Item 10 MM15/22 Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association 2022 Sidney Sax Medal - Award to Professor Susan Kurrle.................... 1
Mayoral Minute No. MM15/22
Date of Meeting: 12/10/2022
10 AUSTRALIAN HEALTHCARE AND HOSPITALS ASSOCIATION 2022 SIDNEY SAX MEDAL - AWARD TO PROFESSOR SUSAN KURRLE
Council joins with many people in acknowledging the invaluable contribution to the residents of Hornsby Shire, and indeed of older people everywhere, by Professor Susan Kurrle, MD PhD. Our congratulations go to Professor Kurrle, local Geriatrician, and Curran Professor in Health Care of Older People at the Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, for receiving the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) 2022 Sidney Sax medal.
Announced on 26 September 2022, the Sidney Sax medal is awarded annually by the AHHA to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution in the field of health services policy, organisation, delivery and research (excluding clinical research). The Sax Medal awards outstanding achievement in and contribution to the development and improvement of the Australian healthcare system.
The award is named after the late Dr Sidney Sax, a noted Physician and Health Planner who played a key role in the development of Medibank, our first universal national health insurance scheme; in developing a national system of health services directed towards improving health outcomes; and through his prolific writings focused on public health, ageing and public policy in Australia.
Professor Kurrle is a local resident and a practising geriatrician for the Northern Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD), specialising in the areas of dementia, frailty, elder abuse, successful ageing, and intergenerational care. In addition to her work at NSLHD, Professor Kurrle is the expert geriatrician leading the work on the internationally award-winning ABC TV documentary series ‘Old People’s Home for 4-Year Olds’ and more recently, 'Old People's Home for Teenagers'. These programs showcase the benefits that intergenerational care programs can have, and their ability to promote participation and social connectedness, increasing happiness, dignity, and self-esteem for all participants.
As a well-respected leader and expert driving the research agenda in dementia and aged care, Professor Kurrle has been co-designing services with general practice for several years. In advising of the Award to Professor Kurrle, the AHHA Board Chair, the Hon Jillian Skinner, has commented that:
Professor Kurrle’s work on the many aspects of care for older people, is an area in need of champions who take a holistic approach to their health and well-being. Her work across professional groups, and in using an inter-generational and educative approach, has been of great benefit to older people, their families and the Australian health system as a whole.
Professor Kurrle has played a key role in developing services for the older residents of Hornsby Shire, recognising our significant population of older people and the rising rates of dementia in our community. In her capacity as Co-Chair of the Northern Sydney Dementia Collaborative she has worked alongside Council in having Hornsby recognised as a Dementia Friendly Community. She has provided her support, through both in-person and online presentations regarding dementia support, healthy ageing and raising dementia awareness to a range of council events and activities.
In September 2019 she presented at Council’s Dementia Awareness Forum which was attended by more than 200 local residents; and more recently she spoke at the Launch of the Hornsby Village Hub, a collaboration between Council and the Sydney North Public Health Network together with a range of community partners and supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Social Services through their ‘Seniors Connected Program’. It is noted that Hornsby Shire is one of only 12 communities across Australia to have established a Village Hub, which is designed to provide ‘more support for older Australians’.
As we acknowledge the needs of our growing ageing community, it is appropriate that we should recognise the significant achievements of Professor Kurrle and express our appreciation for the work that she has done to support older people and their families, medical research and practice and the broader community.
THAT Council express its sincere appreciation for the outstanding contribution made by Professor Susan Kurrle and celebrate the recent announcement of the 2022 Sidney Sax Medal Award for Professor Kurrle’s outstanding achievements and contribution to the development and improvement of the Australian healthcare system.
The Honourable Cr PHILIP RUDDOCK
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File Reference: F2004/05879-006