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27 May 2016


AMA NATIONAL CONFERENCE 2016 (Twitter: #amanc16)

The AMA has inducted five new members into the AMA Roll of Fellows.

Hugely influential rural GP Dr Paul Mara, intensive care specialist Dr Peter Sharley, GP and AMA Victoria President Dr Tony Bartone, obstetrician and AMA Western Australia President Dr Michael Gannon, and Hervey Bay GP and former AMA Queensland President Dr Shaun Rudd, have been added to the Roll of Fellows in recognition of the outstanding contribution each has made to both the AMA and the medical profession.

AMA President, Professor Brian Owler, announced the additions at the AMA National Conference 2016 in Canberra.

Professor Owler said that the five new Fellows were distinguished representatives of the profession.

“The new Fellows have all excelled in their medical careers, across many specialties,” Dr Owler said.

“At the same time, they have dedicated themselves to working to improve conditions for doctors, and to make the Australian health system work more effectively for patients and communities.”

Each new AMA Fellow carries an impressive record of achievement, as excerpts from their citations show:

Dr Tony Bartone

Decades of experience as a clinician and in health policy at both a state and national level have made Dr Bartone a much sought-after source of advice on key health issues. Dr Bartone, an AMA member for 30 years, is currently serving on committees advising the Victorian Government on issues ranging from violence in health care, advance care planning and naloxone provision to action on the drug ice.

In addition to his efforts to help inform and improve health policy, Dr Bartone has been an energetic and committed AMA member who has made an enormous contribution to the profession. He has served on the AMA Victoria Council since 2008, has been a Board member since 2010 and was Vice President from 2012 to 2014 before stepping up to become President two years ago.

Nationally, Dr Bartone joined the AMA Council of General Practice in 2008, and became a member of the AMACGP Executive in 2010 – a position he still holds. He is a member of the AMA Federal Council, and represents AMA Victoria on numerous bodies including Cancer Council Victoria, the Victorian Doctors Health Program and the Immunisation Strategy Group.

Dr Michael Gannon

Throughout his medical career, Dr Gannon has been active in representing his colleagues and safeguarding the interests of the medical profession.

Dr Gannon, the Head of Department, Obstetrics and Gynaecology at St John of God Hospital in Subiaco, served as President of the Australian Medical Students’ Association in 1993-94 while studying medicine, and joined the AMA upon graduating in 1995. As a member of the federal AMA Doctors in Training Committee, he became a spokesperson for the successful Safe Hours campaign. 

Not long after completing his training and being admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Dr Gannon assumed a prominent role in AMA WA’s push for reform of state maternity services. His leadership and robust representation helped convince the WA Government to reconsider its position on reforms. He became AMA WA Vice President in 2011 and was elected AMA WA President in 2014.

Nationally, he is Chair of the AMA’s Ethics and Medico-legal Committee, and is leading a number of policy reviews, including on assisted dying. During his term as AMA WA President, Dr Gannon has had as his central tenet the inviolability of the doctor-patient relationship and the obligation of the medical profession to safeguard it. He has also campaigned hard against the creation of a third medical school in WA, arguing a better investment is to expand training opportunities for graduates.

Dr Paul Mara

Few have exerted as much influence over the shape of their profession as Dr Mara.

The Gundagai-based GP who, with his wife Dr Virginia Wrice, has served the rural community for more than 33 years, has played a foundational role in the development of general practice in Australia, particularly in rural and remote areas.

Dr Mara was a central figure behind the formation of the Rural Doctors Association of NSW, and was a founding member and inaugural Vice President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia – becoming President in 2010.

His extensive list of firsts includes being the inaugural Director of General Practice at the Federal AMA. He was a key participant in negotiating the establishment of the Divisions of General Practice, as well as vocational registration, GP training reforms and practice enhancement grants (the precursor to the Practice Incentives Program).

During the 1990s and early 2000s, Dr Mara conducted trials of a national practice accreditation program, undertook a review of the rural medical workforce, and co-authored the landmark RDAA Viable Models of Rural and Remote Practice Project, which established a framework for sustainable practice in rural and remote areas. He is founder and Managing Director of GPA Accreditation, which accredits 2000 practices nationwide.

His profound influence on general practice, particularly in rural areas, was recognised this year when he was appointed Member of the Order of Australia.

Dr Shaun Rudd

Collegiality has been a hallmark of Dr Rudd’s career, both as a clinician and as an advocate for his colleagues as an AMA member, most recently as President of AMA Queensland.

This was nowhere more apparent than during the fight against the-then Queensland Government’s attempt to impose individual contracts on the State’s Senior Medical Officers. Dr Rudd led from the front during the intense, hard-fought dispute. Working in tandem with the federal AMA President, he played a key role in negotiations with the Government, informed by numerous conversations with individual members to learn first-hand about their thoughts and concerns.

As AMA Queensland President, he championed health issues including the obesity crisis (particularly in regional areas) and the dangers of combat sport, and was a vocal opponent of the Federal Government’s attempts to introduce a patient co-payment.

Throughout his career, he has played an active role in teaching and mentoring medical students and by, engaging with professional colleagues and the broader community alike, has been a true ambassador for the AMA.

Dr Peter Sharley

From playing a key role in helping evacuate the horribly injured victims of the 2002 Bali bombings to his Presidency of AMA South Australia, Dr Sharley’s career has been marked by a strong commitment to the service of others.

A senior staff specialist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Departments, Dr Sharley is regularly called on for his expertise. He has held key roles with the National Organ and Tissue Authority, the Medflight Australia critical care retrieval service and RAH Medflight. He is a senior clinical lecturer with the University of Adelaide, is a Supervisor of Training at the RAH, and was the SA Regional Chair of the College of Intensive Care Medicine for six years.

He joined the AMA SA Council in 2007 and became SA representative on the AMA Federal Council in 2011. He has brought energy, insight and commitment to his AMA roles, most notably as AMA SA President when he brought great attention and scrutiny to the new Royal Adelaide Hospital development and the relocation of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

Full citations are attached.

27 May 2016

CONTACT:       John Flannery02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761
                        Kirsty Waterford02 6270 5464 / 0427 209 753

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Published: 27 May 2016