctor, for which he is a regular contributor. “The burnout is real. 

“Many of my older colleagues are deciding to exit clinical practice earlier than they intended, exhausted by the workload and lack of support. 

“Younger GPs, many of whom I taught as undergraduates and registrars, and to whom I extolled the wonders of general practice, are asking themselves if they have the stamina to achieve the outcomes they demand of themselves.” 

Clinical Associate Professor Magdalena Simonis was awarded an AM for “significant service to medicine and to women’s health”.  

A GP in Melbourne with a special interest in women’s health, she is now back at the university as honorary clinical associate professor in its Department of General Practice. 

She is also a well-known writer. 

Back in 2020, the RACGP published her article on the secret history of women in medicine and the life of Dr Constance Stone, Australia’s first female doctor and founder of the Victorian Medical Women’s Society in 1895. 

The following year, with support from 10 other women doctors, Dr Stone raised funds to open the Victoria Hospital for Women and Children. 

Associate Professor Rosanna Capolingua, a GP since 1985, former president and board chair of the federal AMA, and life member of the RACGP, was named AM for “significant service to patient care, to medicine, and as a role model to women”. 

Dr Caroline Elliott, GP at AWARE Women’s Health, clinical senior lecturer in the discipline of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Adelaide, and former president of the Australian Menopause Society, received an AM for “significant service to medicine and to women’s health”. 

Associate Professor Gary Kilov, co-founder of the RACGP’s diabetes specific interest group and founding member of the Primary Care Diabetes Society of Australia, was honoured for “significant service to medicine, particularly diabetes research and advisory roles”. 

Dr Elizabeth Rickman is a Sydney GP who has been an advocate for LGBTQIA+ issues, including refugee and asylum seeker advisory roles, climate and environment and women’s medical societies, was named AM for “significant service to medicine through women’s health, and to the community”. 

Commodore Nicole Curtis RAN, was awarded an AM in the Military Division, for “exceptional service to the Australian Defence Force in operational health, policy and capability”. Commodore Curtis’ leadership has results in lasting reforms to policy, capability coordination and the safety and quality of health services provided to ADF members both in Australia and when deployed on operations and major exercises.

Twenty GPs were awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM): 

Dr Margaret Beavis, president of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Australia, for “service to the community through a range of roles”. 

Dr Virendra Berera, GP and owner of the Victorian Road Medical Clinic in Northcote, Victoria, for “service to the Indian Community of Victoria.

Dr Ian Cameron, former CEO of the New South Wales Rural Doctors Network, for “service to medical administration, and to rural and Indigenous health”. 

Dr Paul Collett, board member of the Western NSW Primary Health Network, for “service to medical administration”. 

Dr Diana Coote, co-principal and GP at Warialda Family Practice since 1989, for “service to medicine”. 

Her husband, Dr Clement Gordon, also received an OAM alongside her. 

Dr Andrew Davies, founder and CEO of Homeless Healthcare in Perth, for “service to medicine, and to the community”. 

Dr Mary Dunne, medical superintendent at Woorabinda Multipurpose Health Service in Queensland since 1998, for “service to medicine through a range of roles”. 

Dr Clive Hume, former senior medical practitioner with the Royal Flying Doctor Service and GP/operator at Leigh Creek Medical Practice since 1987, for “service to medicine”. 

Dr Stephen Jamieson, a GP at the Dickson and Barton General Practice in Canberra for 38 years, and advocate for patients with HIV/AIDS and transgender people, for “service to medicine through a range of roles”. 

The late Dr Philomena Joshua Tenni, a GP in Victoria in the 1960s and founder and member of the Caroline Chisholm Society for 62 years, for “service to community health”. 

Dr Susan Lester, a GP since 1988 and former president of Medimime Productions, for “service to the community through a range of organisations”. 

Dr Frank Meumann, senior medical educator with General Practice Training Tasmania and former CEO, for “service to medicine”. 

Dr Michael Monsour, owner and GP of Monsour Medical Clinic in Maryborough for 40 years, for “service to medicine”. 

Dr Stephen Morris, GP and rural proceduralist at Ochre Health Medical Centre in Parkes, NSW, for 36 years, for “service to medicine”. 

Dr Gerard Quigley, principal medical officer for Cummins and District Memorial Hospital in South Australia since 1990, for “service to medicine”. 

Dr Norman Roth, former member of the steering committee for the Kirby Institute’s primary HIV infection advisory, and found and co-director of Prahran Market Clinic in Melbourne since 1995, for “service to sexual health medicine”. 

The late Dr Michael Simpson, GP at Ochre Medical Centre in Montville, Queensland, from 1995, for “service to the community of Montville”. 

Dr Keith Skilbeck, life member of the RACGP, for “service to the communities of Croydon and Mooroolback”. 

Dr Dennis Sundin, former AMA NSW state councillor, former president of the Warringah District Medical Association, and former doctor to the Australian hockey team, for “service to medicine, and to hockey”. 

To read about other honourees in the medical and health sector, read here.

This story was updated to add recipients who were missing in the first draft.

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