This month the United Kingdom hosted the G7 Summit in Cornwall as part of its G7 Presidency.  The world’s largest democracies were brought together to reach new agreements to help the world fight and build back better from the coronavirus and create a greener more prosperous future.  Australia, India, South Korea and South Africa were invited as guest countries.

The event also offered contrasting leadership styles when political talks gave way to the ‘soft diplomacy’ of the monarchy. The Prince of Wales urged action on climate change akin to that taken to address the public health pandemic, while the Queen referenced her presence as signalling the importance of returning to everyday life and meeting your neighbours following her regular meetings with world leaders having been on hold for over 2 years.

Vaccinated and maskless, the symbolism of the global leaders meeting together intended to give confidence and hope that we may be returning to a more physically connected world.

The month also saw the Queen celebrate her official birthday. At 95 years strong, monarchist, or republican, she offers many lessons in leadership that cannot be disputed.

“When life seems hard, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat; instead, they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future.”  QEII

The Queen’s birthday also coincides with the bi-annual release of her Honour’s List, conferring recognition and thanks for service, achievement, and community leadership. For Australia and New Zealand, these honours take similar but slightly different forms, evolving as our countries do.

In recent times, we have seen in both country’s stronger representation from our health professionals.

We would like to recognise some of these amazing leaders from across Australia and New Zealand we have the privilege of knowing and working with.

Australian Honours

Public Service Medal (PSM)

  • Professor Nicola Jane SPURRIER (Adelaide) For outstanding public service to community health in South Australia.
  • Ms Alison Jayne McMillan (VIC) For outstanding public service to driving the Government’s national health response priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly to infection prevention measures.

Officer in the General Division (AO)

  • Professor Leonard George NOTARAS AM (NT) For distinguished service to medical administration in the Northern Territory, and to professional organisations

Aotearoa New Zealand Honours

The New Zealand Order of Merit

MNZM

  • Ms Janet Louise Peters, of Tauranga. For services to mental health
  • Mrs Catherine Frances Cooney, JP, of Rotorua. For services to health and the community

Finally, the Queen has also recognised the contribution of one of our leading Health professionals, approving the Queensland State Premier’s appointment of Dr Jeanette Young, as the State’s next Governor.

The appointment will end Dr Young’s 16-year tenure as Queensland’s longest-serving Chief Health Officer when she takes office on November 1.  We would like to acknowledge this outstanding contribution and congratulate Dr Young on this next chapter and the role she continues to play in leading in health and beyond.