The Fantastic Four: gastroenterologists nab top honours


Four gastroenterologists have received top accolades in this year’s Australia Day honours.

Internationally renowned gastroenterologist Laureate Professor Nicholas Talley was appointed Companion in the Order of Australia (AC) for his “eminent service to medical research and education in the field of gastroenterology and epidemiology, as an academic, author and administrator at the national and international level, and to health and scientific associations”.

Professor Talley is a senior staff specialist at John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle and pro vice-chancellor of global research at the University of Newcastle. He is also past president of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (2014-16) and editor-in-chief of the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA).

Meanwhile, Professor Susan Leigh Elliot, of Melbourne, was awarded Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service as a clinician and administrator and to educational institutions in the Asia-Pacific. Professor Elliot is Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Education) at Monash University.

Two gastroenterologists were awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

Associate Professor Christopher Ashton, of Canberra, was recognised for his service to medicine and medical education. Professor Ashton was sub-dean at the Australian National University’s Medical School’s Calvary Hospital Campus from 2008-2011 and a past director of Brindabella Endoscopy Clinic.

Melbourne-based Dr Katrina Watson was also awarded for her service to the specialty and to medicine generally. Dr Watson was St Vincent’s Hospital’s deputy director of the department of gastroenterology from 1992-2004 and served on the Gastroenterological Society of Australia’s board of directors for several years.

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