Welcome from Head of School


The end of the year is almost upon us and, in amongst the celebratory events, this is a time to reflect on our achievements.

I will begin with our learning and teaching activities. On Saturday 3 December, I had the great pleasure of officiating at the graduation ceremony of the 2016 MD cohort. As each graduand received their degree from the Chancellor, Elizabeth Alexander, I reflected on the cumulative impact this cohort will make to the health of our community over the next 40 or more years. This contribution is sure to be substantial and we should be proud of the work we do in guiding the learning of each of these new doctors.

Equally pleasing was the recent opportunity to celebrate the impact of five key members of our medical community with the awarding of Honorary Doctor of Medical Science degrees to Christine Kilpatrick, Richard Pestell, James St John and Len Harrison and the Brownless Medal to Wilma Beswick. All of these awardees have made substantial and sustained contribution through their teaching, research and leadership.

The announcement of NHMRC results for next year were equally pleasing, with excellent performance in project grants, fellowships and centres of research excellence. The diversity of funded projects is a testament to the breadth and depth of the research enterprise at the Melbourne Medical School.

The results of promotion applications are always eagerly anticipated. This year, the success rate was very high at all academic levels and I happily acknowledge all who achieved a promotion. I particularly congratulate the four new professors in the school: Richard O’Brien, Alex Boussioutas, Cassandra Szoeke and Mathis Grossman.

The Melbourne Medical School executive will change in 2017. Professor Mark Cook will stand down as the first of the rotating heads of the Department of Medicine and Radiology. I thank him for his outstanding work in this role. Professor Jeff Zajac will replace Mark on 1 January 2017. I am delighted to announce that Professor Cheryl Jones from the University of Sydney will take up the position of Stevenson Chair of Paediatrics and Head of the Department of Paediatrics in March of 2017. In the interim, I am very pleased that Professor Julie Bines will continue to be Acting Head of Department until Cheryl’s arrival.

To conclude, I would like to thank all of the staff of the Melbourne Medical School for their outstanding work this year. I wish you all a happy and restful festive season.

Professor Geoff McColl
Head of School