Local health leaders named in King’s Birthday honours

Brendan Rees

Outstanding citizens have been recognised in this year’s King’s Birthday honours for their significant contributions to the community.  

One of the top awards, those appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), went to Melbourne East resident, Professor Erica Wood, a haematologist, and transfusion medicine specialist at Monash Health. 

After hearing the news of the award, which recognised her “distinguished service to transfusion medicine and haemovigilance, to haematology, and to national and international organisations”, Prof. Wood said, “I was very surprised to be nominated, but I’m happy and very grateful”.

“I was particularly pleased that the award acknowledges the many wonderful organisations and individual people I’ve had the privilege to work with over the years.”

Prof. Wood is a clinical researcher in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University, where she leads the Transfusion Research Unit and is the co-director of the Division of Acute and Critical Care.

“I love working with our team and people across Australia and around the world to improve care for people with blood disorders, some of whom might need a blood transfusion or other supportive care,” she said.

“Our aim is to improve clinical outcomes such as survival and quality of life for patients, as well to improve how blood is used in Australia, by strengthening the evidence base for our practice.”

The honours list also saw Carlton resident, Dr Marcus Carey, appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his “significant service to urogynaecology, and to women’s health”.

Dr Carey said the award came as a “complete surprise”, but added, “even though it is an individual award, in my case, I believe it is a recognition of the team I work with at the Royal Women’s Hospital and Epworth HealthCare”.

He said his work was dedicated solely to treating pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) in women of all ages, which involved the management of bladder and pelvic floor problems usually resulting from childbirth.

“More than one million Australian women suffer from PDF yet many women, and even some doctors, don’t know that there are effective treatments for these problems. Fortunately, most women with PFD such as urinary incontinence and prolapse can be successfully treated by either non-surgical or surgical treatments.”

Also awarded an AM was Carlton resident, Associate Professor Louis Roller, a Monash University pharmacy educator since 1963. He said his reaction to the honour, which recognised his “significant service to the pharmacy profession through education and governance”, “was one of disbelief and elation as there are more worthy people than me, I can think of quite a number”.


I always encourage my students to think beyond the square and consider the welfare of their patients above all else.


The honours list also saw East Melbourne resident, Dr John McKay, awarded an AM for “significant service to medical administration in the field of nuclear medicine”.

Dr McKay, who was instrumental in establishing the first clinical Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan in Australia, an imaging test that uses radioactive material to diagnose a variety of diseases, said the honour “means a lot to me and my family; it is humbling and unexpected”. •

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