AMA (WA) awards honour outstanding contributions to health as 125th anniversary is celebrated in style | AMA (WA)


AMA (WA) Awards 2023

AMA (WA) awards honour outstanding contributions to health as 125th anniversary is celebrated in style

Saturday June 24, 2023

Outstanding contributions to the health of Western Australians were honoured at Crown Ballroom on Saturday night. The AMA (WA) Awards, presented by AMA (WA) President Dr Michael Page, were the centrepiece of MEDBALL, at the conclusion of MEDCON23, the AMA (WA)’s inter-college medical conference, now in its third year.

The Awards have extra significance this year, as the AMA (WA) celebrates its 125th anniversary. The WA Medical Association was formed in 1898, and WA was accepted as a branch of the British Medical Association (BMA) the following year. It was 1962 before the BMA was replaced by the Australian Medical Association (AMA).

The Hippocrates Award, presented to Dr Michael Gannon, acknowledges a doctor who has made a significant contribution to medicine.

The Junior Doctor Award, presented to Dr Brittney Wicksteed, acknowledges the outstanding contribution of a junior doctor.

Prof Lyn Beazley AO was the recipient of the President’s Award, presented to a non-doctor who has made an outstanding contribution to health.

Dr Barry Fatovich was the recipient of the Jonathan Morling Doctors’ Health Champion of the Year Award (the DHASWA Award), presented to an individual who has done the most to champion the cause of doctors’ and medical student health in WA.

Comments attributed to AMA (WA) President Dr Michael Page:

“We are delighted to honour and recognise the outstanding contributions made by each of these individuals to the health of the Western Australian community. At this historic landmark of the AMA (WA)’s 125th anniversary, their work stands as inspiration to all of us to innovate, to educate, to lead and to each play our part in creating a great health system.”

Hippocrates Award – Dr Michael Gannon

Leadership is a constant in the medical career of Dr Michael Gannon, initially as president of the Australian Medical Students Association (AMSA) in the early 90s. That inspired him to devote his energies to the AMA and it has taken him to the forefront of representation, as AMA (WA) President in 2014-2016, then AMA President in 2016-2018, among a host of other roles. When called to serve, Dr Gannon has always served.

The consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist is the president of insurer MDA National and has served on the boards of the AMA (WA) and the AMA. His chairmanships include the perinatal & infant mortality committee for WA Health, medical advisory committee at St John of God Subiaco Hospital, and obstetric specialty committee at St John of God Healthcare.

Reflecting on his service to the AMA, Dr Gannon said, “I cannot think of an institution that does more to make our country a better, kinder and safer place,” a reasonable summation of the values and passion he has brought to all his activities for this organisation.

Junior Doctor of the Year (Dr Camille Michener Legacy Award) – Dr Brittney Wicksteed  

An indication of the contribution of Brittney to her profession was her previous nomination as a finalist for the AMA (WA) Junior Doctor of the Year Award in 2020.

An Emergency Medicine trainee currently developing broad skills in metropolitan settings to allow her to work in a rural emergency department, it’s in the rural setting she has made arguably her biggest impact. Brittney is the Vice President of the Rural Doctors Association of Western Australia.

Her independent and assertive style means when she sees a need, she goes right ahead and finds a way to have it met. Roles such as Founding President of the Junior Medical Officers of the Great Southern Society, Founding President of Junior Medical Officers of the Kimberley Society, and Founder & Chair of WA Rural Doctors in Training demonstrate her commitment across vast areas of the State.

President’s Award – Prof Lyn Beazley AO

Lyn has lifelong been a strong supporter of medical research. As a Career Fellow of the National Health and Medical Research Council, Lyn built an internationally renowned research team focused on recovery from brain damage. Over the years, Lyn has been a Trustee of the WA Museum and has served on numerous NHMRC and other national and international committees. Currently Lyn serves, as a Fellow, on the Council of the Australian Academy of Science, as well as being a board member of the National Blood Authority.

Locally, Lyn has recently stepped down after almost 10 years as Board Chair of the Royal Perth Hospital Research Foundation. Lyn is proud to be Patron or vice Patron of local health and technology-related WA organisations including Women in Technology WA, The Autism Academy, the Perron Institute, ConnectGroups (the peak WA body supporting self-help groups) and the mesothelioma-focused Reflections through Reality.

More widely, as Chief Scientist of Western Australia from 2006 to 2013, Lyn advised the Western Australian Government on science, innovation and technology.

The Jonathan Morling Doctors’ Health Champion of the Year Award (the DHASWA Award) – Dr Barry Fatovich

Barry did his internship at Fremantle Hospital and did his GP training in Kellerberrin and Kalgoorlie.  He spent a year doing postgraduate GP training in Canada at McMaster University.  On his return in 1979 he joined the Lockridge General Practice doing the full range of general practice, including care of Nursing Home residents and GP obstetrics.

He was involved in the RACGP as Chair of the National Research Committee an was the State Director of the RACGP Training program for 10 years.  He has been involved in a variety of community activities including Chair of the Lockridge Community Group, President of Diabetes WA, and a member of the Doctors Health Advisory Service since 1998.  In the early 2000s, Barry became a palliative care GP with Silver Chain, and he continues in the Lockridge Practice.