Congratulations to Associate Professor Peter Downie and Professor Michelle Leech for their well-deserved recognition in the 2023 Australia Day Honours List.
Associate Professor Peter Downie, Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia
Associate Professor Peter Downie AM, has been awarded Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for “significant service to paediatric oncology, to teaching, and to research.”
Associate Professor Downie is the Head of Paediatric Haematology-Oncology and Director of the Children’s Cancer Centre at Monash Children’s Hospital.
Associate Professor Downie started working at Monash Health as a registrar in 1987 before returning to a consultant position in 1993 after working overseas at the University of Chicago.
36 years into his career at Monash Health, Associate Professor Downie said this recognition on the Australia Day Honours list at the end of the day is all about the patients.
“I don’t think you ever go into medicine, or any branch of subspecialty medicine expecting awards – it’s a great honour and an acknowledgement of all the work that goes into treating children with cancer. There are so many other facets that are also important such as clinical care, teaching, mentoring, and research.”
Associate Professor Downie has made an outstanding contribution to paediatric cancer research and treatment during his four decades in medicine. He is currently a member of the leadership group for the Hudson Institute Paediatric Cancer Precision Medicine Program, where his research focuses on brain cancers, bone cancers, and other solid tumours of childhood.
Associate Professor Downie said what he has enjoyed most in his career at Monash Health is “the opportunity to look after children with cancer; to see the cure rates improving year on year; to see our advances in clinical medicine as well as research really start to make a difference in patient outcomes and to work with a great team that’s passionate about their work.”
Congratulations to Associate Professor Downie on this outstanding achievement.
Professor Michelle Leech, Honorary Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia
Professor Michelle Leech AM, has been awarded Honorary Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for “significant service to medical education and to professional organisations.”
Professor Leech has been the Head of the Rheumatoid Arthritis Clinic at Monash Health since 2012 and is the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Science at Monash University.
Professor Leech has been at Monash Health for over 20 years, moving to Monash Medical Centre from Prince Henry’s Hospital.
Professor Leech said, “Monash Health is all about the people. There are so many people who I have known for years, and these connections are so sustaining.”
Professor Leech said she is honoured to have received recognition in the Australia Day Honours List.
“Recognition from the people we have taught always means so much to educators. Many excellent health and medical educators I work with believe in the power of education and the importance of remembering those who educated us. I am grateful to be recognised for a job I am lucky to have.”
Professor Eric Morand, Director of Rheumatology at Monash Health, said this is a wonderful recognition for Professor Leech and the rheumatology unit.
“It is great that Monash Health and the rheumatology unit are a place where people can develop their careers, and women, in particular, can grow in leadership roles within the walls of Monash Health,” said Professor Morand.
Congratulations to Professor Leech on this extraordinary achievement.
Professor Melvyn Korman, Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia
Former employee, Professor Melvyn Korman also received recognition in the Australia Day Honours List.
Professor Melvyn Korman AM, has been awarded Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for “significant service to gastroenterological and hepatological medicine.”
Following Professor Korman’s retirement from Monash Health in 2013, he was awarded the title of Director Emeritus of Gastroenterology to honour his outstanding service within the gastroenterology department.
In 1974 Professor Korman was appointed as the Inaugural Director of Gastroenterology at Prince Henry’s Hospital, where he continued as Director following the relocation to Monash Medical Centre Clayton in 1990 until 2005.
Under his leadership, the unit was well known for clinical training in gastroenterology and academic research.
Professor Korman then served as Chair of the Monash Health Human Research Ethics Committee from 2006-2013.
Professor Korman said, “I feel honoured and extremely humbled to be recognised for my service to medicine”.
Congratulations to Professor Korman on this incredible achievement.