Monday 17 March 2014, Gala Dinner
Professor Christine Bennett AO
MBBS FRACP Master Paed
Dean, School of Medicine, Sydney
The University of Notre Dame, Australia
Professor Christine Bennett was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the Australia Day 2014 Honours List. The Award recognises Professor Bennett’s distinguished service to medicine and health care leadership, as a clinician, researcher and educator, particularly in the fields of child and family health, and social policy.
Professor Bennett was appointed to the role of Professor and Dean, School of Medicine, Sydney, The University of Notre Dame, Australia, in May 2011. Prior to this appointment, she was the Chief Medical Officer for Bupa Australia Group.
Professor Bennett is a specialist paediatrician and has over 30 years of health industry experience in clinical care, strategic planning and senior management in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. She is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and has an active commitment to and involvement in medical professional issues, social policy and medical research.
In February 2008, Professor Bennett was appointed by the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to be Chair of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission that provided advice to governments on a long term blue print for the future of the Australian health system. The report was presented to the Government in June 2009.
Professor Bennett’s experience has included being Partner in Health and Life Sciences for KPMG Australia, CEO of Research Australia, CEO of Westmead Hospital, General Manager for the Royal Hospital for Women and Head of Planning in NSW Health.
She has held many non-executive Director roles for private and publicly listed companies, as well as government and charitable organisations.
Professor Bennett is currently Chair of The Australian National Preventive Health Agency Advisory Council; Research Australia – an alliance of over 170 member organisations promoting health and medical research in Australia; The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network in NSW; and the Bupa Health Foundation Steering Committee.
Professor Bennett currently sits on the boards of Capital Markets CRC, Bupa Health Dialog and ICON (Integrated Clinical Oncology Network). She was previously on the board of HeartWare Inc – a medical device company listed on both NASDAQ and the ASX (2004 to 2012), Obesity Australia (2011 to 2013) and was Deputy Chair of the Schizophrenia Research institute (previously NISAD; 2000 to 2006).
A mother of five children, Professor Bennett is passionate about giving all children a healthy start to life; supporting the mental health and wellbeing of young people; addressing the boarder determinants of health; educating future doctors and health leaders; and the importance of empowering people to have the central role in their own health and health care decisions.
In 2013, Professor Bennett was selected as a Finalist in NSW for Australian of the Year.